Darkness and light

29 Sep

“Pain, when pushed and endured long enough, brings to the surface the uninhibited, raw soul of human beings. When two people can experience this together, it is like meeting on another plane.” –FifthAngel

One of the workshops i went to at the BDSM event involved inflicting pain and pleasure through pressure points.  Yikes.  The presenter was the incredibly sexy sadist, who i’ve quoted before.  He used volunteers in the class.  On a mat, in the middle of the circle of chairs in the room –

 He asks for volunteers.  Ten or so young women eagerly raise a hand.  He scans the audience, scans and – points.  You. 

The lucky young woman comes up.  Eager,nervous, on the verge of giggles.  But not for long.  He takes her hand, and in less than a second –

-she gasps, and falls to her knees. 

Seriously.  It is dramatic.  And obviously painful – for her.   As He continues the demonstration,  fewer people raise their hands to volunteer.  He has predicted this too – the drop off in willing victims.

He demonstrates some pleasure points from time to time.  It’s fascinating to watch his model shift from barely restrained moans, clenched teeth, body taut and strained,  to utterly relaxed,  a purr of contentment heard throughout the room – in a moment.   But that is not his focus.   He is all about the pain.

Watching it is – odd.   Even though i know better, the urge to stop pain is deeply engrained in most of us.  We’re taught in all kinds of ways that life should be pain-free, so watching someone experience real pain – NOT an o-ouch-isn’t this fun? kind of pain – is just odd.   i’m used to doing it with emotional pain – i watch my clients suffer all the time.  But physical is different for me. 

Although.   i think about the clients i know who hurt themselves physically in response to emotional pain.  It blurs the line.  Lots of people are horrified by that – and some teenagers call it “being emo” and embrace it.   Have websites and chat rooms where they can talk about it.   i know a lot about this type of seeking out pain.  i know some ways that it’s different  from what i watched at the workshop, and some ways it isn’t. 

i think about initiation ceremonies, which involve some kind of pain.  And the range – from sailors who used to get tatoos to mark their first sea voyage to genital mutilation.  Tatoos are part of our culture now, no shock there anymore.  And genital piercings – not such a big deal.  Not to mention circumcision, which is pretty much taken for granted.   (Side note on circumcision – a study showed that babies who underwent circumcision as part of a religious ceremony cried for a shorter time and less intensely than babies who underwent the procedure in the hospital.  They speculate that the difference is in being surrounded by people who love and care for you.  Isn’t that cool?)

We don’t mind other people’s pain too much, but we avoid our own.  Advertisements for medication – selling magic pills – and my clients come in certain that Pill X,  Y,or Z can fix whatever’s bothering them.  Even if it’s an abusive boyfriend, an out of control child, lack of money, housing, or love – surely there’s a pill that can make it better.  (ooh, i didn’t know that rant was coming… sorry.)

i know that my clients who’ve experienced trauma – childhood sexual abuse, rape – want to avoid the memories, avoid feeling the emotional pain.  Of course they do.  When i tell them they need to remember, to come to terms with it, to process it, they look at me like i’m insane.  “WHY?” they ask.   “Why would i want to remember that?”

I sympthize with them.  Sigh.  It sounds crazy, what i’m telling them, i know that.  But i know, if they can’t feel the pain, they can’t feel pleasure either.   Emotionally numb, lives caught up in trying to avoid pain, and still the pain hangs on.  That’s what drives them to see me, what eventually, maybe, pushes them into the healing journey.

Embracing the pain is powerful.  That’s the message of initiation rites.  We subs know that too,  whether we’re masochists or not.   If there’s no pain, no discomfort, how do we know He’s in control?   Could there be subspace without pain?  Subspace without subdrop?

Submit:  To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.   {Laughing}  Just reading the dictionary definition starts to make me hot.   Submission is about doing some things i might not really want to do.  The idea thrills.  Accepting pain, whether it’s spanking or orgasm denial or pressure points, is an easy way to show i mean it. 

Last night, Sir suggested that he might require me to wear my open stockings to a vanilla event – pantyless, of course.  It made me squirm immediately.    Would i do it?  Of course i would.  {blush}  In a heartbeat.   And it makes me squirm right now.

Last night, i went to a lecture.  i knew some of the people there, i was interested in the topic, and it all lived up to my expectations.  About halfway through, i looked around the audience, and i got this tremendous rush of love and pleasure.   The shared experience, sense of community, and feelings of connectedness were deep and powerful.  Big waves of joy flowing through me. 

i believe the joy and the pain are linked.

Like pieces of a puzzle – some parts i understand a little.  The actual pain of trauma.  Survival.  Numbness.  The pain of memories.  The pain inflicted by a sadist on a masochist.  Pleasure.  Endorphins kicking in.  Self-harm.  Submission.  Acceptance.   Joy.  i may not know exactly how they fit together.  i may be missing some pieces – how do  Doms and sadists fit into the picture?  What does their piece look like?  But i know it all goes together.  It creates a harmony.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.”  Kahlil Gibran

i don’t understand it, but i know it’s true.  And the pain is linked to the joy.  i can’t claim one without the other. 


8 Responses to “Darkness and light”

  1. vanillamom September 29, 2010 at 9:37 am #



    (and she quotes Kahlil Gibran!!! is it any wonder that i *adore* reading your posts??!!)

    Another thoughtful, well written, amazing post.


    • aisha48 September 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

      Thanks, Nilla. (i LOVE Kahlil Gibran – doesn’t everyone?)


  2. greengirl September 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    I am used to causing physical pain in others, or pushing them to push themsleves to the point that they are in pain, as part of my profession. But I am struggling to understand and be comfortable with my own body’s and mind’s relationship with pain. You present it in a positive way, and intelligently. This gives me a lot more to add into my thinking about it all. Thank you.

    • aisha48 September 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

      @greengirl – Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to comment! i’m glad what i said resonated with you. It sounds like you have one of those jobs that will lead to philosophical perspectives and lots of growth (sometimes whether we want it to or not, right?)

      Thanks again,


  3. Mick September 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    very thought provoking, as always. but I guess until I have this type of experience it’s hard to get my brain around it. Particularly the erotic appeal.

    Obviously, what you are talking about goes past the sort of spanking and cropping that Mistress and I have engaged in…. though I guess I can’t speak for her in those nipple clamps!

    • aisha48 September 29, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

      @Mick – i think nipple clamps are brutal. But that’s just me…

      Yes, i think what we saw with the pressure points “goes past…” and is a different kind of pain. i don’t think it would appeal to me – but then, do i really know? (No, Sir D, i don’t mean i want you to try it on me – really, Sir. i don’t.)

      With emotional pain, it doesn’t seem to matter so much how bad/severe/extreme an experience was or wasn’t, the patterns of feeling seem to be the same. So i don’t know – i think maybe it depends on how the spanking and cropping affects you emotionally. Well, and physically.

      O, so much more to write about and think about. In some ways, your cage is a more consistent reminder of her power, and in some ways maybe, of the pain she can inflict? That’s a whole different kind of experience, i think. Maybe. i may have questions someday…

      But thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts. i value your insights.


  4. sin September 30, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    Embracing the pain is powerful and the bond created between two people by pain can be very intense. Interesting post as always Aisha.

    • aisha48 September 30, 2010 at 7:37 am #

      Thank you, Sin – I’m so glad to see you!!!

      And I thought you’d get it…


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