For the first time since I began posting on this blog, I'm kind of stumped. I don't really use breathing a lot, in my work - not as a kink, at least. None of my characters have ever indulged in breathplay, though that's mainly because I'm a tiny bit afraid of things that skirt really close to that "someone could die" edge. I mean, I think breathplay can be done fantastically well and that could die edge can be wonderful, but me? I'm afraid of spiders, for God's sake.
I'm afraid of things that magically look like spiders, such as old bits of lint, some string that came off the end of my trousers, a half-crushed jellybean, a shadow that changes a bit when I look at it funny, the edge of the curtain, the edge of something that isn't the curtain but isn't a spider either, and so on and so forth.
Therefore, I think you can see why I might be a bit nervous about depicting something that is scarier than a spider.
Although saying that - I have written about other scary things. Like dying on a spaceship because the characters are running out of oxygen. Which when I think about it, has rather a lot to do with breathing, even if no sex occurs while they're dying.
So maybe that's it. Maybe I just don't want to pair sex with something that's more associated with perishing on a spaceship in my head. When I think of breathing, when I think of people drawing in air and holding it in or letting it out in a rush, I think of very alive things.
I think about using breathing to show how someone's feeling. If they're panting, they've either run up a big hill, encountered a half-squashed piece of curtain lint, or they're in the middle of the very thing I love to write about the most.
That's right. They've just done a marathon up Mount Everest!
But no, I jest. No, I like breathing best when it's described in the middle of loads of lovely bonking, because it's one of those indicators, one of those little ways of really getting across to the reader just how amazing an experience is. All those harsh grating ones and little high sharp ones and rapid, panting ones...they only say one thing.
That someone is so turned on they've forgotten about the spiders.
And then there's other good stuff, too - the stuff that comes later. Like having a character lay their head on someone's chest, and listen to them breathe. I mean, a heartbeat's all right. It's all well and good. But at the end of the day it's just lub-lub, lub-lub. Breathing is like listening to the ocean, and it's all full of these little crackling particles that tells you exactly: this person is alive. They're alive underneath you like something ancient and brilliant and unending, and for one moment you can really believe they're never going away.
And I guess that's what breathing is to me. That feeling of never going away.