Knives, Rope, and Death – Oh My!: 5 Reasons Why I Love Fear Play

With Halloween only a day away, it’s high time I discuss one of my biggest kinks – fear play.

Before you read further, content warning for: edge play, fear play, knives, implied blood play, consensual nonconsent, hooks, needles, hangings. Proceed with caution.

Master Series Estim Knife
Master Series Electro Shank Electro Shock Blade with Handle
Fear play is a form edge play, which is an umbrella term for any kink activity that is inherently dangerous for the submissive and/or dominant. These activities may put the submissive at risk of death or permanent injury. Examples include breathplay, knives, hooks, needles, consensual nonconsent, fear play, and more.

I love engaging in edge play as either a dominant or a submissive, but fear play is probably my favourite. It often includes elements of other edge play in order to put me in the fear headspace (ie a knife to my throat will makes me pretty scared pretty quickly, if done right), but it does not require it.

What can I say; I like being scared.

I don’t mean mildly worried or concerned, I mean that, if you’re to dominate me, I want to be half-convinced that you’re about to kill me. Or at least that you want to try.

Why the heck would I want my partners to want to kill me?!, you may be wondering. Read on! Below are five reasons why I love feeling as though I’m about to die.

  1. The peace
    I don’t submit often. When I do, I submit hard. Submission is something I crave, but does not come naturally to my soul – being dominant is much easier. I think that my brain stops me from submitting to most people; it certainly stops me from relaxing easily outside of a scene. It just won’t shut up, even when it makes no sense, even when I desperately want it to. However, there are a few things that will make my brain shut up, one of which is fear. Having my brain quiet down is intensely peaceful to me.
  2. The rush
    Fear increases adrenaline. When you’re afraid, your heart rate and blood pressure rise, your breath becomes faster and shallower, your vision becomes more focused, energy is moved into your muscles so you’re temporarily faster and stronger. Fight or flight has been triggered and it’s time to pick which option you’re going to go with. If you’re afraid during a scene, you’re not running or fighting, however (depending on the scene itself and your dynamic within the scene). You’re staying put and taking what’s being dished out, so the energy has no way to leave the body. Instead it stays and builds, giving you an even stronger rush. I love intensity. I enjoy feeling pushed to my limits, and pushing others to theirs. I am curious and greedy, and want to explore everything that I can. Once I get used to a thing, I want to up the intensity and experience even more. I want to try it all, I want to devour as much as I can and come out asking for more and more. Amping up the intensity of the scene also amps up the rush that you receive. In scenes where you do run or fight back, this bodily reaction helps you fight or run better than you would be able to otherwise. The endorphins feel exhilarating. And since part of your brain knows you’re not actually at risk, you can enjoy the reactions even more.
  3. The unknown
    Taylor sits topless on their balcony, leaning on their left arm for support. You can see them from their waist up; they are wearing their collar, a black spandex hood, a bit gag, and a thick silicone collar. A leash is attached to the silicone collar, which they are pulling tight with their right hand.
    Something as simple as adding a hood is great for creating an element of the unknown.
    I like having control over things in my life, but I also enjoy being thrown for a loop. With kink, it’s very easy to find something that works with you and your partner and then stick with that as time goes on. You may switch it up every now and then, but it’s a good, comfortable fallback. These fallbacks are great things to have, but if I’m going to submit, I usually want some element of not knowing what’s going to happen to me. Why? Because that keeps me on my toes. If I don’t know the rules, I need to actively work to do things properly. When the rules switch out right when I get comfortable, I need to scramble to keep up. My brain isn’t given a chance to get distracted or dissociate or start on an anxiety cycle because it needs to be there, right in that second, in attempt to keep up, or else bad things will happen to me.
  4. The trust
    I don’t engage in fear play (as a submissive) with many play partners. I require trust in my partner in order to safely engage in any kink, but fear play is a whole different ball game. I am literally putting my life in their hands when we engage in fear; I need to know that they’re going to take that seriously and responsibly. I need to know that, if they’re going to be hanging me from a tree in the middle of no where, they know how to tie knots properly, how to cut me down, what to do if they leave me up too long and I need medical help. I need to know that they’re prepared to take care of me if this pushes harder than we expected and I am harmed mentally. I need to know they’re not going to take me down, end the scene, and leave, never to be heard from again. Because in this kind of scene, there’s so much more happening than just the act of suspending me. Placing this kind of trust in someone and then having them prove themselves worthy of it is a great feeling.
  5. The healing element
    I love cognitive behavioral therapy for processing trauma. One of the key elements of this type of CBT is “exposure therapy”, a tool wherein the patient is gradually exposed to the thing they fear in a more controlled setting. This has been incredibly helpful for me to overcome some trauma and triggers, and to be healthier overall. Fear play can be a way for me to practice exposure therapy on my own time, and can be just as effective. For example, engaging in consensual nonconsent as a rape survivor allows me the space to reclaim the experiences of having my control taken away and my boundaries not respected. It allows me to rewrite the scene to end however I want it to, or even experience the same thing in an empowering way. Through fear play, I’m able to pick what trauma or anxieties I want to work on and then communicate to my dominant exactly what I want, how the scene should/should not look, and what I want them to avoid, and I’m listened to implicitly.

Want more? I’ve written about fear play in my review of SFS 17 and in my post on summer camp (in the “limits” section).

Do you engage in fear play or other forms of edge play? What do you love about it or why isn’t it for you? Want to hear my top fear play fantasies? Let me know in the comments!


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