Whenever I have posted here about being curious about nettle play, people have posted various “why would you want to do that?” type questions. Not having experimented, I didn’t have a good answer — except, of course, that a totally harmless method of imposing pain expands the “arena of possibility” when doing BDSM of any kind.
Not being a woodsy type, I never seemed to find any wild nettles while out and about, so I finally decided to grow some, like potted herbs. I bought some seeds over the internet (this was awhile ago, I just googled “nettle seeds” and went from there) and (after more than one failed attempt) got them to germinate this spring. Then, I raised ‘em in a pot by my window. You know, water, sunshine, and benign neglect.
They did OK — but some conditions of soil or moisture or humidity were not right; they grew but did not thrive.
They did, however, get big enough to play with, as Bethie reports here:
Dan very carefully took a nettle sprig and pressed it along the right cheek of my very warm bottom. At first I didn’t feel anything, but then slowly a stinging, hot line began to move across the area where he’d applied the nettle. I could almost feel each little stinging hair burning into my bottom. I moaned and ground my hips into the pillows.
While I had been busy experiencing the first application, Dan had been preparing the next one. He told me to be still and then he slowly began pressing more nettle sprigs across my bottom. As more were added, the earlier areas where he’d applied them were beginning to settle down into a lovely stinging sensation.
I suppose if my bottom hadn’t already been so thoroughly tenderized and aching for more, it might have been different. But my well-spanked greedy bottom was primed for those nettles. The nettles were adding sensation in ways I hadn’t expected.
And that’s just it — the nettles are a new-and-different sensation with a long historical tradition and reputation for enhancing sexual arousal. They seem to have come by that reputation honestly. They were a lot of fun to play with, although (and I say this in the best tradition of wimpy topping) the one time I accidentally brushed them against the back of my hand it hurt like hell and I did not approve. Ladies, you may laugh now; unless you are where I can reach you, in which case that might be a bad idea.
Sadly, about ten days after the play Bethie describes above, there was a horticultural disaster at my house. Have I mentioned that I do not have a green thumb? No, it’s more like a black thumb, with a little cloud of defoliant swirling around it with tiny lightning bolts shooting out.
I did mention that my nettles were not thriving. Then, one day, the little plants started falling over. It started with one; a perfectly healthy little weed about four inches tall. It fell over and dissolved into a pool of slime, in just a few hours. Then another, and another; and then (over about 72 hours) they all did it. I was left with nothing but a pot of dirt with some little puddles of slime in it.
Well, I cursed, and then I mourned my little nettles, and resolved to do better next time. The dead planter, I ignored. About a day later, up from the soil sprang — like a zombie army — a uniform coating of mold about a quarter of an inch thick, grey in color like smoke, but organized into little structures (like the cell walls in a foam of soap bubbles) with black speckling on top. Nasty; I had to call in an air strike, with lots and lots of napalm. Black mold in your house is double-plus-ungood. Had it been practical, I would have took off and nuked from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure.
I think they are going to take away my Junior Woodchuck badge and my membership in the Society of People Who Can Get Weeds To Grow.
Lessons for next time, and there will be a next time:
1) Nettle seeds are hard to germinate. If you can find wild nettles, even once, grab some cuttings and work from those.
2) Getting nettle seeds to germinate requires a cycle of cold and moisture to convince the little seeds that it was winter and is now springtime. You can simulate this in your refrigerator. I won’t try to tell you how, because I screwed it up; you can Google that sort of thing, as I did, and hopefully implement better. In my case, I suspect that’s where my soil mold issues got started; by the time I got seedlings, I also had visible mold; which went dormant once I got the seedlings into the sun, but came back later with a vengeance, despite at least one re-potting.
3) I used plain old potting soil. In practice, that soil stayed cold and damp under the best conditions available at my current dwelling. More warmth, more and better sunshine, and maybe some sand admixed to improve soil drainage? I’d even consider using a grow light, but in a lot of places that telltale gleam attracts unwelcome police attention, and I think I’d hate to have that “handcuffed in my underwear in my bedroom at four AM” conversation where I explain that yes, officer, I am growing weeds in my bedroom, but no, these are not the weeds you are looking for, and er, why exactly am I growing them? Uh, somebody told me they make a good soup?
All in all, it was a worthy experiment. Bethie and I both enjoyed playing with my baby nettles, and I look forward to growing bigger and better ones next time.