Sadomasochism is the giving and receiving of sensations. In a lot of cases, this also includes pain. Many of the sadomasochistic tendencies bleed into our relationships in some form or other so what better discussion than to talk about processing pain. Over the next week, we'll cover what the natural pain process is, pain management techniques, how to learn a management technique to help you better in play and overcoming the false edge that keeps us from reaching our true potential.
Everyone you meet has different methods for how they handle pain. You have the "hold it ins," the "pain dancers," the "cursing crowd" and even the "criers." You have even more methods in between. How you handle pain is a result of nature and nurture. Perhaps as you were a child you heard the phrase, "walk it off," or "let me kiss it and make it feel better." These are ways we've learned to handle pain.
There are three pain processing methods we are going to talk about today. They are acceptance, denial, and devouring. Two of these methods are very common, and the third while being rare happens to be where pure masochists place themselves.
The acceptance method of pain management is the original method that we are born with. In this method, we experience pain fully. We don't try to escape the pain or dull the pain but allow it to wash over us. As a child, the only thing we know how to do is hurt when something hurts. It's only as we grow up and learn to 'deal' with pain that we push it down into ourselves, try to ignore it and dissipate it with several methods that we'll be talking about through the course of this series.
Acceptance is also where most subspace occurs during play. When we stop fighting our reactions to the pain and really feel and experience the sensations we are receiving we can get in touch with the endorphins and adrenaline. In the third post in the series, we'll be talking about how to learn pain processing techniques to make your play more worthwhile and allow yourself to experience many levels of pain and sensation.
In the rejection method, much as you might think is where you refuse to accept pain. Because of this you only perceive a fraction of the pain.
Rejection is usually a result of being told and taught that showing pain is a sign of weakness. People who manage pain this way have trained themselves to deny the pain either consciously or subconsciously. It's likely that as a child this person was told to stop crying many times and that the pain wasn't as bad as they were making it out. Inside they learned to stuff the pain down and show no signs that something hurt. Adults that have had this processing method ingrained are ones you see who hurt themselves and are silent, squeezing their eyes shut and they visibly hold the pain in.
Another way that rejection can play out is the type that constantly tells you, "it doesn't hurt that much," while limping. Often the men of the species especially are not supposed to experience pain in the same way women do. It's not manly to cry, it's not masculine to show fear or pain. These are things our society has pushed on men.
As a masochist, rejection gets in the way of your ultimate goal which is the enjoyment of the pain. If you keep telling yourself that you can take it while tensing your muscles and clenching your teeth then you are likely rejecting the pain. If you've been trained to be motionless while receiving pain it's possible you've taught yourself a rejection technique (some people use an acceptance process for this as well).
This is the rarest pain method. Extreme masochists typically identify with this management process. You may be wondering then if so many people identify as a masochist, why is the third pain processing method so rare? Many people, including myself, are considered masochist, but once you read the third method you will really see how rare and unique some masochists are. I've never met a masochist such as this and I can't wait till I get the opportunity!
When someone devours the pain it becomes energy. The person doesn't experience pain as pain but more as raw energy or excitement. These people get a pure charge from the pain. Masochists with this processing method tend to look really happy like they are on drugs while being inflicted with pain. Instead of a cathartic feeling, a person after play that has used the pain as energy will be bubbly, energetic and in good spirits. Aftercare for a devouring bottom is different than bottoms that use the other times of processing.
Now, no matter what processing method you use, there are ways you can learn to process pain differently to enjoy pain play more fully, allow you to take more pain and to push your pain edge further. In the next couple of posts, we're going to cover pain management and how to move through it during play.
Processing Pain in Play Series
- This post: What is the Natural Process?
- Negative Pain Management Techniques
- Positive Pain Management Techniques
- Learning a Processing Technique
- What is the Benefit of Pain Anyway?
- What Can Interrupt or Block Pain Processing?
- Overcoming the False Edge
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