I often hear submissives and bottoms troubled by the fact that they can’t take as much pain as other people they see playing. A good bit of what we do in this lifestyle involves some type of pain in some form, be it physical or mental. These types of play aren’t just for masochist. Masochists have the ability to enjoy the pain and even be aroused by it. Learning to process pain will never make you someone that necessarily enjoys it, but it will help you endure through it.
People’s reactions to pain vary widely. Some people cry, some laugh, some dance around, some yell, and some are completely silent. Also, people process different types of pain differently.
On the whole, there are three ways people process pain, they accept it, they reject it, or they devour it.
Acceptance is how humans naturally process pain. We get hurt, we hurt. It isn’t until we get older that we start to try to figure out how to deal with pain. This is where you don’t fight against the pain, you don’t try to ignore the pain, you just accept that the pain is happening. Once you accept the pain it is still felt as pain, and you react however it is you react to pain, but you are no longer struggling to not feel the pain.
Rejection comes from the idea of not wanting to be seen as weak. Processing pain this way causes people to fight against the pain, or even block out the pain in their mind. The entire scene for someone who rejects pain is a struggle not between them and the top, but inside themselves, against the pain.
Devouring pain is a rare way to process pain that few can achieve. In this way of processing pain the bottom literally gains energy from the pain. The pain doesn’t just wash over them, but flows into them.
No matter how you process pain, it is important to remember that aftercare is an important part of play. Sometimes pain isn’t felt until hours or days later, and it is important to pay close attention to your body so that you know what pain is normal/okay and what pain is not.