My latest education about women, and sex, began the day I met Catalina. Before I go any further, a caveat about her name. She does not go by that name publicly (yet.) It is a name I gave her years after I met her, while she was spanking the shit out of my ass. Catalina is a professional sensual spankstress. She is, by my reckoning, the most refined ass smacker on the planet: fine enough for a lady’s bottom (and trust me, the ladies flock to her), fierce enough for my intransigent ass. She is a master, and I am her disciple. But I digress.
I was on Catalina’s massage table for the first time. I had found her on the Net, advertising massage, and I was there for a regular, therapeutic massage. This was before I knew she was a spankstress, and long before I had started calling her that. (I’ll just keep calling her that, though, so as not to use her real name. By the way, she has read this and I do have her consent to post it.)
As she massaged me, we were deep in a conversation that meandered from topic to topic. Eventually, the conversation meandered to sex (as it does tend to do, when I am talking.)
“I’ve been feeling really shut down sexually lately,” she said.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“I think I have a lot of sexual shame still, that I haven’t worked through.”
We talked more about some of the details. Eventually, I became convinced that I knew of just the perfect place for her to visit, to experience an opening around her sexual closure.
“OK, I have a crazy proposal,” I said. “You’re totally free to say ‘no thanks.’ But I just want to put it out there.”
“What is it?” she asked.
“I’m going to a private play party in Bolinas tomorrow night. It is organized by a guy who is, in my opinion, by far the best play party organizer on the West Coast, Philippe Lewis, for his birthday. It will just be friends, and friends-of-friends.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard of Philippe,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to go to one of his parties for a while.”
“Good. Yes. So, the intention of the party is to create a safe space for people to explore their sexual selves, without shame. It will be full of women and men who are committed to living their lives without sexual shame. Given what you told me, I really think you need to be there, to meet everyone there. I think it could be a night that changes everything for you.
“Now, I know this is strange for a stranger to invite you to a play party for the next night. But I want you to know something.” I slowed down my speech, looked up, and made strong eye contact with her. “If you came with me, my top priority would be your comfort. I would make sure you felt completely safe and comfortable with me, and with everyone else around you at the party. I would put zero—and I mean absolutely zero—pressure on you to act any particular way with me.”
“Wow,” she said. “That sounds really intriguing. I definitely need to think about it for a night. But I’ll also definitely consider it. Can I let you know tomorrow?”
“Absolutely,” I said. I pulled up the invite for the party on my phone and showed it to her. “You can see that he puts a lot of intention into creating a really safe space.”
“Yes, I see that,” she said. “This party does sound like just the right thing for me.”
After the massage, and after we had traded a few dance moves (we are both dancers,) she was walking me down the hall towards the door. She stopped, and said, “I need you to know something.”
“Yes?” I asked.
“I haven’t had sex for three years.”
“Really?” I asked. “Was that intentional?”
“Yes. I’ve intentionally chosen to be celibate these past three years.”
“Wow. What inspired that choice?” I asked.
“I haven’t been able to find a way for men to show up in my life sexually that feels right to me. So I decided to take some space from sex, and from men.”
“I want to hear more about that,” I said. “And, one thing seems for certain. Even if we do go to the party together tomorrow night, let’s decide that we won’t have intercourse. We just won’t go there.”
“Thank you for saying that,” she said. “We can definitely dance, and play, and find a flow that works for us. But no, I’m not open to intercourse with you tomorrow night, if I go with you.”
“Deal,” I said, holding out my hand to shake. “No intercourse.”
“Deal,” she said, with a smile and an eye-sparkle, shaking my hand.
Upon returning home, I wrote her this email:
I know it’s kind of an intense thing to go to a party like this with someone you’ve just met – but you also seem like the kind of person who is up for unexpected adventures.
My commitment to you is that you would feel safe and respected at all times, and all your boundaries would be 100% respected at every moment, by me and everyone else there. (Also, please know, I may be sensually active with other women there.)
It would be best if you could let me know by tomorrow morning if you’d like to join me. Feel free to call with any questions.
I want to dance with you, with your being….
The next morning, I awoke to find this email:
Yes… this event sounds great, and I’m excited to meet your community. I am committing to go on this journey/ adventure/dance with you. I already shared with you some of my hard boundaries so I trust that I will be safe. I am looking forward to movement/play/ dance/exploration with you, within that safe container. Knowing that you may be sensually active with other women there is not only a huge turn on (as i like watching) but lowers the intensity I may be feeling about sharing my whole weekend with a sexy beautiful stranger .
