Tuesday 22 February 2011

submission, pain and masochism

I have written about pain before here. However a conversation with an online friend has got me thinking about it again.

There is a big difference between a submissive and a masochist. There is no reason why a submissive should enjoy pain whereas a masochist revels in it.

Few of us will seek out pain except under special circumstances. However the masochist - and also the sub who begins to learn the pleasure of pain - know of the endorphins that are released that can take one to a special place.

That can be rare for many. It is also different from submission. I think though that the acceptance of pain can be enjoyed by a submissive without the endorphine rush as part of the submissive act. The fact that one would normally avoid pain (after all it is a natural sensation to warn us of danger and potential damage) makes it a very submissive act to accept pain from one's Dom. It can become a measure of the submission - a proof of the depth of it - an acceptance of control and the will of their Master.

So the pleasure in pain can be just a delight in one's own acceptance of control and the will of one's Master. If it were pleasureable in itself then perhaps it would not show and illustrate that acceptance of control and domination - the will to please one's Master despite the pain.

So the pain for a sub who is not naturally a masochist may be very different. However I wonder if this pleasure in accepting pain for a Master turns eventually into accepting pain as a pleasure in its own right. The fact that one is pleasing one's Master though accepting pain gives pleasure and satisfaction that leads one to seek it out ...

... does one then become a masochist?

For a sub in domestic discipline perhaps it is different again. In such cases a spanking or other beating is to control - to punish inappropriate behaviour. If one began to enjoy the spankings ... then surely it would no longer be a punishment and the discipline has gone?

Forgive these initial fumblings. It is a complex subject and I am eager to hear from readers. I have tried to write this from the perspective of the sub - and I have no experience of this. I will try to write later from the perspective of the Dom.

But for now - the sub's perspective. Am I wide of the mark?


mouse said...

No Sir, this mouse agrees with what you say. There are subs who like pain...there are masochists who have no interest in submission outside a masochistic scene. For this mouse, she was really taught to crave pain and to need it for her emotional well-being.


Anonymous said...

Your post got kytten to thinking, and she linked to it in her blog (she hopes You do not mind, Sir). Pain is not a part of her relationship with her Dom...as yet...but she thinks about it and wonders if she is a masochist as well as a submissive. Merely establishing that there is a line--if a fine one--between the two was helpful in her thinking.

Pygar said...

Thank you mouse and kytten for your personal perspectives.

Of course I do not mind you linking to me kytten - I regard it as a compliment. Thank you.

P xx

nbs said...

I've only in the last year realized how much I need/want pain as a part of my submission to Sir.

I've had a hard time accepting this but now that I have, it is easier.

Not "easy" to take the pain perhaps, but "easy" to look back and say oh yes that was wonderful and felt so ..good.

I'm a bit muddled with a feverish flu so if this makes no sense perhaps I should delete and try again later in the week!

Pygar said...

Thank you nancy for taking the time to write when you have flu. I do hope you are feeling better soon.

Your comment does make sense so please don't worry. I am interested how you and others have learned to desire and need pain. So thank you for writing about it.

However, do feel free to write again later in the week if more thoughts come to mind.

P xx

blossom said...

Hi Sir

i personnally dont crave pain, but on a few occasions i did experience nipple torture, one time extreme torture and the feelings that flowed through me when my nipples were released was amazing, i was quite surprise at how well i took this type of play on, but the rush of endorphins on the relase of each nipple was undescribable, as well as the after feelings. I dont know though if this is something that i would like to experience all the time or would i??? i really dont know, its so easy to take the path of no pain but its exciting to push oneself that little bit further. Would i be a masochist, not just yet...lol, but it was exciting.

blossom xx

Unknown said...

Subs don't have to be masochists to enjoy the "act" of receiving pain; like you say, it's the joy in feeling that power exchanged that is reaffirmed in discipline.
Masochists don't have to be submissive. Some just like pain.

The same I think goes for Doms. A Dom don't have to be a sadist to give pain -some do it just beacause their sub likes it, but don't gain any sexual satisfaction from it for themselves. And a lot of Doms use pain as a tool to re-establish the roles and/or to punish.

