I’ve got another Ask Me Anything for this week, and this question came from one of my awesome readers! Curious what the #AskMeAnything is? Check out the official AMA page on my site over here. I hope you lovelies find this interesting/helpful!

Q: Scenes can be amazing or scary, and can change to one or the other within moments. Can you tell us about a time you had to safeword out of a scene? What led to the safeword? Did the dom notice? Have you ever tried the scene again and were able to get through without a safeword? (asked by Niki R.)

A: It’s interesting that this question was asked because I’m currently part of a 90 day challenge with a group of people on committing to try something new / push our boundaries a bit in the BDSM lifestyle. My commitment actually has to do with one of the few times I’ve had to safeword out of a scene! I’m making it a goal to work on tolerating breath play better (and I’ll get to my specific goal after the story because then it will make more sense).

  • NOTE: My Dom and I play pretty hard, and so if that’s not something you’re interested in reading about, you do not need to read this post. I can tell you that he always puts my safety at the forefront, he has never really hurt me, and I trust him completely. I wouldn’t play as hard with him as I do if I did not trust him to be SSC at all times. <3

What was the scene?

One of my favorite things my Dom does when I’m at his house is that we can be in the middle of a conversation, or a movie, or dinner, and he will suddenly decide he wants to play. This means I usually get my hair pulled back (yay!) and then forced to follow him / walk in front of him to the playroom. Super hot, right? That is probably how we get into scenes 90% of the time, but sometimes he feels a little more aggressive, or I’m being a little too sarcastic (it’s a blessing and a curse) and that’s when we get to do take-down play.

When we do take-down play it usually starts with a deal, said in his very calm voice, that if I can get away from him I will get “X” during the session, but if he can pin me/get me to submit I will get “Y” during the session. “X” is usually something he knows I’ll enjoy, and “Y” is something I’ll enjoy less, but he really wants. As soon as he’s done talking I say “Yes, sir” and then take off. I get about… 10 feet usually, because he’s got 8 inches on me and is fucking fast, and I get grabbed and/or tackled. The reason this kind of works is because I took self-defense/jiu jitsu for two years in college, and I’m generally in pretty good shape. The reason he wins 99.9% of the time is because he’s an ex-marine, is 6′ 4″, and outweighs me and out-strengths me (that’s a word now). And, to me at least, THIS IS TOTALLY HOT. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite things we do. Capture fantasy is a kink of mine, CNC is a kink of mine (and his), and there’s a reason I love to write the dark stuff. It turns me on. The struggle, the fight, the biting, and clothing tearing, and general violence of it is very, very hot. All kinds of alpha male aggression = yummy.

That sounds super hot, so, what’s the problem?

Well, he loves breathplay. He loves controlling when I get to breathe, and we’re not talking about a little hand squeeze around the throat during sex (hot), or a deep throat held a few seconds longer than you’d prefer. This is “I wonder if you’ll black out this time, or tap out” breathplay. When we do take-down play he used to do this by wrapping his arm around my throat in a headlock and holding me back against his chest. (I can tell you he does not do this any more because of the reaction I’m about to describe and because he’s a good Dom who respects what I can handle) For some inexplicable reason the first time he really cut off my air it sent me into a full-on panic. I have a lot of tips and tricks for controlling my pain response, for staying in position during scenes if he hasn’t tied me down, but none of them seem to work when I can’t breathe. I go full on fight-or-flight. When he really did this I just lost it, and immediately did our nonverbal safeword of three taps. At first he didn’t notice (we had been wrestling and fighting moments before) and so I very clearly did 3 snaps (another of our non-verbal safewords). The second he saw/heard it he let go, but… I flipped out and had a panic attack. Hyperventilated, then couldn’t breathe at all because I was trying to breathe so hard. He has field medic training and got me calmed down eventually (it took a while, and he was very worried). On top of that, I was sobbing (I never cry) and he was totally freaked out because I had never had a strong reaction like that to anything and, as I said before, we play pretty rough.

So, what did we do?

We talked about it. He scooped me up and carried me to bed, wrapped me in blanket, got me wine, and then came and aftercared the hell out of me. I explained the physical reaction I had, and even though he asked me lots of questions about whether it had triggered something, or if there was something specific he had done that had caused me to react like that, I could not figure out why I freaked out. I still have no idea why I react how I do. Even reading about breathplay I think it’s hot! Watching porn with it? Hot. Thinking about him doing it? So hot. Then, when it actually happens? Pure panic.

We’ve tried it a couple of times since the original, each time I thought I’d be able to brain-talk my way through it, but I couldn’t. Apparently my brain isn’t concerned when I’m getting caned 50 times, or whipped with a dragon’s tail, but not being able to breathe? It pulls the emergency brake.

So, what’s your goal?

My goal is to increase what I’m able to handle in breathplay in other areas so that I can eventually teach my brain that just like everything else my twisted little painslut/masochist side enjoys, this can be fun too. The Dom is, of course, supportive of this idea and we’ve started with increasing the time I hold him in my throat during a blow job. This is an easy place to start because I already love blow jobs, but I have always panicked if he held my head in place after I felt like I was out of air. We’re already making progress, just this past week I was able to center myself, focus on the fact that I enjoy giving blow jobs, and just focus on his pleasure. When I stopped fighting, he let me up, and we kept going. He did it more in that session (we’re still letting my piercings heal, so no intercourse for the moment) and by the end I wasn’t getting the strong urge to panic. I think as we continue to work on desensitizing me to it, I’ll get closer and closer to being able to avoid full-on panic attacks like before.

Will we ever try a headlock during take-down play again? I don’t know. He’s concerned about it because he never wants to really hurt me or cross a line, and I’m so frustrated by myself that my type-A competitive self has decided I want to beat this no matter what. In the end, I’ll still be pretty proud of myself if I can deep throat for longer times. #subwin!

Anyway, this was less educational and more experience based, but I hope it at least highlighted how a good Dom reacts when things spontaneously go south during a scene. I’ve always said that triggers are like landmines, we never know what they are or where they are until we hit one. Breathplay happens to be one of mine, and if we never fully kick the landmine, then there’s still a million other things to do. ^_^

Thanks for reading lovelies, and keep sending me questions! I love answering.