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Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of my own sexual experiences. If reading about my sex life might be TMI for you, then you’ll want to skip this post.
Can you hate causing pain to other people but still enjoy kinky, sadomasochistic play?
This is my second post about how I’ve come to identify as kinky and become involved in BDSM. The first part of this story is about how I hate feeling pain but got to like some of the same activities as people who do.
After realizing that popular BDSM activities don’t have to cause intense pain, a lot of the things that my IRC friends were talking about, and some of the things I was reading about in Tales of MU, made much more sense. I could see that there were at least some BDSM activities that I could enjoy receiving, even if I didn’t want to experience them at the high levels of intensity that my friends did. What was still hard for me to imagine was that I would ever be able to cause real pain to a lover, no matter how much they told me they would enjoy it.
And then I met Echo.
She was a trans woman who I got to know over IRC, and then we started to hang out in person. Online, she would talk about wanting to be restrained and wanting to be bitten and scratched. Our first few make-out sessions were pretty traditional and didn’t really stray into that territory. But then there was a time when I found myself kissing her lips and then sliding my kiss down onto her neck, and I remembered some of the things she had said about biting. I gingerly opened my mouth and gently pressed my teeth into her neck.
She began to moan, and it was the most amazing sound I had ever heard.
I could feel myself start to get wet. Carefully, I bit down just a little harder. She moaned more! I could hardly believe what was happening. The harder I bit, the more she squirmed, and the wetter I got. A part of me started to protest (what was I doing biting another person?), but that voice was quickly drowned out by Echo’s beautiful noises. All I could think was that I didn’t want her to stop: I wanted to make her make those sounds–to make her feel that good–forever. I kept biting, moving around her neck, digging my teeth in and feeling Echo writhe beneath me.
When I finally pulled back, I looked at her and gasped: I had left a trail of dark marks all the way around her neck. I was a little horrified at what I’d done. Echo reassured me that it had felt wonderful and that she loved the marks. I felt a bit better, but it took awhile for me to process what had happened. It’s one thing to read in a chat room that someone likes a particular kind of pain — intellectually, I could accept that. It’s another thing to be hurting someone in real life, yet hearing them moaning and begging for more. That’s what really made the connection for me that yes, some people do enjoy pain.
My experience with Echo led me to think more carefully about who I am. Am I the type of person who likes to hurt people? No, not really. I don’t enjoy giving pain for the sake of giving pain. But I’m the type of person who loves to bring pleasure to her partner. If they are telling me verbally how much they enjoy activity X plus I have nonverbal, empirical evidence that they enjoy it when I do X — it’s a pretty strong argument in favor of X. Plus, the fact that they enjoy it when I do X will turn me on even more…especially if it involves moaning, squirming, or pleading.
However, this does not generalize to all X. Biting or scratching are different to me than, say, punching someone. Causing pain that my partner will enjoy takes physical skill, but it also takes emotional strength. In the BDSM community, it’s common to have a “safeword” that participants in an activity can use to slow down or stop what’s happening. Sometimes this is used by a person receiving pain when the sensation is too intense and they need it to stop. But I’ve also used a safeword when giving pain in a way that I found I wasn’t emotionally ready for. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
So, can you hate feeling pain and hate causing pain to other people but still enjoy kinky, BDSM-type play?
All I can tell you is that yes, it’s possible.
I’ve learned that a lot of activities popular with kinksters don’t have to cause a lot of pain (and that they can feel quite good). I’ve also learned that it’s really important to me to pleasure my partner, and so when I have the evidence that they will enjoy my hurting them, I’m willing to try. I still look at BDSM play differently than some of my other friends do, but I’m becoming more comfortable with myself and more confident to try new things.