When Eyes Close, Legs Open

It started as a timid question—ironic, really, given the straightforward stipulations of our

We’d previously talked about how
we both wanted to try new things in bed and experiment with kink, and we figured
we’d start with the milder stuff and go from there. On this particular night,
we were hooking up when my partner got up from the bed for a moment; I thought
he was getting water, but he returned with a necktie and sheepishly held it out
to me, request implied. 

I was delighted about the idea
and snatched it from him to blindfold myself. After that, I found that I was
basically in his hands; I had to trust him completely. 

The experience itself was wholly foreign and unknown to me. I felt like I had to relearn how to do everything without the
assistance of sight. Every touch was a surprise, and the mystery of what would
happen next was enticing. Somehow, the
sensation of something as simple as a hand on my back felt entirely different
when I couldn’t see. 

He traced
my curves with his fingers so I could begin to familiarize myself with this
new frame of mind. I suddenly became acutely aware of the folds in the bed
sheets beneath me, and the weak breeze floating in through the window to my
right. I let my hands drift over his chest and stomach, trying to identify known

He carefully guided my body with
his hands, and although I was so clumsy in the beginning that I fell off the
bed, I was eventually able to follow his movements and reciprocate without
being able to see him. Even the full forfeit of control was beneficial; as
someone who tries to be in control of herself whenever possible, I’ve found
that it’s hugely rewarding to let someone else hold the reigns
(figuratively!) and not know what to expect from it.

people tend to become so dependent on vision that we often don’t consider it a
voluntary decision to use our eyesight as sensory input. Without practice, most of us would
struggle to maneuver life with no vision. Try closing your eyes and walking
from one side of the room to the other, and you’ll see what I mean. 

Our vision provides a sense of
the familiar, of security. It also helps to inform how we position our bodies
relative to everything and everyone else. We recognize people, places and
things by their appearance; we orient ourselves in space based on what we can
see in the area. 

When eyesight is taken out of the
equation, however, the result can be stunning on a sensory level. We played
with textures and feels, hands and hair and tongues and ties. Because I have
come to depend on sight so heavily as an orienting device, I suddenly
experienced a shocking unawareness, an uncertainty even, of my own
surroundings. Walls and pillows popped up where they hadn’t been before, and the room momentarily shifted into chaos.

Personally, I found that limiting
my sight provided an inviting platform for other senses to take charge—specifically
touch. I felt everything more
acutely. Being deprived of one sense causes the others to intensify in power
and sensitivity, and it can be so rewarding to play with this edge during sex. Using
a variety of textures while blindfolded is incredibly stimulating. When I’m
blindfolded, I’m completely dependent on my partner to tell me where I am, but
this is much more than a simple fear impulse.

Being blindfolded, or otherwise
voluntarily vision-impaired, means that I have to feel safe with my partner and fully trust them. I would never choose to impair or restrict myself in any
way in the company of someone with whom I don’t feel completely safe. That
said, I genuinely enjoy the activity as a release of control, a trust exercise,
and practice for my other senses. It’s also really entertaining. 

—Jenny Taylia

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