Pavlov’s Lion

Maybe I’m just weirder than the average lion. It seems to me that a gigantic area of interesting and entertaining kinky fun is almost entirely omitted from writing and practice. When you consider the range of stuff people write and read about, it’s a little surprising that something this obvious isn’t front and center. I’m referring to “conditioning”.

No, I don’t mean going to the gym and keeping your muscles toned. I’m referring to changing someone’s behavior. Almost everything written about power exchanges involves the top making the submissive partner do something. Female led relationships, like ours, carry penalties when I break a rule or fail to do something I should. Coercion and punishment are the main themes.

I’m not objecting to these practices since Mrs. Lion and I consistently partake. I have demonstrated the success of punishment-based learning through my success in consistently following my rules. All this is great and we would never change what we are doing. But it leaves a very big area untouched. You can’t really teach someone to be better at doing something pleasurable with spankings. You also can’t provide reinforcement while something is going on with the paddle. There is definitely a place for positive feedback.

All of us are involved in unconscious conditioning behavior. When it comes to sex, we reward our partner by showing our arousal when we are touched in a way we particularly like. I don’t think that many people actually plan the use of positive reinforcement as a way to condition their partners. Probably the most famous conditioning experiment was done by Pavlov. He rang a bell every time he gave his subjects food. He was, of course, working with dogs. After a while, every time he would ring a bell the dogs would salivate. They had been conditioned to associate the sound of a bell with food.

One male fantasy that is based on this sort of conditioning involves the man ejaculating on command. Given the physiology of most men over the age of 17, this rarely works. The idea is that his partner masturbates him, and when he is close to ejaculating tells him that she wants him to come before she reaches a certain count. The idea is that he learns to associate her order to ejaculate with the actual act. If she always does this when he is very close to actual orgasm, it works. It almost never works from a standing start. Enough warm up is needed to get him close enough to the edge before she actually tells him to squirt.

It occurs to me that there are other, less extreme possibilities. Ejaculation may be the ultimate male expression of male sexual arousal, but it is far from the only useful one. One possibility that immediately comes to mind is foreplay. A nearly universal complaint from women is that their partners don’t spend enough time on foreplay. This has less to do with the man being inconsiderate than it does with the difference between males and females when it comes to sexual response. Nonetheless, it’s something women can teach.

For example, what if when both partners are naked, she takes the lead and begins kissing him. At the same time, she plays with his penis. He will quickly grow erect and will respond to her fondling. She will continue playing with him and masturbating him as long as he passionately kisses her. If he stops, she stops. It won’t take very long for him to catch on. She never does it enough so that he will ejaculate during kissing, but just enough to keep him very aroused. Seem a little bit like Pavlov?

Over time, he will become erect when he kisses her. His arousal will grow the longer he keeps it up. She no longer has to bring her hand anywhere near his penis. He’s been conditioned to associate sexual arousal with kissing. This won’t happen immediately. It could take quite a while. Almost any sexual activity can be conditioned this way.

I think there’s a good reason, maybe not a good reason but a reason, that more women don’t try this. I think a lot of women want to assume the man should automatically get this pleasure from the specific activity. He might, but probably not to the same degree that she does. Men and women are different. Women are erogenously sensitive over a much wider area of their bodies than men. Men tend to focus sexual pleasure on their penises. They can learn to enjoy non-penile stimulation, but let’s face it, we guys prefer direct contact.

Many women don’t like that about men. They think we should enjoy non-genital stimulation the same way they do. Without training, we won’t. The question becomes whether it makes sense to ignore the “shoulds” and just go ahead and do the training. Who knows, it might turn out to be big fun.

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What do you think?