Why do I like being hit?

Someone asked me this today, and it made me think a lot on why I enjoy pain. I hadn’t visited the subject in a while, so it took some processing. Here’s my general thoughts on the matter.

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with pain, and it definitely depends on the purpose/context. Where did it come from? Probably, like my desire for submission, from some combination of things in my past that involved me having to maintain strict control over myself, my emotions, — too deep and not pertinent. The real question here is – Why do I choose to engage in behaviors that involve me receiving pain? A variety of reasons:

  1. Emotional release. I find it difficult to let go and cry sometimes, even when I really need to. Pain can provide an excuse to cry without feeling like I’m being irrational. It’s a catalyst, of sorts. I’ve found stingy pain gets me to this point much more quickly, but isn’t always as satisfying.
  2. Focus. I find it hard sometimes to stop thinking and just feel. Pain makes me think of only it, the person administering it, and what’s happening in the moment between us. That, in turn, allows me to just feel and enjoy things instead of over-thinking them. Additionally, if I’m really stressed or anxious about something, pain is something else I can’t help but focus on instead. (So is submitting in general, with or without pain.)
  3. Challenge. I like pushing myself, and seeing what my body can do.
  4. Fun (ie sexy) endorphins. Pain in certain places, from certain implements, with certain people can get me off in and of itself. Namely, thuddy pain in the ass region with someone I am attracted to, or any type of pain to the nipples with someone I’m attracted to, or rough body play/biting with someone I’m attracted to (notice the trend there?).
  5. Control. Pain is a physical manifestation of power exchange. Every spank can reemphasize that I am submitting to this person, that I am letting them have control over me, that I trust them not to harm me and to stop if need be. It hurts, but I’m letting them do so because it pleases them, which satisfies a deeper mental submissive desire on my end. If they enjoy hurting me, then I’ll get off on it all the more.

I am not an exhibitionist at all. I will go to public events when I know many people going in order to hang out with friends, to take a class, to play with specific equipment, or for the safety element with a newer partner. When I first got involved in the DC scene, I was much more open to casual/pick-up play, so I went out a lot. I learned quickly though that most of my motivations for play stem from deeper desires – D/s, personal expression, sexual – and I’m not very comfortable doing those things with strangers or in public. Because of that, I think 2 and 3 above are the only motivations that ever really came out in the public-playspace type setting. Maybe 4, in rarer instances.

Since that realization, I’ve only played with S&m things a handful of times. (This is also because things like 1 and 5 require much deeper trust and people who are willing to take care of what they break down, which is harder to find and do in shorter instances or with people you’re not in an ongoing relationship with.) All of the above still applies, I’ve just been much choosier in how I engage in those activities.

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Book Review: If Only by Cherise Sinclair

If Only by Cherise Sinclair

This is the eighth book in the Master of the Shadowlands series, and it was equally as awesome as the others. Synopsis from Amazon:

After the last fiasco, Sally gives up. She’ll never find a Dom of her own. Instead the computer whizz is job hunting in between bending the law–just a bit–to unearth the bastards who’d enslaved her friends. The clueless cops and Feds obviously need her help.  FBI special agents, Galen and Vance, have waited to play with Sally for a long time. When the mischievous submissive returns to the exclusive Shadowlands BDSM club after an ugly relationship, the experienced co-tops are more than pleased. Realizing she’s suppressing deep-seated emotions, the powerful Doms push her–only to find that her sassiness conceals a scarred and vulnerable heart.  Shaken by the unexpected emotional exposure, Sally flees the demanding Masters and the Shadowlands. And that should be the end of that, since both Galen and Vance have reasons not to seek a long-term relationship, especially with a submissive who doesn’t want what they can give. But when a brutal attack by her ex-Dom sends Sally into their home, the two agents are driven to protect her. To help her. To take her under command. Falling in love isn’t in the plans. But the little imp brings light into their lives, and just as they begin to want more, they discover she’s hacked into an organization that delights in burning people alive. Now more than hearts are on the line, and Sally’s submission could save her life.

I really enjoyed this book. Mystery, romance, BDSM – what’s missing? I related to the main character a good deal as well. For years, she’s played in the scene but no one ever realized she never let people see her emotions. These two Doms step up and force her to face her emotions, wants, and needs, and to vocalize them. I am much better than I used to be about that, but I still have a great deal of difficulty vocalizing my emotions or desires. Similar to the main character, I was raised in situations that trained me to never show weakness. If I expressed my pain, fear, etc., I was made to regret it pretty quickly. As such, trusting others to hear the truth and not punish me (even in a passive agressive way) is really difficult. More than that, it’s my nature now to not share, and it isn’t my consciously choosing not to, I just honestly forget to because I don’t feel like people care enough to know.

