Processing Pain

I bruise easily, so be gentle when you handle me
There’s a mark you leave, like a love heart carved on a tree
I bruise easily, can’t scratch the surface without moving me
Underneath I bruise easily, I bruise easily
Lyrics from I Bruise Easily by Natasha Bedingfield

More than a year ago I read Wriggly Kitty’s post A Beautiful Violence and it was like I had a moment of clarity, realizing something about myself and the way I handle pain. And maybe I am not the only one handling it in this way.

These were the words that triggered me:

We’re brought up with these specific actions being totally negative. “Never hit a woman,” men are taught. “Men who hit woman are abusers,” society teaches everyone.

The above has been in my drafts folder for more than a year…

With the recent re-ignition of our D/s, and the fact that I had bruises the first time Master T used the cane on me again, and I had a red bottom a couple of times, the above comes in to play again.

Abusive

The way we have all been brought up is indeed as Wriggly Kitty said in her post. Women should never be hit, and men who do this, are abusers. I don’t have to tell anyone that this is true, to the extent that when there is no consent, it is abuse. But it goes the other way around too. When men are hit by their wives (this happens!) without consent, it’s abuse too.

In my teenage years I accidentally witnessed my father slapping my mom in the face, while they were having a huge fight. I have never asked her whether it happened more than once, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. A mere twelve years later, I found myself in an abusive relationship, and up to today I regret that my daughter saw the man knock me almost unconscious with one slap to my face. Thankfully, she never noticed the one night he did hit me unconscious.

It is right that we teach our children that a man hitting a woman, or a woman hitting a man is abuse, but I wish we could add that when there is mutual consent, it is not wrong at all.

Processing pain

Like I said, when I read Wriggly Kitty’s post, I had a moment of clarity. Isn’t it, because we have this never-hit-a-woman-because-abuse-thing imprinted in our evolution, that we process pain in a different way? That when we are slapped or whipped or caned (with consent), that ‘imprint’ tells us it should hurt? That when we forget about the imprint, when we open ourselves up to the pain we have consented to, we would process the pain in a totally different way?

I am not saying that when we do this it will hurt less? No, of course it will still be painful, but somehow I think if we could totally remove the ‘imprint’, we would process the pain differently.

Now I am not a psychologist, so let me see whether I can explain this in a way that makes clear what I have in my mind. With the evolutionary/psychological ‘imprint’ in our minds that we are not supposed to hit each other, there is also a kind of psychological reaction, which makes us process the pain in a different way. If that psychological reaction doesn’t happen, won’t it mean that we process pain differently? That we breathe into the pain and accept it?

Of course I know that there are people who can do this, and who can handle a lot od spanking and whipping and even caning. I admire them, because it seems they can process the pain in a whole different way.

How do I process pain?

Remember that weekend that left me bruised? The weekend after that, I came into the bedroom at 3am in the morning and Master T had laid out three different implements. I protested because it was too late and I was too tired, but he was adamant. I lay down on my front and from the corner of my eye I just happened to see the swing he made with the cane. I actually only registered the swing after the pain had already exploded on my bottom.

I think, had I not see the swing, I would have been better at processing the pain. Now I rolled over and cried ‘no, no, no, no, this is not right, no, please, I am too tired, I can’t handle this pain, this is not right’. I couldn’t tell him what wasn’t right. Master T told me to turn over on my front again, and after some hesitation I did. He softly ran his hand over my bottom, and soon after I felt the dragon tail touching my bottom. I was able to process the pain of that much better, and I now think it might be because I didn’t see him swing the implement. That image of ‘never hit a woman’ wasn’t activated in my mind, and I could better handle the pain because of that.

Your thoughts

I am no psychologist, which means these are all just thoughts running through my mind, but I would love to hear the opinion of a psychologist on this, or just hear the thoughts of my fellow kinkies on this subject. All I know is that I want to find the best way in processing the pain, and get my bottom as red (and bruised) as I love it to be!

