Friday, December 20, 2013

submission, masochism and self harm

I had a new comment here to an earlier post about submission, pain and masochism on A Kind Dom recently:

Pet said...

Is this comment a bit late? I'd like to mention I love the way you wrote... That may seem odd, but I have a writing fetish (not sexually... :P) Either way, I wonder about your ideas on submissives and masochists. I've known that I'm submissive for far too long, but I've only recently realized that I might be a masochist as well.

This is something that bothers me, not because I feel uneasy with my own preferences, but because I'm not sure whether or not I am one, and I don't really understand the difference that well. I do know that when I get lonely or my emotions pile up I sometimes turn self-destructive. I'd hurt myself just to release my pent up energy. Is that a masochistic thing, or do I just have mental problems?

Needless to say, I feel a bit confused. I hope you could clear this dilemma up for me?

Sincerely, Pet.
It was kind of Pet to write kindly about my writing and I thank her for that. However her comment raises a number of issues and I would like to reply properly to her here.

I do think there is a distinct difference between submission and masochism. I wonder if submission is more in the mind and masochism more in the body? Yes, I know that is much too simplistic. However the two do seem very distinct. Masochism may imply submission but there are many submissives who do not get off on pain at all. Their desire is to be controlled rather than hurt whereas a masochist's desire is to be hurt. There have been interesting discussions about this on A Kind Dom recently here and here.

I worry though about Pet's connection of masochism with self harm. That does seem to be something that I personally find negative. However is that the ultimate conclusion of masochism?

There was also another comment relating to masochism and self harm here.

I wonder what you the reader think? Do comment.


  1. For me, I'm very much a masochism. The more pain, the greater the orgasms. I get off on it.

    Now, that isn't saying that at times I crave the pain to give me a stress release because I can only find that release through pain. When it's too that degree I believe that self harm or someone inflicting the pain on me is interchangeable.

    1. Thank you His slut.

      There seem to be two different dynamics at work here though. You get off on pain - welcome it for the greater pleasure you get from orgasms through pain. So you describe yourself as a masochist. Do you give yourself pain to achieve more powerful orgasms or is this always at the hands of someone else?

      They you describe how you crave pain to relieve stress - and how this can equally be self harm or pain inflicted by another.

      I think though that there is a distinction between inflicting pain on oneself and self harm. Inflicting pain on oneself through instruction from a dominant or to gain orgasmic release or relief from stress may be part of many subs activities. When though does that morph into "self-harm"?

      The first may be desirable but surely harm is not. Is it not the case that although pain is administered in BDSM play that harm is usually avoided by the dominant. Should that not also be the case in self administered play?

      Or is it all just a matter of degree?

      P xx

  2. I am currently chuckling at myself.

    As I read this I thought 'well I have a unique perspective, maybe that will help!' (I like helping.) However, as I sat here trying to formulate how to word it, I realise it isn't all that unique. The circumstances and events of my life that led me to who and what I am now are mine, the path may be different, but the result is the same.

    I am a submissive masochist, and the two are distinctly different. The pain is wholly separate from the control. That being said, my path has led me to a place where I find stress relief in my submission. I used to think it was the sex. A good, hard, painful fuck was enough to make all the stress ease, melt, float away and everything was under control again.

    Not so much. It's control. Giving up control is what releases my stress. I don't see why experiencing pain cannot do the same thing, even if it's self administered.

    I discovered the difference when I became single after too many years in an abusive relationship and in order to feel the pain I thought was my stress relief I had to administer it myself. It didn't matter how hard I went at it, it wasn't working. Then one day I met a man, he told me to spank myself for being impertinent, and the seed was sown. The first time he denied me my nightly ritual of masturbation it flowered and I knew.

    Self harm is dangerous because it's difficult to monitor. I'm not downplaying the danger. I'm just suggesting that experiencing pain might be a valid stress relief. Instead of harm perhaps the Pet can find benign ways to experience pain as relief. (exercise, corseting, ect.)

  3. I am pleased we have helped you chuckle Missus Whore. It is good too that you like to help!

    Thank you for your knowledgeable and thoughtful thoughts on this - discussing the distinctions between submission and pain and the different needs they serve.

    Like you I think self-harm can be dangerous. I think your suggestions of alternatives for Pet sound very good.

    P xx

  4. I wrote a very long reply and I think it got lost when I hit publish ahh. I'm going to try this again.

    First I wanted to say that I hope you're having a wonderful day! I've read many of your posts and I really enjoy the things you have to say.

    For me personally, those three things are completely different. I am a masochist, submissive, and unfortunately someone who has dealt with self harm for a very long time.

    With masochism, I enjoy the pain my Sir delivers to me during play. He does however still use physical punishment on me, and it works. It works because I'm put into a different mindset and I'm very aware that I did something wrong. I also refuse to act up just for punishment, because my submissive side knows better than that. It is a very different feeling physically and emotionally.

    My self harm was never, and never will be used for anything sexual or to feed into my masochism. The only time my self harm crosses the other twos' paths is when my Sir tries to get me out of that desire to hurt myself. It is mostly done with emotional support and being there for me, which I appreciate so much. Self harm for me is used to relieve stress, to quiet the thoughts in my head, or to deal with overwhelming negative emotions. It's been my go to coping mechanism for way too many years, but I'm happy to say that I think I'm finally starting to beat it!

    I'm sorry if this reply doesn't make much sense, I get really nervous when talking about these kind of things, but I felt like my input might be somewhat helpful.

    1. Oh, isn't it really annoying anonymous when a long comment disappears like that? I'm sure it has happened to all of us. I'm never sure I can quite remember all the brilliant phrases I got into the original!

      Thank you for the kind remarks about my posts and for the good wishes. I hope you are having a great day too.

      Thank you for explaining how pain works for you as part of masochism and punishment. it is interesting how you draw a very clear distinction with self harm. I am pleased that your Sir tries hard to help you get out of the desire to self harm.

      Someone close to me has severe problems with difficult thoughts and emotions so I do understand a little. I am so pleased that you feel you are starting to beat the need to self harm. Good luck on your journey.

      With kind regards

      P xx


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