Now, I consider myself to be a masochistic submissive. I didn't know of my masochistic side before I started my submissive journey, well not the extent of it atleast.

But I am both. I love the pain. And I need the powerexchange. Sometimes I even need the pain.

I want and need to submit, and with that submission pain comes more like a benefit (even if it is for punishment).

That's the beauty with TTWD, there are so many variations of the theme, and still they all tend to go hand-in-hand somehow.

*hugs* /L.

Anonymous said...

I experimented with mild pain (clothespins, clit slapping with a wooden spoon, etc.) during masturbation well before I had my first experience with a Dom. I found I enjoyed the mixture of pleasure and pain. Endorphins take time to kick in so part of my acceptance of pain is an act of submission; however, the endorphins are also part of the attraction for me. That being said, I am not into being bruised and there are limits to the pain level I will accept and which methods I will accept. For instance, I enjoy being spanked, especially with an open hand, but if my face was struck with an open hand, I'd likely slug righrt back. (Can you tell I was bullied as a child?) I consider myself to be a submissive with mild masochist tendencies.

Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy your thought-provoking topics. :-)

Pygar said...

Thank you blossom, MewToThisLife07 and SubRosaNoMore for your fascinating individual perspectives. It is very interesting to read these different individual experiences.

Thanks also SubRosaNoMore. I am pleased you are enjoying the blog.

P xx

DanesWood said...

I wouldn't consider myself a masochist at all, yet I do enjoy low levels of pain to enhance my pleasure.

The relationship I have with my Master is however tied up with suffering whatever pain he chooses to inflict on me.

Part of my submission is about enduring to give him pleasure and it's part of my trust in him that he will not abuse that.

Do some subs become masochists? I would say yes, as some Dom/mes become sadists as they learn what effect pain can have.

Pygar said...

Thank you very much DanesWood. I think you encapsulate the position of many subs on this subject very well.

I hope to go on to write about Doms, pain and sadism soon!

- P xx

@Theprincesswife said...

I love reading about others ruminations about masochism and thoughts regarding that subject. I personally find so many fine lines and nuances that blend both my submission and masochism. There is no way for me to pull them apart and say one is a different state of being then the other.

Thank you for a thought provoking post. It's a pleasure to come across.

Pygar said...

Thank you @Theprincesswife.

It is always good to see things from the perspective of others. We can all learn.

I am pleased if you have enjoyed reading the post and that it has stimulated your thoughts.

P xx

EMGEE said...

i often into emotional pain, then, im a maso but pain has limits

Pygar said...

Emotional pain is a whole new dimension ♥LETRENTEAVRIL♥ - thank you for raising it.

You also mention masochism - but make the point that pain has its limits which of course must be true.

Thank you for your comment which has helped bring together a few thoughts I had been having for a new post.

P xx

trashmaster46 said...

Context changes a lot of things. Creating an environment in which it's about more than just the pain makes it... easier? to take the pain. Mixing the pain with the service - taking the pain for a 'reason' - means you're not just taking the pain for its own sake. Mind you, masochists aren't necessarily looking for 'random' pain. They have contexts in which they prefer to receive pain as well. But if your primary purpose for taking the pain is for someone else and not so much for yourself, I suspect the word "masochist" isn't the best identifier. One can develop into a masochist, but just because one takes a lot of pain doesn't inherently create a masochist.

Pygar said...

Thank you trashmaster46. I think you analyse it very well. It is not the ability to accept pain that makes one a masochist - it is the desire to revel in it!

- P

Anonymous said...

You are right Kind Dom. I am a masochist. I have played with being submissive and it never lasts long as my spirit is not truly submissive. I have loved Dommes in the past and had wonderful relationships with them but at some point I pull the collar off and need equality in the relationship.

I've learned that it is not the emotional submission that I crave but the actual physical pain, and sometimes shame too. This can involve anything up to and including bloodplay. I am turned on by experiencing physical pain.

