Note: This post discusses blood, including menstrual blood and bleeding as a result of self-harm, in the context of exploring my own blood kink. If those are hard topics for you, give this one a miss – and maybe check out some of my other posts on kink instead.
Blood, generally speaking, stays inside of people.
There are two notable exceptions to this. The first is when an injury is sustained which causes bleeding, and this is generally seen as a bad thing. It alarms the person injured and those around them, and the blood is usually cleaned up once the flow is stemmed. The second notable exception is menstruation, wherein a secret kind of blood is kept inside a person’s underwear, disguised with scented hygiene products and disposed of as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Humans are often freaked out by blood (their own or other people’s) because, instinctively speaking, blood signals danger to us. There are additional layers of shame and misogyny attached to menstrual blood, as well as a layer of educated concern about infection transmission attached to any blood at all. Some people faint at the sight of blood, and this is easy to understand.
I am intrigued by the sight of blood, which is less straightforward.
I’ve always been fascinated by the hot, redder-than-red liquid that comes out of me in various contexts. I have a vivid memory, from when I was around eight, of watching my face in a hand mirror as I stretched my bottom lip so that the dry skin on it cracked and a huge, glistening orb of blood rose to the surface. I licked it up and enjoyed the taste, but I knew it was weird at least enough to refrain from mentioning it to anybody.
When I menstruate, I interact with the blood. I don’t just rip my pad from my gusset or dump the contents of my menstrual cup with efficiency and detachment – I play with the stuff. I put my finger at the entrance of my vaginal canal and then taste it. I empty my menstrual cup slowly and with reverence, watching my own viscera paint the inside of the toilet bowl crimson.
And when I engage in self-harm (which happens much less frequently than it used to), I play with that blood too. Once I’ve experienced the sharp rush of endorphins that hurting myself can give me, I soothe myself with the taste and texture of my blood. I let it drip. I am slow to dress my wounds because I enjoy what comes out of them. I recognise that that doesn’t sound terribly healthy, but it’s one aspect of self-harm that I think is more self-regulatory than self-destructive. I am, in effect, stimming with my blood. If I had a pint of it readily available, I could self-soothe without necessarily involving self-injury.
A lot of autistic people have strong aversions to, or affinities with, certain colours. I like any deep, rich ones – blood red, navy blue, Cadbury’s purple – and I especially like when they’re translucent, so I can see the world through them. (I own a red glass and a few samples of lighting gels for exactly this reason.) Combined with the distinctive taste and the variety of textures that blood boasts (runny! A little bit thickened! Unsettlingly gloopy!), it makes sense that I have a sensory, autistic fondness for blood.
But of course, in kink, it runs deeper than that. (Is that a blood pun?) For all of the above reasons, the sight of blood is culturally charged, absolutely buzzing with instinct-driven fear and society-driven taboo. When blood happens during kink, it feels profound. Blood is one of the most intimate fluids you can share with another person. As a submissive, bleeding during a scene feels so vulnerable and so dangerous that it acts as a demonstration of obedience and devotion. When I’m topping, seeing my bottom’s blood is a marker of their trust, a sign that they’re giving their body wholly to me. Either way, it’s as delicious psychologically as it is taste-wise.
My favourite ways to bleed in a scene are “accidentally”. I put that word in quotation marks because it’s never truly an accident; the only dominant partner I have who draws blood in scenes does so knowingly (there’s only so many times you can hit someone with a meat tenderiser without breaking skin), and we’ve discussed fluid transmission and our respective STI status very, very thoroughly. But I love bottoming, submitting, in a scene where someone beats me so hard that I bleed without fully expecting to, so lost in the sensation of getting hurt that the blood is a pleasant surprise at the end. I like bleeding as a secondary outcome to a scene, something my dominant partner is almost indifferent about – I like the sense that my bleeding isn’t terribly important. I think that might come from years of self-harm, when my bleeding was terribly important to my mum, my friends and my doctor, but it’s also a side-effect of objectification. Think, “I don’t really care that you’re bleeding on the sheets; I wanted to beat you, and I did. Now, I’m going to fuck your throat, and then we’re going to put a load of laundry on.”
My own menstrual blood appearing during sex is incidental to me unless I get (or am “forced”) to lick it off some fingers, a toy or a cock, in case you were wondering.
I think what I love most about bleeding in a kinky context is how human it makes me, how mortal, how connected to my body. It’s primal. It’s so natural, and yet so starkly surprising because of how thoroughly afraid of it we are and how infrequently we see it as a result. It’s impossible to ignore – even if you get past the saturated red tone of it, it smells like blood – and it can be oh, so satisfying to endure a scene in which I bleed, to ride out the caveman-brained panic of seeing it and to breathe through and ride the highs of the pain that accompanies it. I love blood in the same ways I love kink: it’s fucked up and delicious, it feels dangerous and intimate, and it’s so, so real and inescapable. It grounds me. Ironically, in spite of my caveman brain telling me that my own blood is a sign of danger, when done right, a bloody scene can help me to feel safe.