The New-Age Kinksters Mixing BDSM with Energy Work

Despite BDSM’s violent image, practitioners are touting the spiritual healing side of the fetish community.

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Sep 18 2016, 11:54am

Illustration by Juliette Toma

BDSM often includes violent sex (whippings can leave a mark), but some kinksters are adding "energy work" to their sexual routine. Energy work harnesses the world's "energy" to heal ailments. According to many new age people, energy inhabits the world. It's often known as "manna," Ki," "qi," or "chi." Mixing energy work with BDSM gives the fetish a spiritual element.

"More and more partners are realizing the benefits of incorporating energy work practices in both their dynamics and their play, whether they consider the play to be sacred or not," says Dr. Denise Renye, a sexologist and psychologist.

According to believers, everyone emits energy that others can feel, whether its a spiritual high given from a first date or a toxic boss's ability to crush her employees when she walks in a room. "We're naturally connected to an energy outlet," explains Healah Lee, a 25-year-old Aniwodi Cherokee who has spent the past 13 years engaging in healing spiritual work. "We come from a source that we have forgotten." In energy work, people wield energy to gain a certain result. "Energy work can be defined as the wielding or manipulation of an energy toward an intended goal," says Smirk, a 30-year-old sapiosexual sadist from Tallahassee, Florida.

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Energy work shares similarities with BDSM. Both practices aim to connect people. To many kinksters, BDSM and energy work seem like a natural pairing. Thirty-year-old Quebec-based "proud Goddess Witch" Victrix Oracle likes to perform an ankhing, a ritual she bases on the ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol that represents the "breath of life." (The figure looks like a cross with a loop on the top.)

"When one is close to climax, you pull the energy from your sacral chakra up to your heart center, then you make the effort to move the energy out from your heart, around your body, up over your head, and encompassing your partner's crown, third eye and throat chakras, and then back into their heart and down into their sacral and root chakras," Oracle explains. "This permits one to energetically, on top of physically, share an orgasm."

Any exchange you do you're going to share energy.

Other Quebec residents also use energy work in their BDSM. Jean-Sébastien Laviolette, a 35-year-old dominant man from Laval, incorporates psi balls, a small sphere of manifested energy created within the cusp of a hand. "Psi balls can be used to heighten, deaden, or actively manipulate any erogenous zone on the body of a person, and trigger, prolong, intensify, or literally stop dead in its track an orgasm," Laviolette says. "Psi balls can be used to ping a partner from afar, attracting their attention to text, call, or message you."

Some BDSM practitioners speak about sussing out one another's energy as a method of choosing partners. "I try to choose my life partner's, love interests, and fuck friends on the basis of our connection on an energy, vibration, and intuitive compatibility level," says Laviolette. Once two kinksters partner up, they engage in energy work for healing purposes. "Just allowing healing energy to emit from every cell of your being and enfolding your lover in a cocoon of this unconditional love and magic while you are intimate is really special and cosmic," says Katie Manzella, a professional crystal and Reiki healer in Los Angeles.

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Like in BDSM, energy work involves an exchange between people. "Any exchange you do you're going to share energy," Lee says. "It's not just you find someone that your vibe with and then you fuck them, even with that energy exchange there, you're releasing your energies onto someone else, both good and bad."

People can use energy work for evil, especially when mixing the spiritual rituals with something as possibly hedonistic as BDSM. Smirk, the sapiosexual sadist, warns of partner manipulation. Most people have experienced a lover manipulating them, but for energy-injected BDSM relationships, control can involve a dominant throwing negative vibes in the submissive's direction. "Energy use can run the risk of damaging or abusing the receiving party's psyche, messing with their energy or feelings," Smirk says. "You could try to use it in humiliation, marveling at how pathetic you can make someone feel, but I believe in only using energy in leaving someone at least as positive."

Many relationships, of course, devolve into unhealthy power dynamics. Kinky energy workers like Oracle, the witch in Quebec, use a method called "cord cutting" to sever such ties. While hesitant to share the details of her techniques, she says, "The effect is radical not only for getting rid of cling-ons who don't understand the meaning of 'no,' 'piss off,' or 'no more,' but also for reinforcing existing relationships that are meant to be."

For people who want their cords to remain tied to their partner, adding energy work to a BDSM relationship can enhance the experience mentally, emotionally, and orgasmically. "In my personal relationships I find energy work can be a powerful bonding tool," Oracle says. "It would seem as though the residual energy radiates within every cell of my physical body leaving me with irresistible essence. Even men who are not physically attracted to me and straight women have told me that I beam with attraction after a healing energy session... After all, who doesn't want a touch of the divine around them?"