I feel the magik unfolding and am open to its many gifts. xox
At the party, we were shown to a small, womb-like room—our room for the night—with a futon taking up the entire floor. I pulled out some pot and we smoked.
We embraced, and started grinding. And then, something happened that changed my life.
I felt my sexual energy entering her. I felt her receiving it, and giving it back to me, with hers. I felt my own energy adding to hers, giving it back to her, back and forth, back and forth.
What is “sexual energy”? Here is the most simple way I can explain it, for those who are not familiar with (or who are skeptical of) this concept. You know when you are receiving oral sex, and if it is really good, you can feel tingling waves and pleasurable vibrations running throughout your whole body? In some sense, the oral sex is pleasuring the entire body, even though there is physical contact with the genitals. Well, this is exactly what was happening—intensely pleasurable sexual energy was pulsating through our entire beings—without even the oral sex part, just the grinding.
You could say this was happening in part because we were stoned. And certainly, we’ve discovered in our later explorations, being stoned does help in opening up to feeling sexual energy. However, we discovered, there was a more important reason this was happening.
“You know,” I said, “when you told me you hadn’t had intercourse for three years, my heart sank a little bit, for just that moment. While of course I was going to respect your boundaries and keep my commitment to you no matter what, I’m also really attracted to you, and part of me had hoped, when I first invited you to the party, that we were going to fuck if you did come to the party. You’re super hot. How could I not want to fuck you? So in that moment, when you told me you had been celibate for so long, I just knew it would be a bad idea to even consider that, which is when I suggested we not do it. I meant that suggestion sincerely. Yet, to be totally honest, part of me was a little bummed. Of course, it was never a question that I’d expect that from you, or pressure you. But that’s just my normal guy thing, wanting my cock to be involved somehow.”
“Well, your cock is involved somehow,” she said, smiling and pulling me tighter to grind her through her underwear.
“Yes. I’m not complaining. No way. I’m just saying…. Now that I’m experiencing this with you here, I’m really grateful for your boundaries.”
She let out a huge smile. “No man has ever said that to me before. Why are you grateful for my boundaries?”
“We’re experiencing this amazing thing, and I don’t think we would be experiencing it had fucking been an option. I would have been so excited by the possibility, all my normal patterns and programs around sex would have been activated, and on some level, however subtly, I would have been guiding, leading, seducing towards the direction of fucking. But knowing that that wasn’t an option, and removing any ‘goal’ for the night, allowed me to slow down, and discover all the pleasure we can have, without fucking.”
“Yes, it’s amazing how hot we can get, without having sex,” she said.
“We are having sex,” I said.
“Yes, we are,” she said, as we continued grinding, and circulating our sexual energy.
“Energy sex,” I said.
“Yes, energy sex.”
An hour into our energy sex, we had both completely lost sense of our normal, day-to-day selves. We felt as though we had dematerialized into vortexing flows of sexual energy, spiraling in and out each other.
Catalina started weeping gently.
I stopped our energy sex, and held her. After a few minutes had passed, I asked her, “What is going on for you?”
She waited a few moments to respond. “I feel so safe with you. I’ve never felt this way with a man before. I feel as though you are healing deep mistrust I have towards men. I know that you are going to respect my boundaries the whole night, and that allows me to let go and run free sensually in all the other ways I have been longing to with a man for so long. Thank you, Michael. You are a powerful man. You are a powerful healer.”
At that point, I started weeping with her. I had never been called a “powerful man” before. And I had certainly never been called a “healer.”
Before that moment, I had no conception that my own sexuality could be a healing force. My own sexuality had occurred to me primarily as an urge that needed to be satiated. I had become skilled at getting that urge satiated. I could be seductive. I was even open to the idea that I was a “good lover.” I was certainly a conscientious lover—as conscientious as one could be when trying primarily to get an urge satiated. I put attention on my lovers’ satisfaction. I made sure they came before I did.
But healing through my sexuality? My own sexuality contributing to a woman, other than giving her some pleasure (as I sought my own) and showing her a good time? I wouldn’t have even considered it.
Until Catalina told me. And in that moment, a new world of my own sexuality opened up to me. “Through allowing my own sexuality to support you in your healing with men, you are also healing me. You are getting me to see that my sex is powerful, and has value beyond a mere basic drive. We are healing each other.”
We lay there, in a cuddle of tears and energy-orgasmic bliss.
