Whether it's a nibble on the neck, or a clamped jaw on a thigh, biting is definitely in season.
In fact as a fetish, it's called odaxelagnia, and it refers to sexual arousal through biting or being bitten. Considered "mild sadism," Alfred Kinsey found that half of the people he surveyed were interested, and turned on, by biting. So, what's the deal?
"Biting can be very primal; your body and mouth are close to your partner," says Dr. Liz Powell, a sex- and kink-positive psychologist. "While something like flogging involves distance, biting is much more intimate. In addition, some get turned on by common fantasy creatures, like vampires and werewolves, whose primal traits can have sexual undertones."
While sensual biting does not necessarily have any association with being a vampire, we can't help but sink our teeth into that thought - especially as we're ringing in the Halloween festivities. Nevertheless, while biting is separate from blood play (that's another topic entirely), it does activate a sensual arousal that is feral, animal-like, and super sexy.
In the "Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices," Dr. Brenda Love, writes that sexual biting is one of the "easiest and most accepted methods" of sadism and masochism in the bedroom.
How can you begin penetrating the topic of biting? Let's begin with some tips and starters for beginners who want to seriously do some damage - and we mean this in the most sultry way possible.
Erotic Biting: Finding That Sweet Spot
Begin your vampiric adventures slowly. If you or your partner have never been bitten in sensual way, make sure to communicate what feels good and what isn't working. Everyone's erogenous zones vary in sensitivity and it's important to navigate those waters by openly communicating verbally. Grazing someone's neck or nibbling on an ear can be effective places to begin when you're at a loss for what works sexually.
"In most cases, it tends to go best when we tell people what we DO want them to do moreso than what we DON'T want them to do. So if, for instance, someone enjoyed biting on the neck and shoulders but not on the inner thighs, they might say 'I like biting on my neck and shoulders,'" says Dr. Powell.
Where to Bite - and Not Bite
Really intense biting is often focused around a few key sensual hotspots. These areas include: collar bone, neck, lips, thighs, butt, breasts, and wrists. But first thing's first: Don't kill the mood by hurting your partner.
Many areas of the body should not be bitten, but can definitely be grazed (like the vulva or shaft of the penis).
"Unless you break the skin, biting is a pretty low risk activity," Dr Powell said. "Those with weakened immune systems may want to have their partners shower or clean the area before biting. Until you know how prone your skin is to bruising or breaking, you will want to start at fairly low intensity levels. As with all forms of impact/pain play, warming up the area with lighter sensations will help to reduce bruising and welts."
Of course, you should also note that biting can leave marks. Combining suction with teeth can create a hickey or bruise over time. Make sure your partner is aware of this and that you choose areas that won't be immediately visible to others and can easily be covered up.
How to Deliver That Bite
Start any bite gently, then press down harder with consent from your partner. Communication, like all things related to sex and relationships, is at the center of this moment. Make sure you don't break skin, that the bites are quick, and that you don't pull too hard at the skin. Easing into the moment and the intensity of the bite is a great way to build up tension in the bedroom.
"As with most things, it's helpful to check with your partner about where they like to be bitten and how they like to be bitten before diving in. If they don't know, experiment with different spots intensities, and bite techniques," Dr. Powell said.
Psychologist and sexologist Havelock Ellis wrote that the "impulse to bite is also a part of the tactile element which lies at the origin of kissing."
But the act of biting takes things further. It's incredibly primal, savage even, and can make the emotional connection during sex pleasurable and intense. There is nothing sweeter than sinking your teeth into your lover in order to satisfy your insatiable hunger.
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