Friday, June 12, 2009

Oh, The Pain Of It

Those of us, who are even in the slightest way into BDSM, know that there is a difference between how or why one experiences pain. I have not heard or read from anyone who for example, enjoys a toothache, headache, stubbed toe, or a broken leg. Maybe I am just not enough of a connoisseur. Who knows?

Then there is that other kind of pain that ranges from the effect of a pat on a bare bottom to whole body ache from being suspended while receiving vigorous caning, whipping, and other forms of S/M fallout (not that I would have first-hand knowledge of such).

Why is there a difference? Anyone care to comment? Is it just the context, or are there “pleasurable” pain receptors that kick in only when the mind says to kick in?

I fall into what I would call mild S/M range, of course, the degree is always in the eye (or the butt) of the beholder, so who am I to judge? I could be this or that depending on what is available when it comes to imparting love pain.

I found out early in my marriage to MW that she is definitely not a natural submissive. She does not like or want pain, and has an aversion to any device whose impact is to her soft parts in order to get her attention. That pretty much excluded her being on the receiving end of any session with me holding the crop. The closest we ever came to it were a few times when I very gently slapped her lovely butt with my palm. She even commented that it “felt good” but that I should not assume anything. Then there was one time when we were fooling around with me on top. I manipulated her arms above her head, and grabbed her wrists in one hand while I used my other hand to part her nether lips and we had very penetrating, very quick, very satisfying sex as I held her wrists. It was sort of pretend but I am not really certain. Anyway, I felt that she might have a potential if I were to approach her gently. Months later the event came up in conversation, and she said something like, “I faked it.” As you can expect, that blew my smug assumption that I could ever dominate her that way. Oh well, back to my being the submissive with her.

I have always assumed that being the dominant in a partnership is the more responsible, harder working, less satisfying, more stressful part. As a dominant you have to plan. You have to make sure that nothing bad happens and that everything that needs doing gets done whether mundane bill paying or kinky sex games are concerned. As a dominant you are in charge and your sub looks up to you, so you must maintain a certain attitude of being in charge, knowing all the answers, and never losing your composure.

Contrast this with the submissive partner’s position. He (or she) needs to be respectful and compliant. He may expect to be disciplined or punished for misdeeds and transgressions. He may have times of deathly boredom and excruciating highs. But he needs to make few important decisions. His life is managed by a stronger person.

I could go on with this, but we all know that it is futile. This relationship can have a range from the very simple to the most stylized: “Different strokes for different folks.” The details are to be negotiated. If not, then break it up!

I would like to point out that I don’t really like pain, not even in jest. So, in some of my submissive episodes it is a definite deterrent to bad behavior. For example, if she says, “Don’t do this …” I don’t do this. At least not on purpose, because I know that my ass could, and did a number of times, hurt as a result. I will take a side road here to point out something before I get back to our relationship.

I ran across a blog, whose address I no longer have, but it was done by a dominant female. Her attitude to discipline or punishment was summed up in, and I paraphrase,

"Why should one adult force another adult to behave a certain way? If I had to punish him, then I am not really a dominant but a bully. I prefer to allow him to serve me on his own just because he wants to.”

I agree with all that, but at the same time I think that she misses the point 100 percent. Some of us want to be punished, want to be hurt, need the pain, and if you must be a bully to accomplish that, then so be it. As I said, being the dominant is the harder part.

In a BDSM relationship or scenario nobody is forcing anybody before they agree to do it. This is assumed to be consensual, and it implies that even after the scene starts, either partner is allowed to stop it. But once into the scene, there are some expectations on both sides. It is not all vanilla pats on the bum, but is expected to have some impact or such to spice it up. So if anyone complains, they are in the wrong relationship. The subject of disciplining or punishing of another adult is expected by both parties. The only things that are negotiable are the degree and the context, which vary among relationships.

Now that I have established the right to discipline or be disciplined, let’s get on with it. In many of my wishes of sex play between us I imagined that she would like to whip me with an instrument of her choice as a way to build herself to a state where she would then allow me to serve her in all oral and penetrating ways to give her pleasure. Anyone can see that this is my fantasy and not really considering her needs. It is the payment for my suffering. Nevertheless, it is my fantasy and I have a right to think anything I want. The bottom line here is that I wish that she would get off giving me erotic pain. I have yet to find out whether this is true, but am willing to experiment!

Once in a while I do something by mission or omission that she considers a cause for discipline or punishment. As a note, I consider “discipline” as a corrective measure, and “punishment” as a means to absolve one’s guilt. In either case, it is understood that she has the right to impart this at any time under any circumstances, and that I will take it without resistance and without complaint. I also have a right to state my opinion of it after the session is over. Whether I was right or wrong I cannot expect, although I may receive, anything from her as a result of her decision. The deed is done, and we go from there.

I really like this approach for several reasons. The most important is that it is a way to resolve any dispute without needing an arbitrator and without leaving loose ends. In an FLR, she decides the outcome, and I will comply before or after being corrected as such.