Realistically, I’ve rarely had a partner notice or seem to care that I wasn’t sharing deeper emotions, so that has kind of validated my insecure thoughts about people not caring. Someday, though, I want to be find someone who wants to be in my head. He’ll force me to vocalize and share with him, because without doing so he can’t understand me enough to know how far to push. He’ll notice if I don’t volunteer emotional responses.

Again, I’m not as bad as the character in this book, and I’m better than I used to be. I do have some people I talk to now, whereas I used to not open up to anyone. I like to think I’m looking out for my own needs enough now to discuss them. It’d be nice, though, for a Dom to call me on my tendency to hide deep thoughts.

Aside from that, I loved this quote – she’s in my head!

Favorite Quote:

“Don’t you hate that? When you give them the right to command, and they don’t?” Sally shook her head. “Would you believe one man put nipple clamps on me… and the second I squawked, he took them right off. No Dom cookies for that wussy.” But her Feds… her majorly dominating Feds would earn an entire box of chocolate chip cookies. “Oh man, I think I did a scene with that wimp. Totally forgettable.” Maxie slouched back on the leather couch. “Last month, Master Sam put clamps on me. When I whimpered, his eyes lit up, and he tightened them until I was up on tiptoes.” She gave a happy sigh. “There’s no one like a Master.”

This is why I hate when Tops ask me if I like it. I want someone to react to my fear and pain by tightening/hurting me more, and I want his eyes to light up from the desire he feels at inflicting such pain on me.

Book Review: This is Who I Am (Master of Shadowlands)

This is Who I Am (Masters of the Shadowlands 7) by Cherise Sinclair

This is the seventh of the Master of Shadowlands series, all of which have overlapping characters. Cherise Sinclair is one of my favorite erotica authors, and this is another win for her. I love Sinclair’s writing because of it’s authenticity in terms of relationship dynamics and BDSM. Furthermore, she caveats her books by telling readers to remember that in real life, men can’t read your mind – I appreciate that honesty, and it comes through in the books themselves as well. Character development is key for me, and the characters in this series all make me feel. I cry when they cry, I get turned on when they’re turned on.

This particular book is about an older woman who was kidnapped as part of a human trafficking ring and then rescued. The hero helped free her, but in doing so forced her to feel in front of slavers she’d spent months freezing out. The hero is a sadist, and the protagonist a masochist. Against her own interests, the protagonist repeatedly needs and seeks out the hero/sadist as she is forced to accept her masochism.

Aside from the jerk-off material, suspense plot line (kidnappers aren’t fully arrested), and romantic story, this book rang true to me because of the protagonist’s feelings about herself. I struggle sometimes to accept my masochism (and kink in general, at times), striving instead to be “normal.” Sinclair clearly emphasizes that what is “normal” and what is “right” don’t contradict how you process emotions and what you desire sexually. Sinclair writes about the protagonist’s foggy state of mind – when things get stressful and it’s been a while since a pain session, the world isn’t in focus. Pain helps her release and focus, let go, and feel again – not just feel at all, but feel positive feelings too. — That resonated with me strongly, because pain for me is more than an endorphin rush or surrendering of control, but it helps me feel pleasure in all aspects (not just sexual ones) when before I had disassociated.

I recommend this book to anyone into kink, or anyone interested in a good portrayal of S/m.

“She wanted that ruthless part of him. With him, she wouldn’t have to beg for more, because he’d force her to where the sharp edge between pain and pleasure slipped away, and he’d keep her there, where her soul was bared to him.”

DO:Fusion 2013

It’s taken a while for me to really want to write about this, partially because it wasn’t the most eventful of weekends kink-wise.

The weekend overall was good. I spent a lot of time at the Primal Fires, which was really cool. I enjoyed the drumming, fire spinners/dancers, and massive bonfires. I am not pagan, but I do connect to myself more in that type of situation. I also attended some of the scheduled programming, in that I went to the perv pride parade, the bare! stories event, and the burlesque show. All were enjoyable. I really liked the stories part – I love hearing about other people’s experiences. I joke, but seriously, sometimes I can be a nosy bitch.

Other milder things – I hosted an ion for board games that got a great turnout. I also did a bunch of sparklers, roasted some marshmallows, and hung out with great friends, all of which was amazing.

