Calibrating Level of Aggression in Primal Sex: How to Know How Rough You Can Go and When to Just Go

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AthenaMany times, even if you explain to people that Primal isn’t the same thing as brutal, they don’t get it. Even for many Primal people, it’s not so easy to get from theory to practice without a few ice-pack afterglows. Those first steps, once one becomes aware of their desires, can be pretty scary. We’ve all heard the horror stories of rough sex gone wrong.

Primal sex is under the umbrella of BDSM, but it isn’t quite as well defined. Some of our normal pushes the boundaries of consent and safety…sometimes sanity. I don’t know a single one of us who has  always ever framed our desires in a totally accepting way unless internalizing the label “monster” counts as acceptance.

…but being Primal does not make us monsters. We are not doomed to blindly bumbling through our sex and/or love lives leaving traumatized exes in our wakes. There are ways to do this reasonably. You just need to use your natural gifts.

Before I continue, please remember the usual disclaimers. I may describe things in terms of classic masculinity or maleness and classic femininity or femaleness. Please don’t get hung up on gender labels. Second, this article is not some sort of magic pill that will cure all of your sexual issues. I’m going on my experience and those expressed and interpreted to me by others. It’s general advice and guidance, so please read your specific situation carefully before taking any of it.

Now, first things first, you have to be comfortable with your inner animal, or better, the fact of your animalistic nature due to being an animal. It’s the “everybody poops” issue. You are a part of Nature and Nature is a part of you. You are many things in one: at one time you were a child, now you are an adult (hopefully if you are reading this article), so both of those are in you. You are a nurturer, and you are also a torturer. You are a protector and a killer. You are an embrace and a rejection. You have all possibilities in you and what makes you conscious is that at least when you aren’t pushed into a corner, you can choose which you will be.

If you can’t accept yourself for all of who you are, then you are going to do this wrong. Yes, I am including all of the unspoken things that lurk in your psyche. They are there. If you’re going to touch primal sex, you have to accept that they are there, whether or not they are appropriate, and cope with the fact that they are there so that you don’t do stupid destructive things.

This may be a lifelong quest though. In the meantime you need to be able to get your needs met and meet others’ needs without getting into or causing too much trouble. So you need to learn to be accepting of other people’s inner and physical animal as well. For this, you will need something called “emotional resilience”. Around the game community, some call this “state control”, but that means something entirely different, and I think it was one of the bad seeds the manipulators used for political ends. The proper term is resilience.

It may seem confusing if someone thinks that being Primal means being out of control. It does not. Your inner animal is a human first, and one of the things that makes us distinctive in the animal kingdom, much like other predators, is the ability to stay focused on the hunt even if conditions are not ideal, and not balk at whatever reasonable effort is needed to accomplish a goal. We don’t need ideal. We need opportunity, and we need to be flexible enough to see opportunities.

Basic Anatomy. Learn it.

Since the more immediate risk is of physical safety, we’ll start with basic anatomy. Females and feminine people tend to be or “present” more fragile than masculine or male people. An androgyne who is genitally male may look pretty sturdy, but chances are that he has a different estrogen to testosterone balance than more masculine people, so his skin may be a little thinner and softer, and his bones not as dense either. Supportive touching and moves towards containment, as mentioned in the Masculine Embrace article, are such a turn on partly because whether it is because of raw physical or mostly psychological reality, it indicates that you know what you are hunting. Whether they are gunning to be your mate your your prey, or a bit of both (hello spider folk), being good at what you do is sexy.

You should know, basically, how skin works, how bones work, and how muscles and ligaments move comfortably and don’t. You should know when you are hurting someone, and how much something you do is likely to hurt or harm. You should know how to handle a living being without doing damage. Because many of you out there have never had pets or tended to animals on a farm or cared for loved ones, understand that this is a kind of ignorance that needs correction. If you don’t have enough experience handling creatures, I don’t care what you have to do to get some, but get some.

One of the things you will learn is that you can’t apply the same force or friction to every part of the body. Someone may be able to take a hard enough bite on their shoulder to cause a bruise, but this does not mean they can take a hard grab of their  clitoris or testicles. If it is your first time with someone, go soft to hard, not hard to soft.  Especially with genitalia, or anywhere with a major blood vessel close to the skin or mucous membrane, start softest and increase the intensity until they express that you are close to a limit. Don’t start hard and then go softer. You may do some damage that could create limits that wouldn’t be there if you’d been careful.

