The lines between pleasure and pain are far from distinct. This sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But it’s true. For example someone gently tickling you can be heavenly… but if that becomes pinning you down and forcibly tickling you till you cry, not so much. However for some people this is still extremely enjoyable. Ultimately there is no pain or pleasure. They are simply nerve signals the brain chooses to interpret as one or the other, and this is often dependant on circumstance and situation.
There are those that might say looking at me that I probably enjoy a bit of pain. I’m covered in tattoos in some extremely tender places and I’ve had many piercings in my life however this isn’t a pleasurable experience and I’m often astounded by those that say it is. It fucking stings! If I burn myself at work I will bitch and complain about it for days. I don’t like pain.
If I’m turned on this is an entirely different story. When I’m horny my pain receptors alter and the way I feel is totally different. My toy box is full of items which wouldn’t look out of place in a torture chamber. Clamps and floggers, paddles and pin wheels. All these wonderful toys come into their own when in the zone sexually.
I don’t fully understand the science behind it and I’m not even sure I want to because it would somewhat destroy the magic but during sex pain is delicious. It heightens sensitivity and sends electric shocks directly to my clit. Despite my earlier claim to dislike the tattoo needle I’m so regularly under (I seriously do hate it though) if a pin wheel is run across my thighs or tits when I’m turned on this will bring about spasms of pleasure as the pain tickles my nerves and sets my skin on fire.
When I was a child I took more than my fair share of slaps to the legs (yes I was a shit, who amongst you struggled to believe that?) and loathed the stinging burn and welty hand mark left on my legs as a branding for my misbehaviour. Strange then that as an adult little turns me on as much as a solid hard spanking. There’s something electric about the moment when he strokes his palm across my arse and the tone of his voice changes, I know what’s coming. The anticipation of that first stinging blow and the subsequent warmth that spreads across my glowing backside and deep inside me. Even stranger that the welts and handprints that as a child I despised bring me a warm thrill when I notice them the next day changing for work, a not so subtle reminder of the day before.
I’ve definitely noticed that if I try to test clamps in the stone cold light of my right mind my brain squeals protest and I quickly remove them. Testing this kind of toy adequately requires the intoxication of lust to know how I’m gonna respond to it. Try the same clamps whilst indulging in a little self-abuse at bed time and they feel amazing, maybe even need tightening.
My partner has taken a little while to adjust to the pain slut within me. I think initially he was scared to hurt me and it’s taken him time to come to understand I won’t let him do that and I trust him to know how far to push it and vice versa. It also took me time to open up and admit this side of myself to him, especially as my default setting is the opposite. I definitely enjoy inflicting pain. There are huge sadistic kinks to my personality. I find it extremely enjoyable to elicit a gasp of pain from him as I torment him or strike the flogger across his back. Knowing that he’s trusted me to play this game with him is a massive turn on in itself. I have to genuinely hold back when kissing turns to biting because I could very easily draw blood and readily admit to loving when he responds in kind.
I think masochistic tendencies lie hidden deep in most of us. Who hasn’t dripped hot candle wax onto their hand?During power cuts as a youngster I was fascinated by the slight burning tingle wax could give you followed by the satisfaction of picking it all off. It’s probably not hugely surprising that I enjoy wax play as an adult. I recently introduced this to my partner for the first time, using a massage candle to use before sex. He found the heated liquid poured onto his back and massaged into his skin a very enjoyable experience. If you are new to wax or temperature play this is an ideal way to start. Massage candles melt at a much lower temperature than normal candles and pool into delicious smelling oils which can be dribbled across the skin and used for massage. Much like it’s slightly more experienced cousin the bondage candle the higher you hold the candle the cooler the oil/wax when it hits your skin. For a more intense burn hold it closer and the liquid retains the heat. Bondage candles melt at a lower temperature than a normal candle and should only leave a slight red mark for a short while after play. It isn’t recommended to use normal candles for temperature play.
Of course allowing yourself to be in a position of vulnerability lights up the score board of submissive pleasure to start with, even without the added bonus of pain play. But I guarantee if you were to smack me outside of the bedroom you’d probably be going home with a nose bleed. Pain and pleasure within sexuality are inextricably linked. The endorphins responsible for one often create the other and the complexity of sexuality often requires both in equal parts. There are studies which actually suggest that there are links between orgasm pathways and pain.
BDSM stretches far back into our history. The most famous and well-known example being the writings of the Marquis de Sade in the 18th century. As far back as 2000 years ago, when the Kama Sutra was written, it documents biting, striking and scratching as ways to heighten passion during sex. Giving and receiving pain as part of sex harks back to primal base instincts inside us so it’s most likely that this impulse is tied deeply into our sexual evolution.
Of course if you intend to indulge in BDSM practices involving pain it is best to first discuss this with your partner. Never think this is a good thing to spring upon them spontaneously, even if they have made suggestions during that time you watched 50 Shades at the cinema. Everyone’s idea of boundaries are different and it’s vital to establish hard limits and start slowly, never be tempted to push a hard limit. There’s no point making boundaries if you’re going to test them. Remember that the ultimate goal is to deliver pleasure through that pain and if they aren’t feeling it then pursuing it is unlikely to change that. Safe words are a must during power exchange scenes and pain play. I know it sounds clichéd but take the time to sort this all out beforehand as during the moment isn’t the time for a lengthy discussion. Take time to be extra loving afterwards if you’ve been administering pain to your partner particularly if it’s a first time. Aftercare is always important.
As long as all partners are consensual and boundaries have been discussed beforehand there is lots to be gained from the addition of a little S&M to playtime. Good sex plays out in our nerve endings and not much jangles the nerves like a frisson of fear and a splash of pain.