MEMBER ARTICLE: Sexual Wagers for Punishment, Reward, and More Intense Board Gaming
15 March 2022
Call me a nerd, but if asked whether I'd prefer to have sex or play a board game, I would struggle to answer. Is a blowjob better than Catan? I hate making difficult decisions! I'd rather combine the two into a singular activity; let's wager the terms of sex on the outcome of a game.
My first experience combining kink and games occurred soon after my 21st birthday. The night began with a group of leathermen and I playing a strip version of Cards Against Humanity. We were killing time until later in the evening, when they planned to introduce me to Chicago's leather bars. I was new to practicing kink, though I had been fascinated by BDSM ever since middle school, when I discovered that our Encyclopedia Britannica collection contained copious entries on topics such as flogging, the rack, and sodomy. (The writing was a little dry, but there's only so many times you can rent Casino Royale without your parents becoming suspicious. And because we shared a single computer back then, I was paranoid about leaving something untoward in the browser history).
The mechanics of regular Cards Against Humanity are simple. One player, acting as the judge, reveals a card containing a prompt. Everyone else chooses a card from their hand that addresses the prompt in a funny, obscene, or shocking way. The judge picks their favorite, and that person wins a point. Our salacious twist was that in addition to picking the best card, the judge would also identify the worst card, whose owner must strip off an article of clothing. Heart aflutter, my normally scintillating wit was operating below par, and by the time others were half-dressed, I was fully naked. Unable to remove more clothing after losing yet another round, one of the men half-jokingly remarked, "Well, we could always piss on him."
My whole body froze. I didn't know how to react. I was in that stage of exploration where I wanted to experiment with watersports, but I wasn't ready to admit it out loud to anyone. Suddenly, I thought of a solution to this catch-22. In a halting voice I remarked, "I mean, if you think that would be an appropriate consequence, I accept it." His eyebrow perked up. "Do you want us to piss on you?" There was something incredibly seductive about the way he asked. It was both a check-in and a challenge.
"I'm just saying that if you want to, and if you think it's a suitable punishment for losing another round, you have my permission." I couldn't quite bring myself to say yes; I needed him to make the decision for me. The room was silent as he looked me over, purposefully ratcheting up the tension before finally declaring, "Yeah, he wants it." The other leathermen put their cards down, eager to corrupt a newbie.
Already naked, I was led to the shower where four different guys proceeded to piss on me. It soaked my hair, streamed down my face, and cascaded over my whole body. I was completely drenched. "You like that boy?" the instigator asked. It was a rhetorical question. The answer was obvious from my unabashed grin, but unlike before, I could finally respond with a hearty "Yes SIR!" "Open your mouth. Taste it," he commanded. And so, my glorious introduction to watersports ended with two mouthfuls of his warm piss. I showered off, and when I was done, the game had concluded. We were ready to hit the leather bars. For me, however, the climax of the evening had already occurred.
Exploring piss as a 'consequence' meant I didn't have to admit my shameful desire out loud. I merely had to consent for such action to occur. Plus, the punishment aspect reduced pressure to enjoy the activity. If I ended up hating the experience, well, that's what I get for losing. Though I now harbor far less shame about my sexual desires, my interest in kink-as-consequence and creating sexual wagers has only grown.
I can best describe the appeal of sexual wagers using chastity as an example. Some people love chastity. Others, like myself, love to hate chastity. It's rare that I'll acquiesce to chastity simply because a Dom says I should. But wager a month of lockup on a game of chess, and I'll hop on the next available bus with board, clock, and cage in hand! Here's the difference: I'm more attracted to the idea of chastity than actually practicing it. Being teased with the threat of lockup lets me simmer in that hot fantasy of losing access to my most intimate anatomy.
In other words, wagers create the possibility for a fantasy to come true without guaranteeing that it will. The fantasy hovers on the cusp of reality, where its heart-pounding thrill is felt most intensely. This imbues every move of the game with the erotic potential of what might happen. Only upon checkmate are we released from the allure of anticipation. Then begins the pain and pleasure of fantasy becoming reality…
That's the essence of what draws me to wagers, which can be punishments for losing or rewards for winning. They're great for pushing limits, trying new experiences, indulging a partner's interests, and determining giver/receiver dynamics. They also make board games and sports matches much more intense! Below are some activities and relationship dynamics that may especially benefit from wagers.
Impact play: Pain wagers can be a masochist's love-to-hate punishment fantasy or the go-ahead reward for a sadist to administer undesired pain. For those not naturally sadistic, a wager can reframe impact as holding a person accountable to their commitment, making it emotionally easier to inflict pain.
Duration activities: A certain amount of time in chastity, stress bondage, naked in the snow, deprived of senses/stimuli, etc. If these activities are desired by the loser to some degree, it may be necessary to set a duration that will (safely) exceed the threshold of enjoyment.
Control and service: Servicing the winner or embodying elements of a Master/slave arrangement like house chores, collar wearing, skull fucking, and massages. This is especially great for couples interested in testing new relationship dynamics and people whose dominance levels are roughly equivalent.
Humiliation and hazing: Wash mouth out with soap, cover in rotting trash, shave off eyebrows, give a swirlie, etc. Bullies don't ask for permission, and many things aren't as humiliating when the degradee asks for them to happen. Wagers can provide pre-consent, letting the receiver rage against the injustice without having to break character.
Beyond the infinite number of activities that can be wagered, the structure of the wager itself can take on many forms.
Equal wagers: Involved parties face the same consequence, like whoever wins this arm-wrestling match gets to top or bottom the other.
Equivalent wagers: Involved parties face different circumstances of equivalent magnitude. Receiving thirty canings for a non-masochist might be equivalent to giving five minutes of foot worship for someone not into feet.
One-way wager: Instead of two parties facing rewards/punishments, only one party does. Losing incurs punishment whereas winning incurs reward. The reward may simply be the lack of punishment.
Asymmetrical wagers: Reward/punishment may be lopsided depending on the odds. A good Mario Kart player might face a more intense punishment than a mediocre player because they're less likely to lose. Asymmetrical wagers could also be used to reflect the betting odds of a sports match or awards ceremony result.
Randomized punishments: Agreed upon punishments are written on slips of paper and drawn out of a hat each time someone loses a short game. This is a great option for switches who don't want an all-or-nothing situation or for people who can't commit to one outcome.
Cascading consequences: Certain punishments may lead to more punishments if not properly completed. For example, after losing a round of wrestling, I was forced to hold a plank for three minutes. It was agreed that if I collapsed early (which I did), I would be caned for every second under the three-minute mark.
Lastly, wagers only work if you try 100% to win. If the punishment is so enticing that you'll throw the game, maybe that "punishment" should instead be a reward you fight for. It should go without saying that consent to a wager can be revoked at any time. Also, because they may involve undesired activities or limit-pushing, it's especially important to establish a safe word.
What situations would you wager on? What are you willing to risk for potential reward? I'd love to hear your creativity!
***If you'd like to share a fetish or kink experience in a member article, send your ideas or a first draft to: firstname.lastname@example.org