Pain: usually localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury); also : a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action.
During a recent video research session relating to the mating rituals and habits of the California-based porneus starius, I found myself pondering an arousing and interesting thought. This thought came to me ever so gently, as I was giving a routine breast exam to the young lady beside me. During the procedure, the female began to show signs of arousal at my touch and urged me to continue in a more provocative manner. I obliged, and slowly started to squeeze the nipple of her left breast between my thumb and forefinger in a gentle yet firm manner. Upon doing so, the female began to moan and rotate her pelvis in a counter-clockwise motion while digging her nails into the arm of the sofa. Soon, she began to request an increase in the pressure on her nipple with varying degrees of urgency and desire. Her verbal commands of “harder…please, harder!” instigated the increased nipple squeezes which led to the moment when I found myself pondering the arousing and interesting thought: I'm touching a boobie!
I continued to increase the pressure to her nipple, while trying to keep myself from squeezing too hard, thus prematurely ending the breast exam. However, to my surprise the female continued to request that more pressure be introduced to the squeezing of the mammary protuberance, until I found myself compressing it at levels which bordered on pain and lunacy. When this level was reached, the female began to inhale and exhale deeply, while biting her lower lip and continuing to dig her nails into the sofa. It was then, that she displayed what many researchers refer to as “throes of passion” which would inevitably lead to the moment of orgasm. At this point it was decided to continue the exam in a more private location where I would be able to “bust a nut” in a controlled research scenario.
After the session was concluded and I had completed all of my research, I found myself wondering about the correlations between pain and pleasure. Where does one end, and the other begin? Are they synonymous? Do they exist in a causational relationship? Can too much pleasure be painful, or too much pain be pleasurable? The questions swirled in my mind, and I found it difficult to fall asleep as I lay there next to my research subject. I decided that more testing had to be done.
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Of course, we all know that some people enjoy pain; the common term of masochism is defined as a sexual perversion characterized by pleasure in being subjected to pain or humiliation. Well, this definition doesn’t quite fit all of the possible scenarios for enjoying the sensation of pain, in my opinion. Why is it automatically sexual? Haven’t you ever been aroused by pain in ways that you would not expect?
-Hair Pulling : Why do some women enjoy having their hair pulled during sex?
-Indian Burns: They can hurt, that is true…but I can recall asking to receive them when I was a child. Why would I ask for pain, if there wasn’t some part of me that enjoyed that particular stimulus?
-Spanking: This started out as an act of punishment when we were children, and yet many adult women (and men) find themselves sexually aroused by the act, as they mature.
-Hot tubs: the water is usually above 100 degrees, and can ever turn our skin red from the excess heat…yet we moan and smile with pleasure as we lay there.
-Back and Body Rubs: high levels of pressure on the back and muscles in an attempt to relieve stress. These can hurt like a sonofabitch and yet we ask for them because of how good they make us feel afterwards.
Pain and pleasure. Pleasure and pain…the two terms are completely opposite of each other on the dictionary spectrum, and yet they are surprisingly similar in their emotional outputs. A friend on mine once informed me that the look on a person’s face when they are in pain is the same look that a person can make during extreme pleasure moments (orgasms). This suggests that the body’s physical response can be the same for both negative and positive physical stimulus. Ohhhhhhhh interesting.
Example: The way a man reacts to ejaculation (body shakes, sharp intake of breath, flexing of the body) is the same way he would react to sitting in a tub of ice-cold water…minus the semen part.
Obviously, we can say that pain and pleasure are similar, and can invoke similar physical responses to stimuli. However, I do not think we can freely interchange the two. Rubbing one’s skin with a soft cloth is a pleasurable event; using steel wool is a painful event. While slaps to the buttocks can be both painful and pleasing at the same time, a severe beating with clubs and paddles leans towards the side of ouch.
I think we can also say that the same external physical stimulus can produce different internal emotions, based on circumstances. If you twist a woman’s nipple when she is in a state of sexual arousal, the act can be manipulated into a pleasurable and painful event. If you twist the nipple the same way while she is not in a state of sexual arousal, such as watching television or working on a research paper…the result would most likely be pain, for both parties involved.
So, some pain can be pleasurable…and some pleasures can be painful. But not all things that are painful are also pleasurable, and not all pleasing things are painful things. Black is not always white, and white is not always black. In order to go forward, you must take two steps back.
Pain and Pleasure…I’ve decided this is something worth exploring more. I’m going to borrow my friend’s horse whip for this weekend and see if I can do a little bit more research. Whinny like you love it, baby! Yee-haw.