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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Dating in the District, gone Kinky.

I’ve been told by my roommate and a few friends that I date a lot. I sort of laughed, because really, I don’t think I date much at all. I guess comparatively I do, because vanilla friends don’t really date. They’re either dating someone, or they aren’t dating at all. (Sidenote – how do they get to one without the other? Does not compute.)

In the kinky community, people are more vocal about what they are seeking, and seemingly everyone is seeking something, whether it be play partners, sex partners, or primary partners. Sex and love are primary focuses, and it’s not taboo to be interested in them like it often is in the vanilla world. I get used to that culture sometimes, and forget it’s apparently weird to date a “lot.”

Anyhow, that aside, I’ve gone out with 8 distinct men in the last 7 months, the most recent of which was a 3-month long thing. There were a few other “interests” in that time, in the flirting/group dating/kinky play way, but not in a romantic way.

I’ve got entertaining stories, but I learned some important lessons.

From the casual dates, I learned the following: I need to date someone who is self-sufficient, including able to handle logistics. You need to be able to get from point A to point B in an efficient way, and not depend on me to figure that out. Cars help. Taxis and metro exist for a reason, as does Zipcar. Figure it out. Second, I’m not quite to the point where I’m willing to handle young children. Third, I’m very hesitant to get involved with recent widowers or divorcees. Fourth, jobs help… Fifth, I need someone within 15 years of my age.

From the most recent 3-monther, I learned the following: On a personality level, a willingness to try new things, honesty/bluntness, passion, decisiveness, and humor matter a lot to me. Interest in stand up comedy, board games, travel, new restaurants, and books/movies/TV (some combination thereof) will keep us compatible. A focus on long-term commitment, and solid values appeal to me.

What has really stood out wasn’t just from this time period, but is reflective of the last several years. Namely, I’ve gone out/been involved (in real time) with six “Dominant” men. It totally fucks with my worldview, for some reason. When I’m with these men, I don’t act like myself at all. I get emotionally involved way too quickly. I’m turned on at the slightest of touches, my sex drive active in ways it never normally is. I don’t speak up for myself, joke the way I normally do, or take initiative in ways I normally do. Basically, I get so freaked by the D/s potential that I don’t know how to act, and I stifle myself. The issue: when I’m myself, people like me, but I’m not myself when I like people.

Of those six men, one never had a chance since I moved right after we met. Another was poly, so that didn’t go anywhere since I’m not. Another was arrogant, young, and way too slow on initiating physical affection. The other three were bigger fuck-ups.  One involved pressured sex and edge play I didn’t consent to. One involved someone not being honest about his emotions, trying for too much control too soon, and attacking my worth. The last was my fail, in that I got so awkward about life that I forgot to be myself.

I need to learn to ignore the whole D/s thing until I agree to be in an established D/s dynamic. I get that logically, but emotionally and sexually I need to acknowledge that. The problem is, my sex drive sort of staggers along with men, but when there’s power exchange, I respond quickly. Shitty self-worth guy was shitty, but helped me realize that my interest in orgasm denial is a very real thing – I have no issues staggering along when that component is there.

Sooo I may not know how I’ll fit into a D/s relationship with my in-control self, but I do know that interest is most certainly there. The last longer dating endeavor ended more than anything from a lack of sexual chemistry on my end, and it was beyond kink. He was willing to learn kinky things. I had issues with other personality and compatibility things, but he was a great guy, bright, involved, and willing to go along with a lot. He just wasn’t very  decisive and lacked initiative. Those outside-the-bedroom traits leaked into my interpretation of bedroom things, to the point that rope wouldn’t have fixed it. It isn’t the rope, or the spanking – it’s the attitude that goes with it. I want someone to fuck with me, to tease me, to relish taking control from me. Otherwise, getting off is more work than play. The first interactions are fine, because they have an element of discovery that makes the whole attitude thing less important…but later on, it’s unfortunately necessary.

I just wish that there was a way to vocalize and apologize for the uber-awkward moments that stem from me not knowing what the fuck to do with myself with openly Dominant men. Or, you know, find someone who realizes thats what’s happening and exploits the shit out of it in a way that’s mutually hot. That would work too.

Interesting Article

Christian Kink: Why Traditional Religion and Non-Traditional Sex Are a Good Match

Not sure if I agree with the author entirely, but the parallels between religion and kink are interesting and apt. I agree that a religious history with an emphasis on service and ordeals for transcendence does resonate in my kink self. I disagree, however, in seeing kink as part of my spiritual practice. If anything, that perspective just reinforces that I may be using one as a substitute for the other. While my passion and faith in others isn’t negative, it isn’t a practice I’m using to exalt God, and thus it isn’t part of my spiritual practice.

#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!

It’s a New Year!

I haven’t posted about what’s going on or anything like that in a while, so here’s a random assortment of things.

First, went snow tubing this weekend, which was a blast. Restaurant week was just announced, and I got super excited and made a bunch of reservations before even committing people to go to them. Work has mildly improved, because I was finally able to figure out a way for my bosses to take ownership a bit – and thereby take the burden off of me – and our senior-most person just resigned. I got super-cheap transit tickets to NYC for the end of March and I have a free place to stay. I might be able to go to Puerto Rico for cheap too :).

