What is chastity?
Chastity is the act of remaining abstinent from sexual intercourse. More specifically chastity refers to the denial of sexual pleasure through genital manipulation including, but not limited to, orgasm. In the fetish and kink realms, chastity can play an important role in the power exchange dynamic.
How is it done?
Chastity is often achieved through the use of devices including cock cages (for people with a penis), and chastity belts (for people with a vagina). When these devices are locked in place, they make sexual release through orgasm difficult, if not altogether impossible.
When such devices are not in use, chastity can still be employed as a test of resolve and willpower. Some Doms might instruct their sub not to have an orgasm without permission, but do so without locking them into physical chastity. I have used psychological chastity far more often than actual chastity devices, though both can be quite effective.
Why would someone willingly do that?
Chastity can be difficult to understand for some people. Denial of orgasm might seem counterintuitive or cruel. It may help to realize that this thought process hypersexualizes and reduces relationships to the physical aspects, reducing the act of sex to the resulting orgasm. This mindset robs you of the understanding that the biggest and most powerful sex organ any of us have is our brain.
Whether self-enforced or not, chastity is a method often used in support of a submissive mindset. The sub-space mindset is a component of power exchange, and this is another tool in that arena. Some people put themself in chastity as a physical declaration and demonstration of submission, while others are locked into chastity under the guidance and control of a keyholder – someone who maintains control over the individual’s ability to unlock their chastity and achieve orgasm.
I believe that 90% of sex happens between our ears, and when we restrict sex to our physical bodies, we severely limit the amount, duration, and depth of the potential pleasure involved. I have used chastity as a tool to help subs learn this lesson by being forced to confront the disconnect between their mind and body. In much the same way that a locked collar serves as a physical reminder of the sub’s place in the order of things, a chastity cage often becomes a place of comfort for the sub. If you’re not familiar with Dom/sub-space, it may be confusing to imagine that something designed to deny pleasure could become a place of comfort, but it can and does.
How long do you do this?
The duration of chastity is up to the people and the dynamics involved. Some people are locked in chastity for specific purposes of short duration, such as a night out in a kink-friendly space. Appearing in a cock cage in a leather bar might be empowering to a deeply sub-minded person, while the same scenario might be part of an embarrassment/humiliation scene (yeah, that’s a thing, too) for someone who may not generally be otherwise submissive.
For the most part, people will experiment with duration to find out what works best for them in their dynamic. In a relationship, this is something that may be discussed and negotiated, while for unclaimed subs, it can be a way to maintain a connection to their sub mindset.
Let’s say you usually masturbate three times a day. On Friday night you have a date though, so you intentionally and purposely avoid masturbating for a couple of days to build up your own anticipation and desire. That’s chastity, and you did it to yourself. In the end, chastity really comes down to not getting off; the only thing that varies really is the motivation behind it.