© Rebel’s Notes

Wicked Wednesday
The September Song Project

12 thoughts on “Processing Pain

  1. I never really thought about it like this and the upbringing of ‘never hit a woman’. Now that you’ve mentioned it I vaguely remember this notion echoing through my childhood, but it never stayed with me.
    There is definitely something to say about how one processes pain. Rather than how you seemed to feel it was wrong because of the ‘never hit a woman’ I seemed to feel like it was wrong because ‘pain is bad’ and someone shouldn’t deliberately be hurt (which in reality isn’t all that different from ‘never hit a woman’. But pain can be good and positive in the type of relationships and dynamics we have. We just have to open up to

  2. Really intriguing Marie . . . I’m no psychologist either but often marvel at the different “thresholds” that my requesters can reach. And actually the same sub may have different thresholds on different occasions, so obviously (I know it’s obvious, but still important to say), one’s frame of mind at the time, is of huge relevance to the “processing” of pain.
    And respect for one’s threshold must always be uppermost in one’s mind !!!
    Xxx – K

  3. It is interesting, how pain is processed. I know a lot of that is down to head space for me. But I’m never quite sure how I will react to anything until I do. For me, it’s often pushing through the panic response that brings me the most euphoria. However, sometimes when I’ve asked for a stop, it’s been best for me. I like having that ultimate control but knowing I can hand it over to someone I trust is so powerful. And that, is the difference, I think. Consent. Giving that control freely to another.

  4. Great post – and lots to think about – I do know if some of my vanilla friends knew my man hit me they would would cry “beast.”
    I too feel the pain far more when I see it coming but I had not theorised over why it is. Funny enough in my post for this prompt I wrote how my man told me not to watch in the mirror when he was spanking mw. I wonder if he notices a difference in what I tolerate when I do? Who knows xx

  5. Interesting read. I really don’t know if me processing pain differently has anything to do with the imprint (I’ve been whipped mostly by a woman and sometimes a man). I do know that if I see the whip coming, I want to duck out of the way. I just don’t want to see it coming, but I can’t remember if it hurts more when I see it. If the person caning me, is holding me down, preventing me from wriggling in all kinds of positions, I can also handle the pain better. In my journal I wrote that holding me down gives me a sense of resignation and being safe. Breathing is also very important. Focussing on the breathing and not so much on the impact of the pain makes me handle it a lot better.

  6. Great article. It’s always fascinating to me how people with the same/similar kinks experience them differently. My ability to process pain seems directly linked to fear and the fear is often linked to sound (thanks, C-PTSD!) That’s is for the insight into this, it’s given me lots to think about.

  7. Fascinating, Marie.

    This extract made a lot of sense to me:-

    ” That when we forget about the imprint, when we open ourselves up to the pain we have consented to, we would process the pain in a totally different way?

    I am not saying that when we do this it will hurt less? No, of course it will still be painful, but somehow I think if we could totally remove the ‘imprint’, we would process the pain differently.”

    The last 6 months or so have seen me do exactly this. It certainly doesn’t hurt any less and in fact she’s used it to push limits even further such that the amount of pain is much higher. Yet it’s the processing that makes it achievable and enjoyable. One aspect of that processing is the combination of consent and deep trust. Consent is not necessarily deep trust. I may have gone through the barrier where the trust became intrinsic.

    You added “That we breathe into the pain and accept it?”.

    This quite perfectly describes the change I went through. One day I found myself suddenly relaxing and breathing into the pain, no more gulps for breath at the peak of pain, instead smooth deep breaths absorbing it.

    This was such a massive and very welcome change of perspective in handling pain (from her, at least).

  8. I am no psychologist either, but your post reminds me of a similarly cringe worthy terminology. Referring to rape as a sex crime. Rape is a crime of violence and assault. There is nothing in it that relates to sex. Yet, in a consensual relationship, there are times when I want to be used sexually, even when I resist. I want to be overpowered. Few men can tell the difference between forcing me into submission and approaching the line when it is considered rape. I would never want to be raped. It is a horrific act of violence. But I want to feel dominated, and that includes being used even when I resist. Not sure this helps with your question, but it’s what comes to my mind.

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