Being a masochist can make you a danger to yourself, especially if you haven't learned to control yourself and your urges. I have had near-death experiences that also rank among my most powerful sexual moments.

I have had tons of therapy and now understand why I crave these things. I have no desire to stop this craving, but I do try to keep the relationships and play healthy now. It seems to be working.

There is nothing wrong with a Master/submissive relationship. It's just not for me, at least not beyond a play session.

Pygar said...

Thank you anonymous. I am interested that you agree with my thoughts that submission and masochism are separate. Your personal experience of this is very special.

I suppose part of me though worries about the masochist who craves pain for its own sake. You explain that being a masochist can make you a danger to yourself and that you have had lots of therapy.

This has made you strong enough to control your cravings and keep yourself safe.

I worry though for those masochists who may not have learned your strength.

Good luck

- P xx

Pet said...


Is this comment a bit late? I'd like to mention I love the way you wrote... That may seem odd, but I have a writing fetish (not sexually... :P)
Either way, I wonder about your ideas on submissives and masochists. I've known that I'm submissive for far too long, but I've only recently realized that I might be a masochist as well.

This is something that bothers me, not because I feel uneasy with my own preferences, but because I'm not sure whether or not I am one, and I don't really understand the difference that well.

I do know that when I get lonely or my emotions pile up I sometimes turn self-destructive. I'd hurt myself just to release my pent up energy. Is that a masochistic thing, or do I just have mental problems?

Needless to say, I feel a bit confused. I hope you could clear this dilemma up for me?


Pygar said...

Thank you Pet. Comments are always welcome however late. I am pleased that older posts still create interest.

I will copy your comment soon into a post on my Uncle Agony blog with a more detailed response from me.

However your comment has stimulated a post on the more general issues here.

Pygar said...

I have started a discussion about Pet's comment on Uncle Agony here.

Anonymous said...

Idk if this website is still running, but I havent yet spoke to a true Dominant Perse, all the so called 'Dominants' ive had, ive had to teach them how to be dominant - really didn't make me feel submissive at all.
I want to know something if I may ask you Sir: I purposely try to be bad inorder to get punished... my ultimate goal in this is that I'm so scared to disobey him that I obey him.... I want to be scared, it turns me on... Is that submissive or weird?
I also am masochistic...
And also is wanting to be tied up and. tickled Weird? Because that is my ultimateffantasy ever.
I hope you write back to me Sir, it would be an absolute honour to speak with a REAL dominant...
kindest regards,

Pygar said...

I think that being purposefully bad in order to get punished is sometimes referred to as "topping from the bottom". It raises the question of who really is in charge.

It seems you have needed to do this as you have not yet found anyone strong enough to truly dominate you.

Good luck on your search.

P xx

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for your reply, IM honoured to speak to such a man, I truly am.
how would I go about finding these true powerful dominants? Do they have certain characteristics or mannerisms?
do they know IM submissive? Is there anything I can do to make itmore obvious?
sorry about all the questions, I still am very new to this.
thankyou again for speaking with me...
xx :)
love Lauren

Pygar said...

Thank you Lauren.

You might find these links useful. They are to discussions on my Uncle Agony blog that relate to your questions.

Where are real-life Doms?
How do I find a Dom?

If you want to discuss this further you may be better emailing me directly. The address is at the side of the page - or xpygarx@gmail.com.

Good luck!

- P xx

Anonymous said...

Hey pygar, it's me again..Lauren..

a certain personal life event has made me come to realise that I, in general life, am very controlling, yet I yearn to be controlled by a man...
by being controlling in every other aspect of my life... And also wanting to be submissive at the same time... I feel it is wrong?
I associate being submissive also with being feminine... And by being controlling I feel like I am going against my sex and this also feels wrong...
pygar, can you please help me and give me some of your insight.

Pygar said...

Thanks Lauren for your questions. I shall respond soon on an Uncle Agony post.

- P xx

Pygar said...

I have put Lauren's questions to readers for discussion on Uncle Agony here.