There are other reasons why this works, but I will address those at some other time. The “bottom line” is that my bottom hurts and that gets my attention. It also tends to change my attitude for a while. Sure I could argue, I could over-power her, I could quit the FLR. But that would be contrary to all that an FLR is about, and we are in it by choice.


Lady Julia said...

Thank you for a very interesting post :)

If I may, I wanted to ask a question about something you said.

Some of us want to be punished, want to be hurt, need the pain,

I understand the enjoyment and wanting of punishment and pain, but I have always had difficulty in understanding when someone says they "need the pain" in the context of punishment/discipline. When you say "need", I tend to think of that meaning "require". Will nothing else work as punishment/discipline or is it actually one of the things that work?

I seldom ask anyone about this because I'm afraid people will think I'm being judgmental. I'm hoping we've read each other's writing long enough now that you will know I'm not. I'd truly like to understand.

doll said...

As I am suffering visceral pain at the moment it is very clear to me that there is a substantive difference. For starters it is constant, then there is the fact that there is no way short of taking painkillers that I can diminish it..I can't ask it to stop. For some reason that I don't understand it doesn't activate endorphins perhaps because it isn't forceful enough. It might also be that when we are feeling pain due to illness is is part of a systemic problem whilst pain due to a dominants lust remains superficial in terms of the body. I must say that I would appreciate a good caning at the moment, it might rouse me out of my misery.

Susan's Pet said...

Dear Lady Julia,

I did not mean “require” when I said “need”. What makes the phrase, “need the pain” strange under examination is the unexpectedness.

If I had been talking about pleasure, and said, “need the pleasure”, nobody would question it. If one is not wired that way, he or she does not need the pain. Yet most of need the pleasure, and know how it feels.

As I pointed out, I am not really into pain, especially as a primary feeling, as opposed to pleasure. But a little of it goes a long way to enhance my pleasure. Pain and pleasure are intertwined when in the proper context.

As for the feeling being “required”, well, it depends on the circumstances. If I were paying a professional for the pain or pleasure, then yes, it would be required. On the other hand, when relating to a respected partner, whether in D/S or just vanilla, “need” is the appropriate expression of feeling. The difference is that in the first case it is expected, in the latter it is welcomed if it happens.

Susan's Pet said...

Dear Doll,

If your lover approached you under the circumstances with an offer of caning, I would expect you to say the typical, “Not now dear, I have a headache.” You are a kinky lady.

What I find funny and appropriate in all this is that I would not consider taking pain medication after a caning, no matter how much it may hurt at the moment. Whereas, If I have a constant headache, Aspirin is the answer.

Lady Julia said...

Susan's Pet,

Thank you for your response. I think my confusion with regard to this entire issue is one stemming from semantics more than anything else.

What makes the phrase, “need the pain” strange under examination is the unexpectedness.

If I had been talking about pleasure, and said, “need the pleasure”, nobody would question it.

Just to be clear, I was not questioning in a judgmental way. Apologies if my question or remarks were perceived as offensive.

Susan's Pet said...

Dear Lady Julia,

I don't believe that you could offend anyone even if trying. You are too kind and cultured for that. I certainly took no offense.

I, on the other hand, can offend even without trying. I guess we each have our virtues, and mine is of a dubious value.

doll said...


now we must be wired completely differently. I do not medicate pain because I believe it is a warning from my body and also because pain killers are so bad for the stomach and liver. But a judiciously applied spanking with it's activation of the bodies own painkilling system is very appealing. I have some seedling nettles growing in my garden and for the first time ever I eyed them for their pain stimulating effect rather than as a food or beverage. They are safe for now as I seem to have hit the virus on its head and am now back to normal health.

On the topic of Lady Julia's question I think the need arises because once the effects of pain and the rush of endorphins has been felt it becomes addictive. Someone might correct me but I understand that endorphins are like benzodiazapines which are incredibly addicitive drugs. Being lazy I would much rather have that need met by a spanking than by taking a 20 minute run.

Her Majesty's Plaything said...

Hi Susan's Pet:

Like you I don't enjoy stubbing my toe or getting a splitting headache. I do enjoy receiving a sound whipping however. What's the difference you ask?

IMHO there are quite a few. First I am suffering for the one I adore and that in of itself makes it sexy and desirable. Secondly I have fetishized the act of being whipped and all the scrumpy implements that go along with it; canes, floggers, single tails, straps, paddles, crops etc. Thirdly she often incorporates other fetishes into playtime allowing me to indulge my fetish for worshiping her feet, stockings, high heeled shoes and leather boots. Combining all of these stimuli together into one heady kink cocktail is a powerfully sexual experience for me whereas slamming my thumb in the door is...well...not!

Her Majesty does not use corporal punishment to discipline me. That would be a bit like punishing a man with a sweet tooth by feeding him a delicious chocolate truffle. Playtime is playtime. Being whipped is something I strongly need and desire and something she does for me out of the goodness of her heart. What keeps me from misbehaving is my fear of displeasing her. As her sub I want nothing more than to serve her, bring her pleasure, make her happy and see her smile. Seeing her frown or hearing her raise her voice in anger is sufficient punishment for me. Not playing with me or withdrawing her affection would also be a very terrible punishment.