The topic of the mindfuck has been on my mind of late. I’ve had ongoing discussions with @DarkGracie on the subject, and a lovely face-to-face conversation about it with two people from different ends of the power spectrum: MisterGryphon and Mollena.
I’d like to state up front that what follows is a very personal understanding of what a mindfuck is. Other people may have other definitions. This is wholly mine.
A good mindfuck requires three things on the part of both participants: intelligence, imagination and superb communication skills. In a way, it is very much like writing extremely personal erotic fiction – because good erotic fiction skates close to reality in terms of the way it portrays the workings of the mind. It doesn’t require physicality, although it’s certainly easier if you have it and if you use it to good purpose. And, the better you know someone’s psyche, the better the mindfuck.
It’s easy to confuse a mindfuck with roleplay. They’re not the same thing. In roleplay you can explore being someone completely different, although I would argue that you do have to identify, at some fundamental level with the role in order to really get off on it. A mindfuck, however, is not about being someone else or taking on a role. Quite the opposite. From the point of view of being on the receiving end, it’s about vulnerabilities at the core of your own identity. So there is no armor, or the protective coating of a role that you can discard.
From the point of view of the …er… mindfucker, it really requires taking erotic delight in manipulation and dabbling in the complexities of the mind of the other. It might look like objectification at times, but there has to be a significant level of seeing the recipient as subject to be truly deft at it.
Really good mindfucks are never safe. I don’t care what rules you make or how many safewords you decide on, you can consent all you like, but the reality is that mindfucking as about playing with triggers. There are times, inevitably, when it is going to go wrong, or too far. And the consequences can be fairly serious. If someone gives you one cane strike more than you can take, the pain is fleeting and welts heal. It can take considerably more time to recover from a mindfuck that has gone too far. And since a really spectacular one always lies at the edge of your tolerance, you are playing with fire. I hate using the word ‘aftercare’ because we’re not talking a glass of juice and a pat on the back here. And it isn’t just the person being mindfucked who may need it. There is a real need to regain balance and step back into the rational world for both parties. Personally, I’d never do it with anyone who I did not believe had some deep level of affection for me. Things can get very raw and very ugly. There needs to be a underlying framework of trust and genuine care to fall back on if things go wrong, or even if they go spectacularly right.
So, now I’ve done my due diligence, here goes with the nitty gritty:
What do you fear? What do you fear you are? What do you fear someone sees in you or believes you to be? What turns you on and turns your stomach at the same time? For me, good mindfucks are really about the dark recesses where you fear to go, and yet they have an irresistible allure.
There are personal mindfucks that I’m simply never going to write or tell you about. They’re far too private. But one I feel okay about discussing is the one I wrote a short story about: Blindness. (You might want to read that quickly and come back to this post). The story grew out of a very short interchange I had with someone. It’s a good example because it happened very fast, the impact of it took me by surprise, and I didn’t know the person well enough at the time to express how much like I felt I’d been run over by a freight train, and I don’t think he was fully aware of how dramatic the fallout would be at the time.
I was being a mouthy bitch and told him I’d drug him and fuck him with a strap on. He replied that he’d tie me down, blindfold me, and let multiple men fuck me. Then he’d kiss me and call me a whore.
To a lot of people that would just be a giggle-worthy interchange. But to me, because of the particular way my psyche is constructed, the idea of having someone I care about let other people fuck me is truly horrific. It lit up all the parts of my brain where arousal meets disgust. But the coup de grace was the kiss. Because the combination of scenarios creates a very upsetting paradox. I don’t kiss lightly. I’m not a casual mouth kisser. That gesture of affection coupled with an act I would consider a blatant statement of disregard sent me right over the edge.
It took 15 minutes to get my heart to stop racing. It took me an hour to stop crying. Nothing had actually happened. They were just words. But those words, those images had burrowed so deeply into vulnerable parts of my psyche, it took me quite a while to recover. It took me months to actually bring up the impact incident to the person because I was embarrassed about my reaction. And yet, it was a tremendously erotic experience and it has stayed with me for years – it took me two to get up the courage to deal with it fictionally. It was not precisely the content of the imagery in itself, but the fact that this person could affect me so dramatically with it, could dabble in the dark corners of my identity so skillfully. And that I had let him (probably without his knowing it) do it. The whole interchange took a matter of seconds. No orgasms were had. But it was as memorable and had more impact than most physical exchanges I’ve experienced.
A huge percentage of my edgier stories have a strong element of mindfuck in them, in that the characters are in some way either willingly or unwillingly / knowingly or unwittingly participating in them. In Blindness, the mindfuck doesn’t take place textually or verbally, or between relative strangers, and it doesn’t end well. Well, it’s a story, it required drama and an interesting ending. I chose to fictionalize and write about this particular example of a mindfuck because it shows both the eroticism and the danger of them. And that, for me at least, it’s not possible to have one without the other. There has to be paradox. It is never a wholly pleasurable place. But perhaps that’s just me.
For one of the most forceful, terrifying and sublimely written accounts of a mindfuck, please read Gryphon’s “La Vie en Rose” on Fetlife.
What’s your definition of a mindfuck?