Pain and pleasure.
Pleasure and pain.
Pain: Pleasure. Pleasure: Pain.
It all gets mixed up together, doesn’t it?
I am no neophyte to the concept, certainly. I recently wrote about it, in fact, in Whipped & Fucked. And have written about it all throughout this chronicle of my relationship with W, and of the things that we do.
I’ve been exploring BDSM since my marriage to my Ex, and in fact introduced him to the concept. (You can read about my kinky beginnings here: How We got Kinky, Part 1.) I don’t think I was interested in pain play so much back then, when I first started. I didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted or might like, and actual pain seemed a bit out there. Why would anyone like that? But the idea of being controlled – now that turned me on. In fact the story that I mention in that post up there, the one that I wrote and left for the Ex to find and read? There was no pain play in it at all. It was all psychological control. And fuck it was hot. The rest of this stuff we do? That was a mystery to me, but certainly one that I was willing to explore.
Or so I thought. When I went to my first play party, mere weeks after having discovered the concept of D/s online, and after only ever seeing anything in real life in a brief rope demo, I was patently shocked at the physicality of it all. Whippings, beatings, electrical play, spankings…? It was some heavy stuff.
I think I had gone only so far as spankings in my imagination, and even then wasn’t sure what people got out of them, precisely. Mentally and emotionally the idea appealed to me. I could understand how dominance could be shown and manifested via a physical act like a spanking (and even a whipping) but I wasn’t quite there in regards to how it could be physically appealing. And pleasurable? Wasn’t even considered. At that point I thought that it would only be something to be suffered through. And the reactions of the bottoms at that first play party definitely seemed to confirm that.
Screams, protestations, moans, whimpers. How could any of that be perceived as pleasurable?
I had, of course, read the Beauty books by that time, and The Story of O. And been hugely turned on by them – but still, it wasn’t the whippings that got to me. It was the “inspections,” the being made to display oneself, the being used sexually against one’s will, the force and psychological domination & humiliation that made me ache. The utter and complete control of one person over another, and of giving up that control – or being forced to. Yeah, that was a turn-on. Understanding that these were purely works of fiction, I was stunned to see whippings like those in the book played out in real life.
Excited too. Titillated.
I soon met a Dominant online. And oh my, all those fantasies of psychological control? Well, they were there, and I can see now why the relationship worked. Online is all mental, all psychological. I was over the moon.
Then he wanted to meet in real life. I was ready for this, and we took it to that level. In person there was a lot of psychological control: obedience, expectations of behavior, being told what to do, complying with his orders, demands and rules. All very good, still very hot. He introduced physical elements into our play then. Some light bondage (scarves, blindfolds, etc.), and light spankings. Finally, a (light) belting and cropping and some pussy spanking. All within the “sensual” realm, all with sex and pleasure as a part of it.
I loved it. I loved it all, every sensation. I couldn’t get enough.
That’s when I began to suspect that that other stuff – the “harder” stuff – might actually have an appeal for me as well. That maybe there really was something to the physical parts of it. I started talking to other bottoms, and reading online about how BDSM worked, in particular masochism and pain play.
I started to ask for more physical play, and more intense sensations.
This, eventually, led to my Dominant releasing me (to the care and Dominance of my Ex.) He knew I was too much for him, I wanted too much, needed things that he couldn’t provide.
I needed pain play.
I’ve since learned that pain play and pain-and-pleasure play can be enjoyed on their own, without a D/s connection. That I can “bottom” to others, and get off on the sensations – some of them brutal – without needing D/s. Pain play isn’t about submission, or at least it doesn’t have to be. It can be its own, highly enjoyable (in that love-hate way) activity. I have found though, that when I feel submissive to someone, two things happen.
- I will play harder and go farther, and
- I am better able to translate pain into pleasure
Not all pain translates to pleasure. But then, it isn’t supposed to. And I don’t need pain to feel pleasure. Sometimes, the two work together – pain heightening my arousal or pleasure helping me cope with pain – or sometimes they are just their individual sensations.
There are times, when I am in a painful scene, when I don’t want pleasure, or kindness, or a soft touch. I just need to work through the pain. And that’s satisfying. There are times when I need pleasure to help me cope with the pain, to draw my consciousness away from the pain for just a moment’s respite, so I can catch my breath. There are times when pain, like a stinging slap to my ass, a nipple twist or a hand on my throat, will be exactly what I need to heighten my pleasure and push me over the edge into orgasm. Other times it simple scares the orgasm away, and we have to start all over again.
I don’t really understand how my body and mind work, how these two seemingly opposite things can meld so well together. Maybe no one does. All I know is that it does, and I don’t want it to stop.