Let's talk pain. After all, that's a big part of this lifestyle. Why does it bring us closer and help us connect? I guess in a sense it's comparable to watching scary movies with your significant other; that feeling of danger and excitement. It fulfills a need to care for or be cared for by the other. So do we like the fear in scary movies, or just the closeness that it causes? Either way, it’s not a perfect analogy because the thrill or shock of a scare isn't altogether unpleasant, while pain is just purely awful. Masochists supposedly like pain, but I'm not really sure what that means: there are people that like a bad feeling? Are their receptors wired differently or something? Either the definition is inaccurate or I am most positively not a masochist. I hate pain. I admit that the dominance and submission expressed by the pain is a turn on, but the pain itself is quite literally a turn off. I lose any semblance of eroticism when I am trying to process or even tolerate physical pain.
It should go without saying that a D/s or DD relationship is about way more than pain. But is it necessary for the physical aspect of the power exchange? I think we all feel better about ourselves if we say it isn't about the pain, but I believe the physicality is often critically connected to pain. Granted, sometimes it’s completely unrelated: for instance, when I rub Bruce’s feet or he holds me tight. Or occasionally he’s had me bend over or lay over his lap with no intention of actually spanking me. But during the other times I think it is necessary, although it is not the central objective: when Bruce spanks me to reaffirm our roles, or even as a punishment, he intends to express dominance and I intend to express submission to the point of physical pain. So while this exchange is the focus, the pain literally indicates the extent of his control and my submission. Maybe we’re messed up to see it this way, but that level of dominance and submission is incredibly sexy to us, and it creates an added connection that we love. To us it is profound to give to each other in that way.
But then there’s the distracting issue of the actual pain, which as I’ve said is unavoidably a turnoff. Several days ago Bruce told me it was high time we get back to basics (and he was right, I’ve been way less submissive than we’d both prefer). So mid-discussion he stopped everything and made me go downstairs and bend over the bed. Out came the lexan paddle, and even through my yoga pants and underwear the pain was just way too much for me to take this time. I’m not sure why, perhaps because I was emotionally fired up already, or maybe because I was starting to get sick (for the past week or so I’ve been really horribly, epically sick). Whatever the reason, I just could not take it. I begged and cried and told him I thought something might be wrong with me. He said “Yes, there is something wrong with you. You haven’t been spanked near as much as you should be lately.” Despite my discomfort I could tell he hadn’t been spanking me especially hard to begin with, but even still he did lighten up a bit in reaction to my panicking. He didn’t stop the spanking though. In fact he removed my pants and underwear after a few more strikes, and continued without slowing. I panted and bit my lip and just couldn’t think of anything other than how to get through the next few moments. I took it worse than I have in quite a long time, squirming and protesting desperately. By the time he was finished I was a sobbing mess, and he held me tight while I cried. He told me I was fine, and helped me calm down. He told me he loved me, and that I really couldn’t treat him the way I had been treating him recently. I agreed, and after a few minutes we got up and went back about our day. But whew it stuck with me that my pain tolerance is way, way down.
So the pain is a very real and very unpleasant part of our dynamic. But if the pain assists in maintaining our roles and giving us another way to connect, how bad is it? I was seriously maxed out during the above spanking, I cannot remember another time where I felt I just couldn’t take anymore to that extent. But you know what? I could take more and I did. It was supremely unpleasant and unnerving, but nothing of any lasting consequence actually happened. I didn’t faint or get sick in any way. I’m not emotionally scarred. A day or so later even my backside was completely back to normal. So maybe it’s not all as barbaric as it seems. The value of the dynamic is the give and take; in part the added effort and responsibility is Bruce’s give, and in part the pain is mine. Bruce says we’re getting back into it more now, and I will be experiencing soreness far more. Okay, more pain, but more submission, more dominance, and more restored roles. We’ve both agreed we’re ready for some of that. So I’ll take the good with the bad, because no matter how bad the “bad” is, I know by now that the good is so very worth it :)