No matter what scene you construct out of your power playing preferences, your role as the submissive is to give up responsibility for what’s going on; to step into the role created for you. You don’t ever have to worry about your physical or emotional safety because your limits have been communicated and agreed to by the dominant.
Because you decide what places can and cannot be explored, you can call a halt to everything at a second’s notice. This knowledge gives you the ability to fully let go, to surrender to what happens next, without having any responsibility for it.
As noted before, the creamy center isn’t necessarily in the details. If you’re getting tied up you may or may not like the feel of a scarf or a rope against your skin, but you’ll love the physical sensation of being confined.
It’s a form of erotic helplessness. It’s knowing that you have no choice but to submit, that your lover has free rein over your body.
It might even give you permission to enjoy what you normally wouldn’t allow yourself to enjoy (“What could I do? I had no choice. I was tied up”).
Was It Good For You?
Context is everything. Getting a light spanking when you’re aroused feels different than getting it when you’re not. Even pleasant sensations are contextual.
Getting your back scratched, for example, can feel yummy, neutral or downright awful depending on the circumstances. It’s great if you’re comfortable, awful if you’re sweating. It’s a turn-on if the Playgirl centerfold does the scratching; a turn-off if it’s Quasimodo. It’s a relief if you have a mosquito bite; a terror if you have a sunburn.
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Every form of stimulation is context-dependent and pain is no exception. The right kind of pain with the right kind of buildup from the right kind of person during the right state of arousal can be the hottest thing you’ll ever experience.
It is well known that pain releases endorphins, a brain chemical that leads to euphoria. It’s primarily responsible for the “runner’s high” that comes with prolonged exercise. You can also see it at work when you eat chili peppers. The spicier the pepper the more your body secretes endorphins. It doesn’t mean you should run out and eat five-alarm chili peppers but it does explain why some people are drawn to pain.
Endorphin release varies from person to person. Two people doing the same type of exercise or suffering from the same degree of pain will not necessarily produce the same levels of endorphins. That is a major reason why some people find pain (in the right context) highly arousing and others don’t.
From a psychological point of view, pain forces out all other thoughts, feelings and stresses. It gets your attention and makes you focus. If you want to find out if it’s right for you, there’s a right way and a wrong way of going about it.
The wrong way is to take pain out of context. It will only be pleasant if you’re near the throes of ecstasy. Do not get slapped, smacked or spanked unless you’re aroused. Otherwise it will hurt like hell.
Pain is contextual. Sexual arousal changes the perception of pain. Taking a bite out of a hot pepper is going to be a completely different experience than tasting the right amount of it in a plate of chili.
So how do you make sure you’re tasting the chili and not biting the pepper? By making sure your partner understands domination basics and knows to apply pain when you’re already aroused, after he’s created anticipation and builds toward a climax. That means, making out, rolling around and engaging in some heavy foreplay before a hand is raised or a tushy is bared.
Start with mild sensations and build gradually to stronger sensations. It’s the build-up that starts releasing the endorphins that change your perception of more intense pain. You don’t get a runner’s high on Mile 2. It takes time. A spanking without build-up is going to hurt. A spanking after a slow build-up can make you slap-happy.
If you’re having domination sex in a pain play scene like spanking (you wouldn’t be the first girlie-girl to discover her inner dominatrix), ask for feedback. Pay attention to how he responds. This is as much an exploration for the giver as the receiver.
Get to know what your partner likes so you can gauge what’s too little and what’s too much. If you find that neither one of you gets turned don’t worry. You can always resort to the most conventional application of pain–calling tech support when the cable goes out.
In the next post, putting the C word between dominance and submission: consent (which word did you think I meant?). In the meantime, up your game from vanilla.