Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hurts So Good

Ouch! Ahhhhhh! What’s it all about pain and pleasure? When I try to explain to someone that, yes, pain can bring about pleasure during a sexual experience, I get that “look”. So, the science geek in me had to do a little research to prove my point. Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns gives an excellent explanation of four types or four levels of pain that might be experienced during a BDSM scene.
Total Conversion – No pain is experienced because the person is brought up so slowly to the pain from soft caresses, to erotic touching and teasing, to light strokes and eventually whipping. The bottom’s experiences the strikes from the whip as an erotic massage and sexual arousal increases. The top initiates the level of pain stimulation in sync with and slightly below the level of sexual stimulation, so the bottom is not aware of the pain. A very skilled top or dominate, I’d say.
Contrapolar Stimulation – This technique of a mixture of pleasure and pain is a gradual buildup, starting at a harsher level than the one above. This is the “hurts so good” pain. There’s some pain but just enough to stimulate sexual tension.
Derivative Pleasure– Not everyone will like this type of play. It’s deliberately painful and to some can be quite pleasurable, to others, not so much. Whatever is your kink. Pain is caused by the use of whip, paddle, slapper, cane, riding crop, etc. Pain also stimulates the body to secrete endorphins, pain-reducing chemicals and can give the person a high, called flying.
Punitive Pain– Is for the experienced SM player. Some submissives attain satisfaction from enduring pain without the physical pleasure.
As with any aspect of the BDSM lifestyle, the safe, sane and consensual rule holds here, and what’s your kink isn’t necessarily my kink. But don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it.


  1. Oh I have the book Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns....ya know, for research purposes. *cough* But yes, something that thrills one person may not do it for another. There is so much you can do in a scene, it never has to be the same twice.

  2. I love seeing this spelled out in this list. Makes me realize what I tend to write about. Somehow I always neglect total conversion. But I've even included Punitive Pain usually because my characters need it symbolically for coping with what they've thought of as their transgressions. I imagine the term pain slut fits best with the Derivative Pleasure category.

  3. I found these four categories interesting, especially when it comes to writing BDSM stories. I think you're right about pain slut fitting into the Derivative P category. I think that's where my character in Emerald Dungeon fits.