As we began to arouse from our post-energy-orgasm bliss and our puddle of tears, Catalina looked at me a little nervous and said, “I have something to tell you.”
“Yes?” I asked.
“Well, there’s this thing I like, and I haven’t told many people I like it.”
“What is that?”
“I really like being spanked,” she said. “I have spanked men for money. But my little secret is I really like getting spanked too.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Would you be willing to try it?” she asked.
It seems like such a long time ago, writing these words now, because at that time I thought this was strange. I didn’t judge her for it—I was already past judging her for anything—but I just didn’t “get it.” Why would a grown person possibly want to be spanked, by a lover? Isn’t that humiliating? I wondered.
And, one of my highest values is pleasing my lover. So if it’s something she’s into, so long as it doesn’t violate my most basic values around consent, I’m willing to give it a shot.
“How do I do it?” I asked.
Catalina leaned forward, exposing her dancer’s booty. “Just try it,” she said. “Give it your best shot.”
I had never spanked anyone in my life. I raised my hand above her ass and brought it down with a harsh THWACK. Catalina let out a minor frown, and showed no signs of pleasure. A few more attempts like this were met with no more signs of success, and soon I said, “Why don’t we try this again another time.” She didn’t protest the suggestion.
Catalina later told me: “One of the things I had been searching for at that point in my life is my Dom. I provided this spank service to men, but for me that was a work thing. I wanted a man to do it to me for pleasure. But I didn’t really believe my Dom was out there and I felt scared to ask any man at that time. Asking you to spank me was a test to see if you were it. You failed the test in that moment. Your spanks were awkward, stiff. There wasn’t much warm-up. It was not at all how I like to receive a spanking. Though of course, you later recovered, and have since learned very well.”
After we had been in the room for ninety minutes or so, we realized it was time to re-integrate into the party, with our newly expanded sexual selves. Catalina reached into her bag, and pulled out a long wooden paddle. It had the relatively light density of a classroom ruler, but it was wider.
“What are you going to do with that?” I asked.
“You’ll see,” Catalina said.
We exited the room, to find ourselves in the downstairs living room, which in that moment was doubling as the main “sex room” of the party. About a dozen people were engaged in all kinds of explicit sexual acts. Catalina and I found ourselves on a bed, talking to some of my friends.
Ten minutes later, nearly all the activity and sound in the room came to a halt, and all that remained was the sound of lightweight wood hitting flesh, and a woman’s orgiastic screams, emanating right behind me on the bed.
I turned around.
Catalina’s hand was like a vibrator, shaking the paddle on a woman’s ass as she writhed and moaned and screamed. (By the way, the woman described here has also read this piece and consenting to me sharing it.) It seemed as though she was going through some kind of emotional exorcism; amidst the screams of pleasure were tears, wails, sighs, and the sounds of a woman crying in both joy and grief at the same time.
Though people had been fucking, sucking, and carrying on as if they were on the set of a porn shoot in the room, this performance stole the show. We were all transfixed for a ten minutes straight—a long span of attention in a room otherwise full of people fucking—as Catalina smacked layers and layers deeper into this woman’s emotional being, through her emotional bottom.
Finally, Catalina began to slow down, and sensually traced the paddle over the woman’s bottom and the rest of her body. Then, she put the paddle down, and starting nourishing the woman’s skin on her ass with a soft touch, as if wiping in powder on a baby’s bottom. The woman lay in a spent puddle, weeping and gasping softly. After many moment of silence, the room burst into an applause.
Catalina later told me: “For me, this scene was a dream come true. I had been doing this work on men, for pay, but I had never been witnessed by anyone other than my male clients, and my interest in spanking was something I hardly talked about to anyone else. It had been this secret thing I did on the side. I wanted to give this and receive this with lovers, but I didn’t know how to ask for it. Specifically, I didn’t know how to create boundaries to explore other options, besides having a male lover think that—just because I spanked him or vice versa—that meant we were also going to fuck. Because I was not open to that.
“The experience with you, that night, taught me that I could express my boundaries, and I could actually get (much of) what I wanted, without having to do the other stuff I didn’t want to do. That emboldened me to then go get more of what I wanted, which was to be seen and witnessed in my spanking, and also to spank a girl. I had always wanted to spank a girl. That night was my first time. It was a night of many firsts.”
This is Chapter 1 of Gaia Kink: What I’ve Learned From Women About Sex (a Witchy Memoir)
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