Mistress Melissa has been a highly active educator and community member in the BDSM community for over 23 years. Besides being an active volunteer in kink organizations across the country, she’s a professional dominant, a Santeria Spiritual Healer, and Energy Worker.
Energy play is a relatively obscure technique, even in BDSM communities. This weekend, Mistress Melissa will come to Stockroom University to talk about what it is, and how it can be used for intensely intimate and powerful scenes. We talked to her about some of the basics.
Can you explain to me what energy play is? At first glance, I thought it was something like electro-play, but it’s obviously not.
Energy play is the manipulation of the surrounding energy fields of each person. We’re talking about the basic energy fields you get when you shake somebody’s hand — you get a vibe or a feeling from them. Everybody has certain types of energy, so what we do in the class is go in and talk about how it is to change and manipulate it in a good way — because people have a negative association with the word “manipulation.” Then we start changing the tempo of peoples’ energies; seeing how that works, how intimate is it is, how expressive it is, things like that.
So how do you incorporate this into play?
I use a lot of different techniques. Sometimes it depends on the person whether or not I utilize implements because to me, even my implements are an extension of my energy. So, if I want my energy to feel like a thud or a sting, I’ll choose a tool for that. Within the parameters negotiated with my partner, of course.
Sometimes people need a threshold, so to speak. Maybe flogging gets them to relax so they’re not so apprehensive and they get more into the sensation and their energy opens up, and then you start dancing with their energy, so to speak. I use a lot of of touch — I’m a touch empath, and I’m also an energy worker. I’m a Reiki practitioner, so sometimes I do use Reiki, and sometimes whatever resonates with me, whether it be smell, color, taste — because energy incorporates all of the senses. I’m also initiated in Santeria, which is a Yoruba/Nigerian/Cuban tradition having to do with energy.
I do a lot of cleansing for people. Different traditions use different techniques to either clean energy, move energy, et cetera.
So it sounds like you’ve used these skills for a lot more than just kink play. How long have you been integrating this into kink?
Probably the full 23 years that I’ve been doing this. I’ve always incorporated energy. The number one that people say is “What’s your favorite thing?” because I have a long list of activities that I enjoy in the kink world, and I always say the energy exchange, the chemistry — whatever word somebody wants to put on that, that’s what I love.
Tell me a little bit about the workshop itself. What are you going to cover, and how are you going to address integrating energy work into kink play?
Well, first I start with what my workshop is not. It is not a practitioner workshop. It is not a religious workshop. It is not any of those things. What my workshop covers is discussing energy — what that looks like, what that feels like, the many different labels that people put on that. I go through different exercises on how to change the energy of a room, as well as how to project different types of energy and then I also how to start feeling a person’s energy. I bring up people, and then I’ll do a one-on-one with them as well during the workshop, so that way they can get the beginning points of how to manipulate energy. It’s especially beneficial for people who have never worked with energy, felt the energy, or for people who want a refresher on “Oh, that’s right. That’s how you get in tune with this kind of energy.”
Can you give me an example of what a scene would be like using energy play?
It depends on the negotiation with the person, because I go through a negotiation of how comfortable my partner is. Whether they just want me to go on the outside — on their skin, or a little bit farther than that — or if they’re open to me going into their chakras, because that’s a very personalized touch.
We usually start with impact, because that a lot of times gets the reverberation going and starts moving the energy between me and my partner. Usually with hand impact. Then, once they get to an open place, it’s kind of like you have somebody with puppet strings and you’re pulling the energy, you’re pushing the energy, you’re manipulating it.
So, imagine someone has a balloon around them, like a water bubble that comes out maybe three to five inches from their skin. Then you’re actually pushing and pulling on that water balloon. Sometimes the sensation feels very similar to electro play. Very tingling, sometimes it’s warm, so it depends on how somebody is receptive. If I’m pushing energy and somebody’s not receptive to it, I might as well be doing energy play with a wall. In energy play, it takes two to tango. That’s where the differentiation is between what you would call “regular BDSM” and this. Because a top can totally flog a bottom without having any response.
Before, you were talking about touching someone’s chakras and how personal and intimate it is, and how it needs to be negotiated. Can you explain a little bit about chakras, and why that’s so personal?
The placement of the chakras — the top of the head, middle of the eyebrows, the middle of the stomach, the sacrum, as well as where the perineum is — for starters, those are very personal places to touch in the first place. They’re intimate places. If you go into somebody’s energy without knowing what you’re doing, you can leave them feeling sicker or worse than when they came to you.
If somebody has particular triggers or something like that with their chakras, they may not be comfortable with someone going in there and messing around with their energy. With energy, intention is ten tenths of the law. If I’m going in to have a healing touch, I want this person to feel better. I want them to feel beautiful. I want them to feel sexy. That’s a selfless intention. Rather than a selfish intention, which would be “I just want them to get off so I can get off.”
That particular head space and energy may not be a comfortable zone for that player. Which is why we negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
Energy Play and Awareness With Mistress Melissa
When: Saturday, February 20, 2-5 PM