What is Religious Play?
Religious play is a fetish also known as hierophilia. This fetish refers to a spectrum of activities that are based around religion. Participants can use various religious iconography or take on the roles of religious icons or figures in a scene.
Religious play was introduced to individuals harboring fetishes for religion (Catholicism is an example) or religious practices.
Because religion is considered a “sacred, sensitive and untouchable” topic, associating it with sexual interests and tendencies make it taboo. It is this forbidden element that makes religious play highly appealing to a select number of individuals and that includes the BDSM community. Religious play easily assimilates into BDSM’s array of practices, because it entails sexual inclinations that fall into the unconventional. At the same time, religious play may not appeal to more conservative and religious individuals.
Each religion has its own set of guidelines, with the common denominator being that one should live by the words of the God or entity that the religion particularly worships or deems as the most powerful. Sexual abstinence is one of the most common teachings shared by the religions that society recognizes today.
The strictness of abstinence may trigger sexual arousal. When people are deprived of sexual gratification, and especially in a setup where sexual arousal is forcibly repressed, unaccepted and punished, the desire for gratification increases. Suppressing sexual desire can go two ways: One, a person may repress it until they find a suitable and appropriate way to express and gratify it. Two, there is also the possibility of resorting to unsuitable methods of appeasing their pent up sexual tension.
Restriction and prohibition can lead to rebellious actions or actions that go against established rules in religion. The liberation experienced by those who “break the rules”, in this case, individuals who are turned on by religious play, becomes euphoric and highly satisfying.
More importantly, Doms gladly take on the authoritative and influential role of priests, for instance, in enforcing their power and control over their subs.
Dos, Don’ts & Tips
- Religious play often involves the Dom taking on the role of religious leaders, and the sub takes on the role of those serving under the leader’s guidance and supervision.
- Wearing costumes and using props make the play more realistic and sensually enjoyable for both parties.
- The use of religious iconography is very common in religious play as well.
- Taking ideologies from different religious beliefs and redefining it in such a way that it helps represent a specific sexual preference or kink is another option for engaging in religious play.
- The practice of adding an erotic twist to religious practices for pleasurable purposes is highly sensitive and controversial. That is to say, not all individuals, even those who belong to the BDSM community, may be ready to give it a try.
- It is best that partners or players discuss delicate practices such as Religious Play first before agreeing to it.
Related Practices and Fetishes
Sacred Kink refers to the idea that a person’s spirituality can potentially be increased by performing and participating in sexual practices that defy the norms and codes of conduct that society recognizes and follows. Nuns, priests, or altar boys are some of the most common religious and roleplay scenarios one may come across.