I had a sort of strange/disconcerting experience with play. I only played once over the weekend, with someone I’ve played with before. Some caveats: I hadn’t played since March (so 3 months), and I’ve never played fully to the point of sobbing. I’ve teared up a couple of times. I cried real tears twice, both from a singletail after just a few minutes, not from hard pushing or lengthy beatings, never from impact play. I’d also eaten only about 30 minutes prior to our scene.

I didn’t intend initially for this to be a rough scene, so I didn’t line up any friends for extra cuddles. I didn’t want to put anyone out either, especially since everyone seemed to have plans and things going on. As my prior posts indicate, I’d been in a weird space leading up to the event, and after discussing it, the Top said he’d be down pushing me to tears. I really needed to release some emotion, so I was up for it. We had a very intense (for me, at least) scene, where he was doing very heavy impact play – think paddles, spanking, punching, and crowbar. I broke down into sobs, all was well.

I’ve never needed much aftercare with him before, so we didn’t do much, and then off we went to walk around and hang out. I began feeling more and more out of it, dropping from the play. I tried to meet up with a friend to lend her support, and the pain kicked in hardcore as the adrenaline wore off. I tried to get back to our campsite, and stumbled up a hill. I somehow made it to the DXS campsite, where some friends helped up my bloodsugar and walk me back to my campsite. I got very ill en route, and passed out pretty quickly.

Lessons learned – don’t eat so near to a scene, and discuss lengthier aftercare up front.

Reality of this, though, is that I don’t want to impose on my friends for aftercare. It makes me feel pitiful, and discarded by the person I played with. I want aftercare with the person inflicting the pain. The only exception to this is when that person is part of a couple and I’m friends with them both, in which case either person works for aftercare. Otherwise, if someone can make me so vulnerable and expect so much trust, then I deserve the same in return. If they can break it, they can fix it. If someone doesn’t want to share that intimacy, I don’t want to share play.

There are people who can do that casually, as in outside of a relationship. Unfortunately, that’s hard to find. Frequently, either myself or the other person gets emotionally attached outside of the kink, and one of us doesn’t reciprocate.

So, for now, I’m being much more hesitant about play. Rope is fine, since it’s a bit more tame. A light flogging, sure, why not. Anything remotely pushing limits – I need something more. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to make that happen sooner rather than later.

Adrift

Kink isn’t just part of my sexuality. It often enhances arousal and many aspects turn me on, but it is more than that – it is how I am who I am. I have difficulty expressing myself and allowing myself to feel emotions fully – kink helps me do those things in a healthier way.

When I am bound, I have no choice but to relax. I can’t escape, I can’t move on, I can’t go somewhere else – I have to exist where I am. My mind has to accept that I am where I am, and in that I can focus and my mind can let go.

When someone hurts me, it gives me the socially acceptably opportunity to react. People think I’m easy to read, that my reactions are obvious. And, to some extent, they are – I can’t lie well, my facial reactions to things are visible. I don’t often disclose what’s below the surface. I’m scared to show my real reactions to people. I monitor and control myself all the time, just in case, to keep the peace. I want all those around me to be at optimal happiness, and I’ll do my part to get them there. It’s hard, though, always being on point. Always worrying if I’ll react inappropriately. I joke about being awkward, that’s why – I’m worried I’m reacting inappropriately. When someone hurts me, reacting is appropriate, it’s expected. It’s allowable, even appreciated. I can relax, and I can let go.

Without these things, I’m less. I’m less vibrant, and less balanced. I get more run down. I get more jaded, sad, lonely.

Sometimes I wish I had other ways of coping. Sometimes I think back to times when I did, and I wonder if I was better off. I wonder if I should be focusing on therapy, or on religion. I wonder if I should be pouring my energy into certain self improvement projects to try to get these same emotions. At the end of the day, however, this is now what I’ve become relatively reliant on for staying balanced. Unfortunately, without it, I’m at a loss. I’m adrift and I need someone to toss me a line – literally and figuratively – to rein me back in.

Story Idea and Thoughts on Play

I was fantasizing before bed last night, and I think I finally have some good inspiration for a story. On top of that, of course, it got me thinking about past experiences.

The basic premise of my to-be story is a focus on power exchange, pushing limits, and voluntarily suffering. Basically, instead of utilizing bondage to make someone helpless as in most of my writing, it would be using someone’s submission to her partner’s authority. Instead of being tied down, she must hold herself still. She must offer herself up for the things that are tormenting her – ask for them – even when she is crying from wanting them to stop.

