Endorphins are our friends!

I have anxiety issues.  I overthink things all the time and get lost in my own churning thoughts so thoroughly that some nights I can’t sleep.  Thanks to Minx, I’ve realized that intense physical sensations help me get out of my head; I find it literally impossible to maintain any kind of thought process if I’m, for instance, being massaged or getting vigorously fucked, and the silence in my brain during those moments is a tremendous relief.  Physical pleasure has saved me from myself on many, many occasions now and I can’t believe I never made the connection until recently.

Here’s where it gets weird for me: pain has the same effect.

I mean, duh, right?  Of course I can’t think straight if something’s hurting me – that’s pretty much a standard feature of human beings.  But what it all boils down to is that now, when I’m feeling caught in one of my neverending anxiety-loop things, I sometimes crave pain.  And since I associate craving pain with being submissive, this makes me feel all conflicted.

You see, I’ve had people question my dominant orientation because I enjoy missionary and doggie style and because I’m somewhat shy in social situations and, y’know, because I’m a woman…and now there’s a whole new reason for people to smirk, condescend to me, and completely dismiss my stated identity.  And I hate that.

Ozymandias blogged a while back that zie identifies as dominant and a masochist, which made me realize for the first time ever that masochism and submission aren’t inherently intertwined*.  More recently, Stabbity eloquently exploded the whole “if you like being on the bottom, you must not be a domme” stereotype into a bajillion pieces.  So there are at least two people out there who pretty much get where I’m coming from and won’t accuse me of being a sub or switch just because Minx whacked the bottoms of my feet today until I was woozy with endorphins.

To everyone else (and to myself, since I obviously need the reinforcement) I want to clarify a few things: the occasional pain I request from Minx happens in a completely neutral context.  There’s no dynamic of “you’ve been a naughty girl” or “MUAH HA HA, YOU’RE AT MY MERCY!”   There’s no safeword, because I have no interest in getting my limits pushed or in being able to scream/struggle while Minx ignores my distress.  There’s simply Minx doing whatever I tell him to do, until I tell him to stop.  The pain doesn’t turn me on at all**; as previously mentioned, it just makes it so I stop thinking for a while, and releases happy chemicals into my brain.  Also, I don’t crave pain every time my brain gets all twirly.  Sometimes I need to be caressed.  Just depends on the day.

Now that that’s out of the way…have you ever had the sole of your foot walloped with a paddle?  Right in the arch – POW.  It feels explosively thuddy and seems to loosen up any tight muscles (when I get stressed I often feel it mostly in my feet).  It’s not something I want every day, but it’s pretty awesome.

Also awesome?  Getting my trapezius muscle (where my neck meets my shoulder) squeezed really hard.  I always enjoy this, so Minx will do it randomly without waiting to be asked.  For some reason, though, my reptilian hindbrain interprets his shoulder-squeezes as a challenge or a threat or something; I get all snarly and trash-talky  (“Is that all you got, motherfucker?  Come on, bitch, give it to me.”***).  So, good times all around.

*I know that not all subs are into pain, but I assumed that anyone who’s into pain must be a sub.

**Although even if it did, that still wouldn’t make me a sub.

***Yes, I’ve also been known to talk like that in bed.  Sometimes very loudly.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Endorphins are our friends!

  1. You seem to have a much more pleasant reaction to bastinado than most. I suspect the use of a paddle to spread the impact helps.

    • Oh, a cane or other skinny object would kill me. Gotta be a hand or paddle.

      I actually got the idea of foot-spanking (though I didn’t know it had a name) from the movie Midnight Express, where it’s a torture method used in a Turkish prison. I asked my then-husband to smack the soles of my feet, and he did, and I liked it…but then mostly forgot the whole thing until recently.

  2. Kaija

    Yes, yes! I was also very happy and relieved to discover (by reading fetish mags and blogs) that masochism and submissiveness can be two very different things, though they overlap for some. I am soooo not naturally submissive, though I can and will switch for variety and being GGG, but my version is more about being held down, tied up, feeling (good) pain, and being turned on by the struggle. I like intense sensations, and I can and do seek that out in various areas (really intense workouts, for example…similar endorphin release and head-clearing) outside of sex. However, I do not respond to domination or degradation, except in a very negative “Yeah, now I’m pissed and going to KICK YOUR ASS!” way, which is my inner dominant asserting itself….LOL!

    Short version: You like what you like and if it works for you, yahoo! 🙂

    • my version is more about being held down, tied up, feeling (good) pain, and being turned on by the struggle.

      If I were going to try to switch, this is the only way I could do it. And only if my partner genuinely had to work to keep me down.

      Bah, who am I kidding, probably not even then. The idea of wrestling/struggling with a guy is terribly sexy, but feeling overpowered or helpless is a major trigger for me…things can tip from “fun” over into “GAH GET THE FUCK OFF ME I’M FREAKING OUT” really easily.

  3. Of course, now I’ve been getting more submissive, possibly as part of my libido’s attempt to acquire every fetish on the entire planet. 🙂

    What’s interesting to me is that I savor pain, but I don’t enjoy it. The pain of a spanking itself doesn’t feel good to me, yet I enjoy a spanking, without any psychological games that would obviously explain it.

    • What’s interesting to me is that I savor pain, but I don’t enjoy it.

      Hmm. Put that way, I…don’t know whether getting spanked actually feels good to me. I crave it sometimes, and it definitely gets me high, but I honestly couldn’t say whether the sensation itself is good or just…intense. I’m pretty sure it’s just the brain-chemicals I crave, really.

  4. Dev

    I’m a dominant masochist too. My best summary of my thoughts on this are here: http://delvingintodeviance.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/the-devaluation-of-male-submission/

    It’s interesting that it’s not sexual for you. That doesn’t take away from it being a form of Domming, but it’s interesting nonetheless because it is sexual for me, just not in a humiliation/degradation/submission way. I can definitely relate to getting out of your head too. I’m pretty anxious myself, so sex and pain are indeed good ways to just shut off and be sometimes.

    • I read that post a while ago, Dev, but was agreeing so hard with the “subs are awesome” part that I glossed right over the “I’m a dominant masochist” part. Thanks for refreshing my memory!

      Btw this part in particular gives me goosebumps:

      Exterior trappings or individual acts are not what make dominance and submission. It is the connection, the control; one person leading another on a journey of trust and intimacy. I am the one who leads.

      Fuck yeah.

  5. A huge part of whether I look forward to a scheduled workout or dread it and drag myself through it involves whether I have a load of anxiety I can’t do anything about to shed. If I do, it’s therapy; what I do is usually something intense where I have to really worry about muscular failure or smacking hard into a cardiovascular wall, so it fills that “can’t think of anything but !!!!!! and it’s SUCH A RELIEF” qualification. If not, it’s just an unpleasant thing to get through because it’s good for me.

    I feel the same about tattoo sessions. I’ve got one arm inked from shoulder to elbow and a leg from knee to ankle, and about to start on a full back piece. Whether the session is fantastic catharsis or just three hours of pain depends on if I have a load to put down.

    Doesn’t apply to sex for me- polarized power dynamics and deliberate pain don’t hit any of my buttons- but I definitely identify with the principle.

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