Empathy and Pain Tolerance

Just a quick reminder that your pain tolerance is not the same as your sub’s pain tolerance. I’ve been talking about trying things out on yourself first so you have an idea of what your sub will be experiencing, but you also need to factor in that what you experience is not the same thing as what you feel. Or possibly the other way around.

If you have an unusually high pain tolerance, be aware that your sub may not share it. You could take a pop from a cane and think it’s no big deal if  you are accustomed to heavy manual labor, or if you have sensory processing difficulties due to Asperger’s or autism, or heck, even if you just have light-colored eyes. When you pop yourself on the arm with a paddle, don’t just assume that what you feel is what your sub will.

The key takeaway here is to try it at 10% power and at 20% power and see if there’s more or less than double the effect. Now try 30% or 50% and see what changes. I have implements that make ten times more ouch at 30% than at 20%, and others that don’t barely change from 50% power to 100% power. Now when you give your subbie a firm pop and she reacts a certain way, you know how much more or less she’ll jump if you change the power up or down.

As with all things D/s, of course, it’s a lot more complicated than this. I’m a computer programmer with delicate fine motor control and Beth is descended from hardy farm stock; I have to swat her a lot harder than I would want to receive myself. So I factor that in and combine it with the dynamic way the implement behaves and with that I can fine-tune a spanking to precisely my desired effect.

I’ve been talking largely about avoiding injury during punishment here, but there’s another takeaway for people who spank for pleasure or cathartic release: as we become aroused, our brain changes the way we interpret pain in a paradoxical way. It’s like taking stimulants and painkillers at the same time: Our nerves become more sensitive to light touch while at the same time becoming more tolerant of pain. Many subs report that they can take a much harsher erotic spanking than they can when being punished, and the pain killing aspect of arousal is probably why. The heightened sensitivity may also be part of why some subs can be spanked to climax: just the ripples of each swat passing through their pussy can send them over the edge. Even if you’re not into that level of spanking or that sensitive to impact play, it definitely factors into why warming up during erotic spanking is so crucial.

At any rate, learn your implements, learn your sub, and above all, have fun. 😉

2 thoughts on “Empathy and Pain Tolerance

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