How soft should you start? Well, how hard would you want someone to touch your eyeball? That’s where to start. If you’re too soft, they will make it known either by telling you or moving into or giving into your touch or bite, or pulling you closer. Somehow they’ll let you know.

A feminine, receptive, or variable partner also needs to learn how to give coherent feedback or reciprocation. Sometimes we get into a headspace that it’s hard to articulate things, but if you are with an inexperienced partner, you have to be careful about that. It may feel like it’s ruining the moment, but bleeding or an infection would ruin it more. Learn to speak up when you are being overstimulated, damaged, or a physical or psychological limit has been crossed.

When Pain Becomes Pleasure

Another thing to be aware of is that pain tolerance is related to arousal. The more aroused someone is, the more pain they are likely to be able to not only endure, but enjoy. Some things that would be extremely uncomfortable 2 minutes into an encounter may be wonderful 10 minutes in or an hour or more in.

Duration of pain and periods of relief can also be part of the good pain and pleasure cycle. Some things feel good in bursts, and some sustained. Some things are better as a surprise, and some things planned.

“Read the room”, and if you have the luck of a consistent partner, get plenty of practice. Practice until it becomes natural for you.

Be aware of the dangers though.  Sometimes people will take damage because they’re too aroused to notice it or they like the sensations. In the usual BDSM they would say that you should not do or take any damage no matter how good it feels, but Primals tend to not always obey that rule. If the damage isn’t at the level that it would need medical attention, and you can live with the consequences, then it’s up to you what you will allow to happen to you.

Generally if a bite doesn’t tear anything or break the skin, and isn’t near a major blood vessel, many if not most Primals can take it if they are aroused enough. Scratches that break the skin are common, but again, watch those blood vessels. Various submission holds are also usually okay even though they hurt and would cause damage to bones or joints if someone doesn’t know what they are doing.

Your Relationship

AHHHH! The R word!!!

What you can do with someone definitely depends on what your relationship with them is. I’ll be honest…in Primal sex there is really no such thing as a casual partner. There can be friends with benefits to a degree, but people in our world tend to have a higher standard for the word “friend” than most.

Much like the rest of BDSM, a high level of trust is required to do what we do. There are risks of physical damage, perhaps of rape or assault accusations, and many other things that can go wrong. It is going to be a different relationship than with someone who makes sweet gentle whatever.

Now let me take a moment to define “serious”. For most of the world, especially vanilla people, “serious” means “leading to (monogamist) marriage”. By “marriage” I mean a formally/state recognized commitment. Some are flexible enough to accept cohabitation, but the end goal for most is that formal recognition of partnership.

For the BDSM world, “serious” is much more personal. It means that the two or more individuals involved recognize each other as important to one another. Nobody else needs to recognize them or even know about the relationship. They take care of each other’s needs to whatever degree they decide. So there are degrees and levels of seriousness. Maximum seriousness would be like ownership or blood level bonding. The people involved take a fairly high level of responsibility for one another’s needs and wellbeing. In a Primal tribe specifically, a group of members may all feel free to shag anyone else within the group, and maybe some outsiders too, but they feel much more connected to and responsible for those in the tribe, pack, coil, web, or whatever they call it, than those outside.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when many people under 40 don’t understand this. It is very common for people to panic, especially if they don’t really identify as Primal and have had no guidance. Guys especially will express fears of things getting too serious when they don’t know what serious is to us…or maybe if they do and it freaks them out. They may have even internalized the monster label because of too many people rejecting the intensity of their attention. They may believe that they are sick or crazy because this is what others, even some exes, have told them.

You may have to nurse some of them through the monster thing. There is no getting around that. If they think they are twisted, you may have a difficult road of either convincing them that they are not, or hey, getting them to be okay with being twisted since you like how they are twisted.

About the seriousness fear…that’s fairly easy to solve. Just let them know without actually saying the words unless it is appropriate, that they have no chance of being taken seriously unless the Primal sex graduates to a Primal relationship. Until a woman/feminine partner is a nurturer, or a male/masculine partner is a protector, or a variable partner is doing any of the above, they simply will not be taken seriously. Prey is not a mate or even a pet. If they’re just scratching an itch then you appreciate it but you can trade 100 of them for one functioning mate.