As normally happens when I’m pondering a story idea, I started thinking about logistics, this time in the way of safewords and limits. How could the submissive character’s limits be pushed? How have my limits been pushed? Well, in truth, they’ve only been pushed a few times…I could count on one hand and precisely recall each time.

This came up a bit at Winter Fire, and I think the person I was playing with and trying to explain myself to didn’t get it at all. I’ve since tried explaining it to someone else who did seem to get it, so I’m not sure if it was me or him the first time. I could have just been too awkward to explain myself well. Anyhow, both times, I was trying a toy on my nipples that was excruciatingly painful. My nipples are very sensitive, but I do really like pain in that area. Thing is, there is pain that is pleasurable in and of itself, and then there is pain that just freaking hurts. I have a high tolerance, and I can endure the latter, but I do not desire to of my own free will. I will, however, gladly endure such pain if it pleases my partner. I will find extreme pleasure in suffering so deeply for my partner’s pleasure, mostly because of the strong sense of subjugation and power exchange. That difference – enduring for someone else versus for myself – is enough for my mind to switch all the sensations into this torturous pleasure.

So basically – put the little toy(s) on and ask me if I want it off – yes, I do. Don’t ask me and instead smile or get turned on by my pain – I’ll keep them on a little longer and won’t safeword. Should I be about to absolutely pass out from pain, I’ll safeword…but if you ask me if I want them off, of course I’m going to say yes!  Not too complicated, eh?

I guess my limits aren’t pushed usually because often, people ask me if I’m ready to stop. Usually, that’s a social cue that they’re ready to stop (or at least that’s how I take it). Most people at events have several shorter scenes, and I don’t want to monopolize anyone’s time. As a result, I’ll say sure, I’m ready to stop, even if I could go for much longer. By pushing limits, I mean I want to be pushed to the point where I want to stop, where I would beg for it to stop, and I want my partner to push just a bit farther. I want to scream and cry and plead, and have my partner revel in that power and choose when to stop as he so pleases.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to decide when clamps come off or a scene stops. I want my partner to trust that if it’s truly too much, I’ll safeword, and the rest of the time, do as he will and enjoy the hell out of it, and I’ll enjoy it equally as much in response. You are in control – stop the scene when you’re ready to be done, and I’ll stop it with a safeword if I need to. Don’t ask me when to do it or that puts me in control of everything!

#DO:WF

Wow, what a crazy weekend, and holy shit how things have changed in a year.  I’m probably going to post a few separate things to process everything going through my head, but for now, I’m going to go with a daily recap. First off, for more information on Dark Odyssey and associated events, click here or visit this group on fetlife.

Friday

I started the weekend right by taking off Friday from work. I’m very glad I did, as it gave me time to get ready, pack, go to target, and check-in/register early during the day. I was originally planning on rooming with three friends, but then last minute ended up adding a fifth person to our room. We also had two others use our room to store bags and change. It got a bit crowded, but worked out all right. I’m glad I stayed in the host hotel again, as it makes everything a little more relaxing and the whole experience sort of becomes a mini-vacation.

I went to one class on Friday, “Electricity 101 with Mister Sean.” Recurring theme of the weekend – stun guns and cattle prods scare the shit out of me. It’s the noise combined with the literal shock of it. I logically know it won’t be all that painful, but I can’t help the innate fear. (Similar to needles and knives – no matter how much I enjoy it, I’m still scared). I tried a new toy in class, a folsom tens unit. It’s a lot stronger than other toys. I’m not a fan of the jumpy muscle feeling, but I admit that with electrodes from this unit on the inner thighs it’d probably make a great orgasm.

I did a lot of socializing on Friday, from dinner at B.Smiths (fabulous!) with friends, to the burlesque review, to late night chattering. I also perused the vending, but held off on buying things to ponder it. I had one scene Friday night involving rope and some sadism, a few of my favorite things. My nipples were tormented for a good portion of our lengthy scene, and they are still bruised…I got out of the shower on Sunday and one was bleeding. I’m always a little disturbed by how fragile my nipple are. I guess I should be thankful that they’re that sensitive?

Saturday

Saturday morning started early with some coffee and Lady Aisha’s class on alternative beatings. I really enjoyed this class because it emphasized some basic themes of negotiation and how/where to hit. I had volunteered to be a demo bottom, although there really wasn’t much need for it. Some of my friends used a few of the implements on my ass, and I gave a few whacks to a friend with a paddle. I then went to the “Better Blowjobs” class. I learned a bit about human anatomy, but I was a tad disappointed that there wasn’t a demo. I also learned that petroleum/lip gloss melts condoms. After lunch, I went to a discussion circle about topping. It’s interesting to think about topping and learn about that perspective since I normally bottom. I have a list of insights that I’m going to ponder at some point.

