a fine line between pleasure and pain, so the saying goes, but for those of us who follow the BDSM Lifestyle, the line
is often blurred.
The dictionary gives
the main definitions of Pleasure and Pain as follows:
A state/feeling of being pleased or gratified.
A source of enjoyment or delight:
Amusement, diversion, or worldly enjoyment:
Sensual gratification or indulgence.
An unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of severity as a consequence of injury, disease, or emotional
Suffering or distress.
A source of annoyance; a nuisance.
Pleasure and pain, therefore are
basically opposites – in general terms, one feels good and one doesn’t. However,
for those of us who engage in BDSM, this is often not the case, the pain we sometimes
feel from the activities we pursue, gives us the pleasure we crave so much.
The pain from these activities is
controlled pain, it is not something sudden or with no warning, like for example the pain from an accidental injury.
Within the realm of BDSM there is most definitely good pain and bad pain.
Mostly, the things we choose to do are things that give us good pain.
For example good pain to me would
be a spanking or a flogging, bad pain would be a severe caning or needle play
– which i choose not to do.
There are, however, different perspectives
on what is good pain and what is bad. You would only have to talk to two submissives to realise that what one may like and
perceive as good pain ( give me more, give me more!) the other would express shock and horror at the very same activity (no
way, that would hurt like hell!)
From a submissive’s point
of view, i can’t say that i love all painful activities, but i certainly love the degree of pain from the things that
i like. This pain brings me pleasure - it sends me off into subspace, and then the pain goes away, it changes to euphoria
as the endorphins kick in and i float away.
But what i like and perceive as my pain threshold
will be different to others.
The needles, the flogger or the
paddle all hurt us, but the pain that we feel is what gives us the adrenalin rush that we crave and therefore the pleasure,
so from our pain comes our pleasure.
A good example of how pleasure and pain can work is nipple clamps or pegs.
It feels nice but ouchy when they
are put on, the submissive may groan in pain, but loves the pleasure as the Dominant flicks or touches them, it increases
the sensations in the nipples.
The Dominant loves to hear the submissive
groan, – it gives pleasure to see the reactions to the pain.
Then when the clamps are removed,
it hurts again but the adrenalin rush is amazing, for the submissive, the rush is painful but releases the endorphins which
bring pleasure. For the dominant, it fills the need to give pain, and the associated
rush brings the same release of endorphins, which in turn give the pleasure we crave.
Dominants also enjoy the relationship
between pleasure and pain. It gives them pleasure to inflict controlled pain to a submissive, knowing that in turn the submissive
will also gain pleasure from the interaction between them.
However there is something that
adds to the whole picture, and that is the way the mind works. Without the mindset of a submissive, slave or masochist, things
like spanking, flogging, caning, piercing, would simply hurt like hell!
As a submissive or slave, you make
a conscious choice to engage in these activities, which is where the difference comes in.
There are not many people who would
have enjoyed being punished as a child, yet, here as consenting adults, we agree to that same activity, although sometimes
in more extreme ways.
There are varying reasons for pursuing
the pleasure and pain side of things in BDSM, for many it is sexually gratifying,
people get turned on by the activities they take part in – it fills a need.
For others it fills needs of a different
kind, it maybe that someone needs to give pain or receive pain, simply for the endorphin rush, not connected to sexual gratification
at all – but for the aspects of control, and power exchange.
A good example is that of my Master. My Master is straight and is monogamous, not
polyamorous and not at all bisexual, yet has two other submissives besides me and neither relationship includes any form of
One is a bisexual male submissive,
who gains pleasure from serving Master, and in turn Master
gives him the control and power exchange he needs in his life. Master may cane
him or flog him, and even if it is painful, it is filling the need in the submissive to serve, to receive the pain and enjoy
the pleasure that comes from knowing he is giving pleasure to Master. This releases
the endorphins which we all crave.
From my own perspective, i live
with Master in a 24/7 D/s relationship and therefore the play which He and i engage
in, is often a prelude to sex. I do definitely get turned on by being spanked and flogged, but that is as much because of
my connection with Master than anything.
He plays with me in a very different
way to the way He plays with others. for U/us the play is sexual, for anyone else it is not. He gives others pleasure and
inflicts the pain they may crave, but it is not sexual in any way.
It is a little like a roller coaster,
we crave the painful activities that give us the pleasure we need, it can be addictive, but in a controlled environment, with
safety, and consensuality paramount, it is a lot safer than drugs.
kim (MJ) 2006