Some you can tell this verbally. Some you can tell this gradually. With most though, you’ll need to be very delicate. Most people hear, “Hahahahah! You have NO worries of me mistaking you for a boyfriend/girlfriend!” as, “You are just a piece of meat with no importance to me whatsoever, fuck off and die.” Even if they ask for it, read them well before actually saying it. More on this later…

Emotional Safety

…and with that last bit, we get to the issue of intensity of the sex vs. expectations. As I’ve said in other articles, normal people sex is boring, and so most people assume that if the sex is very intense, you must be in love. Worse than if someone becomes afraid that you are too serious about them, someone could suddenly become very serious about you because the sex was too deep. Sometimes when they express a fear that things are too serious, what they’re really saying is that they are feeling things they weren’t ready to feel.

I wish I had a solution for this. My gut reaction when people start expressing these kinds of fears is to withdraw because in my experience, this is the beginning of the end…but I live in a very ethnically polarized, religious country wherein people will do and say incredibly cruel things to someone they’re confused about. Most of the western world doesn’t have quite the same kind of xenophobia or rigid cultural norms that Israel does, but everywhere, confused people do dumb things.

So both your and your partners’ emotional safety has to be taken into account. For this reason, you may want to start soft emotionally.

For instance, I may bite and scratch and take a bit of that from a casual partner, but there’s a limit. I tend not to hold anybody by the neck or get into wrestling or the really deep African soul sex practices until we are known as stable lovers. My intensity level for casual partners is maybe 3 out of 10. If I really really like someone as a person, and we have good natural chemistry, then I’ll get up to 4.5. I’ll give or take a bruise that might last through the day after. If they’re expressing fear of commitment at 4.5, then I roll back to 3.

You will have your own levels and lines. I encourage you to give this some thought. You can’t open up safely to everyone, and unlike other forms of BDSM, the negotiation is mostly nonverbal. So people might miss cues.

Absolute 0

Related to emotional safety, you have to learn how to leave. The level of aggression in the breakup or phase out has to be calibrated so that you don’t do undue damage to yourself and others.

As Primals, just like we can take a lot physically, we can take a lot emotionally too, but there are some lines. You can decide where these are for yourself, but I’m just going to share some things from my experience and observations.

We feel things very intensely, though we are usually aware that we feel things intensely, and that the rest of the world has a different gauge. We know, if we’ve had some guidance and experience, when it’s just the hormones talking, and when our higher will is talking. Ego isn’t a bad or scary thing for us. Id isn’t a bad or scary thing. It’s just that these things need to be kept in check. Sometimes there will be tradeoffs.

There are limits for very casual partners (who may be considered prey) and limits for pets and limits for mates. However, some things are dealbreakers or emotional abuses that should not be ignored no matter what someone’s function is in your life. There is certain shit that we don’t need and that is dangerous for us.

Everything hurts. It’s not just that you hit a sensitive spot. The kissing hurts. The touching hurts. Nothing you can do is good for them. This means either they are way too oversensitive to continue or they are playing some sort of game. Some people like to pursue aggressive or Primal partners, but then at the moment of truth they try to tame or cage them in a way that makes the encounter fun for whatever control issues they have, but uncomfortable for the other. Some people just bit off more than they could chew, so to speak. What they fantasized about is not what they really want or can take in real life.

Either way, this is a very dangerous situation because you could either end up hurting someone too much, or you could be set up for a false rape or assault accusation. Remember that most accusations of this sort don’t end up as complaints to the police. They are whispered to friends or used against you later in the relationship. To manipulate me into a pegging session, my ex narcissist once called me a “sex beast” and meant it in a bad way. Don’t learn this the hard way like I did.

If everything you do hurts, then just very gently tell them that this isn’t working. Get up, gather their things, and send them home. Try not to show any anger or contempt or even amusement when you do. Any expression of negative emotion will be twisted by them when they see you again or tell their friends about it. Try to be friendly like a salesperson in a store where you looked but decided not to buy, just without the implication that you’d like to try it again. If later they say they want to try again, politely decline. Whatever you need to say, don’t put yourself in that situation with that person again.

Gaslighting while things are new or relatively casual is a red flag. If someone makes you feel like a monster because of how you like to shag, run. Don’t look back. Don’t even give them the speech. They don’t deserve it. Just ghost. You may not want to block them if you believe in enduring natural consequences and want to keep the lesson going for awhile, but stop answering their messages. Block them in your mind in a way that the things they say no longer affect you emotionally, and switch to observing them scientifically. Since this is probably a person who created distance already by overestimating their position and expressing fear of bonding, then misusing their presumed imaginary position, you owe them nothing. Just walk away.