Kink-wise, I’ve been making it a point to go to DC Rope events and Rapture things, but that’s about it. I’m sick of going to events that focus on pick-up play because I can’t relax and be that intimate with people at the drop of a hat. I need to find events and happy hours to go to where I can meet potential kinky partners that doesn’t involve sexual situations, but easier said than done.

Generally, I feel relatively on top of things and happy about that. I also keep feeling more than a little emotionally detached from things, which isn’t good at all. The lack of sunshine in my days, the stress at work for so long, and the lack of any romantic interest is getting to me. I’m not depressed, just out of sorts a tad.

Currently very much into: planning recipes and Goodreads.

Highly Recommended: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Zedd

Stumbled Upon Quotes:

“A person who feels that he isn’t worth listening to will speak quickly, because he doesn’t want to keep others waiting on something not worthy of listening to.” -Zen Habits

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” -Bill Cosby

“You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.” -Erin Gloria Ryan

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” -Karl Marx

7/31 Rapture! (And growing up.)

Rapture was this past weekend, and I had a blast as usual. It took a bit of jager and some hip hop, but I let loose and danced for about an hour.  My general whiteness, prudishness, and pudginess keep people from thinking I can dance, but I can bust a move. I was blessed with good rhythm, took dance classes when I was young, and did choreographed competitive routines in high school. (Plus, all people from my area of the Midwest dance like they do in Detroit. Our high school dances were all bump-and-grind, at least until chaperones forcibly stopped us.)  So, I danced! I danced with women, I danced with men, I gave lap dances – all in a corset! Predictably, the next morning my thighs were incredibly sore from dropping it like it was hot.

I also played again with needles…and I climaxed just from that. Talk about endorphins! It still amazes me that I can react that way to pain, let alone to needles. I hate needles! They scare me, puncturing skin squicks me out, and I don’t like blood. Throughout play, I’m squeezing someone’s hand or a table with a death grip, and I squeak a bit, but it also sends all sorts of tingly messages elsewhere in my body. Plus, with the gauge of needle we used, there were no marks and no real lingering soreness, making it far too simple to use this is a way to fill my occasional pain cravings. 

Otherwise, as I alluded to a bit ago, I ended things with vanilla guy (finally). I may have gotten a tad over-anxious in the lead-up to that…I definitely used friends and google as resources. I eventually ended up with something about how it was missing the connection I was seeking in a longer-term partner. While true, it still kind of sucked. Thankfully, he was really civil and nice about the whole thing, and I’m proud of myself for growing up, owning my feelings, and not wasting his or my time.

Honestly though, it’s amazing to me how you can get along with someone so well yet still not necessarily feel any sexual attraction to them. It’s even harder to comprehend sometimes how one person can feel something strongly when another doesn’t. I feel like it’s so rare to find someone you mesh with on all levels, including sexually, and to have both people acknowledge it and be ready and able to develop a relationship. Those who have found that, treasure it.

As part of the ‘nilla “break-up,” I caught up with my vanilla BFF who always has this incredible knack of putting my life in perspective. She’s the strongest Christian I know, and yet she’s also the one who knows the most details about my kinky interactions. She’s amazing. Sometimes, I think she knows me better than I know myself. I tend to look after her like a big sister.  I’ve been kind of on-edge since a few weeks before graduation, stuck in this go-go-go cycle. Basically, my irrational, unfounded fear of not having plans or friends post-grad resulted in me fostering so many relationships that now I’m overwhelmed with plans.

Basically, my fear of being alone left me with no time to be alone, and now I’m craving that alone time. It’s twisted. I genuinely like my varied friend groups, I have fun with them, and I want to hang out with them. Thing is, I have my grad school folks and my kinky folks, kinky events and dating, and then the “catch-up” and “new” people. Fake sister pointed out that if I haven’t seen someone in months or years, they can wait a while longer if it means I have more time to myself. Valid point.

Essentially, I need to prioritize getting my shit together, and start establishing a routine. I need to formalize a laundry day and grocery day, make lunches in advance, and fit in time for the gym (maybe overlap it with catching up on favorite shows?) on top of my social life. I’ve been prioritizing the social life, which while fun, ends up draining energy and making me feel anxious for missing the rest of things…plus it’s costly and not always healthiest.

7/15

Holy hell new experiences!

First, I now know how to drive some stunt tricks and how to shoot a variety of guns. I know how to tie tourniquets, do CPR, and do a variety of bandages and medical triage procedures. It’s been a long week, but I do feel better equipped to handle emergencies. I also am considerably more confident when driving.

Second, I went on a weekend trip with some kinky friends, and it was amazing! I was a little worried that I’d be the 7th wheel, but you’d have to try really hard to feel like that with this group of people. Instead, the weekend was awesome, and full of new experiences and sexy fun times.

I expanded on my very hesitant exploration of bisexuality. I made out with almost everyone there (letting out my inner slut a little bit…), including the women. I helped hitachi a girl, although I was a bit hesitant with that. Women went down on me – well, women and men went down on me – and I had screaming orgasms. I let my inner stripper self come out, and got down and dirty with some dance songs. I love dancing, it’s exhilarating and makes me feel sexy.

I also had it reinforced that I really cannot handle large man parts. I’m debating asking my girl doctor if there is anything they can do to facilitate sexy fun times without unwanted pain.

Basically, it was a weekend of debauchery. I’m surprisingly not concerned with my slutty-ness, at least not yet. We’ll see how these feelings progress as the week goes on :).