I watched a chick flick with friends (napping…we suck at it), had some dinner, than went to the drag queen a capella show (which was AWESOME). I also bought a leather strap and acrylic paddle from vending (leather by Danny, website here), which I’m super pumped about.  Saturday was a bit stressful because a bunch of friends bought day passes, and I felt pulled in a bunch of directions. I started the play part of the evening by getting beat up on by someone new, a friend of a friend who is newer to the scene. He used his cane and my two new toys, and it was really fun. I love the acrylic paddle because it can deliver thud and sting, and it’s easy for people to be a bit heavy-handed with it. Plus it’s pretty! All that aside, this was a second play instance where the person hurting me had a shit-eating grin, and that just makes me all happy inside. I love being hurt by people who are clearly having fun doing it.

After that, I had a very intense scene with someone else I’d never played with before. I probably needed more build up during that scene, but I think that was the highest number of times I’ve had to yellow before. I was tearing up/on the verge of sobbing, and I hadn’t expected that. Recurring theme of the weekend 2 – beating my calves is going to be a soft limit from now on, as are single-tails.

I socialized a bit more and came down from that scene, then I decided to go see what some friends were up to. I gathered my courage and went to a “sexy funtime party.” Last year, I went to this party and was a bit freaked out and awkward the whole time.  A lot has changed since then. Context here, is that normally I’m pretty sexually reserved. I don’t usually do a lot of sexual play outside of lengthy friendship/relationships. That said, I was really amped up this weekend, and honestly, I wanted to get down and dirty. There was some internal debate about whether or not people would judge me if I got slutty, but by Saturday night I’d gotten to the “fuck you if you judge me” stage and figured why the hell not. (To clarify, when I talk about slutty for me, it’s anything more than making out with someone when I don’t know them very, very well.) I went to the party, drank a bit, flirted, got beat on by a good friend, and did some sexy things with a few other friends. I’m not usually one for public sexual activity either, so I was a little embarrassed that a few people I didn’t know too well saw me doing some things…but all the same, lots of fun :).

Sunday

Since I was up until 5am at that party, Sunday morning was not my friend. I did drag my ass out of bed to go to an 11:30 rope class. I’m glad I did, too, because I learned a few new ties that I can use and enjoy. I also got super rope spaced out from a simple elbow bondage tie…what can I say, I really like restrictive rope bondage. After lunch, I crashed and ended up passing out for several hours. I was disappointed in myself for missing a few classes, but I also needed to get sleep or I knew I wouldn’t make it through the night. There was dinner, then the gender blender show.

My first scene Sunday was a casual thing to test out my switchy side. I’d had one scene where I cotopped a guy, but it was mainly sensual teasing with a wartenburg wheel, and it was different because my partner in crime was his longtime partner. This time, a really good friend and I beat up on another friend. We were all cracking up hysterically the entire time, which was really entertaining. I need to learn a bit more about where to not hit, but I quite enjoyed getting a bit sadistic. (Third recurring theme: I’m a bit of a sadist.)

I then went to get hurt by a female top I know. It was really intense, and involved lots of screaming on my end. I was shaking for at least 30 minutes afterwards, but really enjoyed it. I followed that up with socializing, then violet wand play with a couple I know from Rapture. I really enjoy the violet wand – the shocks surprise me, which makes me giggle, and the pain is all sensual for me. I really want to try out some conductive rope at some point.

Weekend Thoughts

I need to have a little less stress next time. That means 1) less people in the room, or only people I know uber well, 2) more sleep, or scheduled naptime 3) more liquids! and 4) firmer “no”s and less vague commitments.

I’m switchy. I don’t have any desire to be “Dominant” and be on the top-side of power exchange in a D/s context, but I like teasing and hurting people that enjoy it, and I don’t mind occasionally having people at my mercy. So, ideally, I’d be in a relationship with a guy where I was primarily his sub, but then maybe occasionally I could have my way with him or  together/separately we could top another mutual friend. I don’t know, but the evolution continues.

Pain to my calves hurts like a motherfucker and is a new soft limit. Single tails are a new soft limit because they cause instant tears. Fear gets me going – someone scared the hell out of me with a stun gun, but the look in his eyes and the vulnerability turned me on something fierce.

More sexy fun things!