Please note: This post, and the post it links to, discusses my personal sex life in extensive detail. Family members and others who don’t want to read about that stuff are strongly advised to skip this one.

Do other masochists run into this conundrum?

If so — how do you deal with it?

There’s a kinky paradox I run into sometimes. It’s entertaining, but it’s also a little frustrating at times, and I’m wondering how other people deal with it.

Here’s what it is.

Sometimes when I bottom, I just want it to feel good. I physically enjoy pain — certain kinds of pain under certain circumstances, anyway — and the sensations and endorphins and whatnot are just pure sexual fun. It’s like eating very spicy food: it’s a complicated pleasure, but it is a pleasure, and my body processes it as such.

But sometimes, when I bottom, I want it to hurt.

I mean, really hurt.

I want it to hurt harder than I want.

Real pain — pain that’s genuinely hard to take, pain that hurts harder than I like — is what makes me feel helpless, and out of control. It’s what gets me tapped into my fantasies of non-consent; it’s what gets me feeling like what’s happening is being forced on me against my will. Or, at other times (actually, sometimes at the same time, which is weird and contradictory but I’m not going to worry about that too much), pain that hurts harder than I like is what makes me feel submissive. It’s what gets me feeling like I’ve put myself into my partner’s hands: like I don’t belong to myself any more, and have given myself away as a gift, to be used and played with at my partner’s whim.

All of which is awesome. All of which I like very much, in a way that’s very different, and in many ways more intense, than the relatively simple, easy- to- take, endorphin-y fun stuff.

But here’s the paradox.


Thus begins my latest piece on the Blowfish Blog, Harder. To find out the paradox of liking pain that’s harder than I like — and what I think it says about the sexual connection generally and masochism specifically — read the rest of the piece. (And if you feel inspired to comment here, please consider cross-posting your comment to the Blowfish Blog — they like comments there, too.) Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Harder

  1. 1

    This gives me some things to think about. I haven’t done this or anything else sexual (virgin), but I know what kinds of kinks I would like to try with a partner, should I ever have the opportunity, and this is one of those things. And this is a little similar to one of the considerations I have been mulling over. I am attracted to the whole “bottom” thing, but while I want to experience the whole being-dominated thing I don’t know how satisfactory it would be if it wasn’t “real”–and it’s hard for me to imagine how that would work being limited to the bedroom. Yet I don’t think I’d want anyone in the world to have that much control of my own life outside the bedroom.
    Don’t know if that’s relevant or a derail. But I thought I’d put that in.
    And the fantasy vs. reality thing is definitely something I have thought about. I wonder if I will actually continue to have an interest in this after I experience the reality.
    One question, though not strictly about the paradox. I often worry that such a relationship with someone might lead to being in an abusive relationship–and being a woman, that is a very valid concern. I worry that perhaps I’m opening up my life to a situation that will find me in a Battered Women’s Shelter someday–or even dead–and I wonder if it would be stupid of me to pursue such kinks. Did anyone else have such concerns, and how were they dealt with? How common is the situation I described?

  2. 2

    Dmeonhype: The first thing I would say is that, while the reality of kinky play is definitely different from the fantasy, it can still be very satisfying. It might not be for you — some people really do prefer it as a fantasy and don’t enjoy the reality — but the fact that reality is different from fantasy doesn’t make it not worthwhile. You just have to be willing to let the reality be what it is, and not expect it to be exactly what you imagine it to be. (In my experience, the reality is way the hell better than the fantasy… if for no other reason than that it is real.)
    As for abuse: I don’t know of any evidence that consensual sadomasochists are any more likely to be abusive than anyone else. It would surprise me greatly to find that this was true, since they’re entirely different dynamics. The kind of person who wants to beat you after carefully discussing mutual desires and negotiating limits and attending to safety concerns and so on… that’s not the same kind of person who beats you so they can break your spirit and control every aspect of your life. If you’re (a) interested in kink and (b) have concerns about abuse, I’d strongly suggest that you (a) read some good how-to books on kink (my favorite is “Consensual Sadomasochism” by Henkin/Holliday), and (b) do some reading about abusive relationships and the warning signs thereof. I think you’ll find virtually no overlap between the two.

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