In response to a thread about levels of sexual energy in play:
I have played with quite a few people and for me there are different levels. Sometimes we may cross from one level to another depending on how open the person is and how much energy I wish to give and receive.
As far as sex goes: I rarely play in a sexual way in front of people other than my sub, except for a bit of touching and hitting. I only want my sub entering me and going down on me. That may change with someone special, but I doubt that it will be another man. I am gender queer. At the moment I usually feel like a man working through a woman's body when I play intimately with women and therefore I do sexual things to women, but my bottom half is stone in regard to them doing things to me. This may change with the right women, because there are some women that I do feel like an evil older women with. I have not had the chance to explore sex with trans people yet. Interacting with most men I feel female, but with some gay men I feel male.
Needle play is non sexual for me.
Level 1: Teaching. My energy is focused purely on making sure they are ok and as relaxed as possible so that I can inflict pain. I am talking to the group as I play and stopping often, therefore I do not play hard. I will talk to the subject to ensure they do not sink too far into subspace.
Level 2: Educational play. Playing with people new to BDSM who want to give it a go. I pay full attention to them, but do not release much energy, because this is an impersonal play. I may try releasing any pent up energy from them and give them some good energy so that they may experience light pain better. I speak only to check in on them, praise or reassure them. I allow them to sink into subspace if possible. I give them pain at a level I think they will enjoy and a bit of a tease of harder play.
Level 3: Hard educational play. Same thing as above, but the person has approached me explaining that no one has taken them far and they would like to experience a hard play. I give and release a bit more energy, to carry them through the pain. But I remain mainly impersonal not taking their energy. I may check in more with them. I hope for their sake they can sink into subspace.
Level 4: Playing for real - non sexual. The level of play may be from light to very hard. There is no sexual contact other than my fingers sliding around their body at the beginning to relax them and for me to understand their body and energy; and my nails at the end. My crops may move up between their legs and give their crutch a few taps, I may play with/torture their nipples/breasts, but I do not release any sexual energy towards them. It is pure sadism.
Level 4a: CBT. As above but of course I am doing evil things to their cock and balls. I am happy for them to consider it to be sexual, but to me it is sadism with humour. I talk a lot and laugh with my subjects, but if I see them sinking into subspace I allow them so that they can handle the pain. I have only done sounds with my deceased sub and that was sensual - he would often cum. The rest was non sensual, but often afterwards we would have sex.
Level 4b: Playing for real – non sexual for me, but maybe sexual for them As above. I fuck them up the arse with a strap on or piss on them. It is a D/s buzz, but not the sexual buzz that I get from fucking a women with a strap on.
Level 5: Play for real with sexual energy There is nothing that would be called sex in a vanilla sense, but we are both open giving and receiving energy. We are aware of others in the room, but we link together as if there is a circle of energy surrounding us. I may or may not use this time to also release energy blocks they have, but there is a sexual feel to the play. In this state experienced women who are open to energy can have orgasms from my pain. They can vary from very intense to just nice. Often their orgasmic energy rolls up and hits me and then I cum as well. I often squirt during these plays. When I scratch them at the end of a play I usually cum.
Level 5a: The above with women and I may digitally penetrate or rub their clit. We are not well connected yet, but are ok with it leading to this stage.
Level 6: Play with no holding back This is when there are no restraints such as audience or concerns about relationships and we are in a good space. It is just us at that moment in the world and the play flows to wherever I wish to take it and they are ok with this. We have negotiated previously about what is ok. Usually this consists of a good hard S/m work out leading to sexual play. Usually this is with my own subs occasionally it has happened with others (and happened when I was a sub with two people). The air becomes hot with our energies flowing back and forth and mingling together. If I feel they have a block I will release it quickly so that it does not interfere with our play.
Level 7: The trev stage I have only experienced this with one person and so I have named it after him. (trev is my deceased sub). Because he could handle whatever I gave to him the S/m energy was intense, the pain would rise to an intense degree and it took all my energy to dish it out. Yet energy creates energy and so I would thrive on it and have plenty left over for sex. After that we would both be exhausted of course. When we were in a relaxed state with a good environment our energy would become one. That energy that I am sure many of you have felt with a really intense sexual session with someone you love is what we would feel in our impact play and that would then carry on to sex afterwards. He had absolute trust in me, he could handle a missed hit well, he knew tantra so he could get off really well from the pain as well as processing his and my energy easily.
Hopefully I will find new levels in future exploration :-)