Combo narcissism and pseudo psycho behavior with crazy manipulations deserves a bit more poison. This is someone who weasled their way into your heart just to break it. Let out your poison and tell them how you feel about what they’ve done, and then ghost. Burn the bridge and disappear. Be glad you didn’t breed with them. If you did, your only connection should be the kids, and I’m sorry but the sad reality is that you will have to undo a lot of damage that your ex does to them as a way to hurt you.

If you are bored because you’ve been at your 3-4.5 so long that you could do them in your sleep, this is not a crime. This i s where many normal people max out. I would say the decision of whether or not to stay in that depends on what your needs and goals are. If they’re not in your way, and you don’t already have too many other stable partners with whom you have a deeper bond, then there’s no reason to get rid of them. Just make sure their expectations are adjusted to fit the situation.

If they are used to your being more available to them or consistent with them, and you’re busy because you need to use your weekends or free time to hunt partners you are more aligned with, then don’t make an announcement about this unless or until they protest your absence. Sometimes we don’t notice when we’ve been too clingy because we don’t have the same gauge for casual as others. If something is fun for us, we want to do it a lot, and others may interpret this as our being closer to them than we are or needing or wanting them more than we do.

I have learned from my experiences that even though the facts are what they are, most people are uncomfortable when you state what is obvious but not articulated. I have only met one guy who was comforted by my telling him that he had no chance of me taking him seriously. Well, he seemed comforted anyway, but then he started trying to buy me things and get all involved in my emotions. Had to break that mixed signals nightmare off. So even if they seem like they’re cool with the safe distance that they asked for, they might not actually be cool with it.

For some reason, men seem to react very badly to being held at arm’s length, even after they have expressed fear of bonding. I don’t understand it, but I accept it as the way that things are. People do not like to be told the reality of their level of importance when they have made sure that they will remain relatively unimportant compared to a bonded mate.

I thought for a time it was because I worded it wrong or my tone was too cruel. I understand that when these topics come up, I can switch into a sort of cyborg mode. Absence of an emotion is absence of an emotion. I don’t know how to make an emotion seem there a little bit when it is absent, because I am not a good manipulator. In the end, I understood that people don’t really want to be unimportant. What they want is control.

So the thing to do, since you need the time you’ve been giving to them for 3 sex to pursue a relationship in which you can have at least 7 sex anyway, give them control…to a degree. Let them initiate conversations and arrange appointments. It’s not quite withdrawing as much as it is not overextending yourself. When you have time an inclination to deal with them, do so, and when you don’t, then don’t. Be natural about this.

If too much time passes and they don’t initiate anything, you know it’s over…or maybe it will be a long time before they need what you have to offer, and that’s okay since they are a 3. Don’t manufacture hard feelings around it. It doesn’t mean anything except that they can’t really contain you, but you knew this almost from the beginning anyway. So there is no need to break up or be aggressively protective against them. Just travel light.

On the other hand, they might be the kind of crazy that they want you to love them while they are just exploiting you. If they are talking non committal, but they want to monopolize your hunting time, are looking at your phone or profiles to see what you’re doing, or expressing other kinds of possessiveness or too much intimacy than a casual partner deserves…


This happens to us a lot. One of the traps is “friends with benefits”. Someone will claim that they don’t love you or don’t consider what you have a “relationship” or whatever, but if you are seeing other people, they’ll express jealousy about it. If you don’t answer their calls or accept their appointments because you’re busy or just need space or just need space with people who are close only, and don’t have time for people who are not close, they’re upset about it. Someone who volunteers for a secondary or unbonded role in your life should be able to accept a secondary or unbonded role. They should not get butt hurt that you have people in your life who are committed to you, who you would rather be with when what you need is love instead of a lay.

I’m not saying just kick them to the curb immediately. Offer them a chance to renegotiate. Sometimes people just don’t know what they want and you kind of have to take the reins and tell them what to do. If they do it and the relationship becomes reciprocal and not just transactional, you know they were just insecure or fearful. Some people have a fear of abandonment and proactively distance themselves so they don’t get hurt. We’re all human.

…but if what they want is for you to be at their beck and call while they trample your heart, get out of there and say whatever it is you need to say with maximum brutality. Be a deterrent from their trying to play that game again.

I hope this article helps you to navigate safely…safe as we can be anyway. As always, feel free to comment or ask any questions.

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