Monday, August 13, 2007

Let the Games Begin, Part I

“She has many guises
She’ll do what you want her to
Playing dead and sweet submission
Cracks the whip deadpan on cue” - Peek-A-Boo, Siouxie and The Banshees

“It’s all fun n’ games until someone gets hurt.” This was the phrase on my mind this morning when I woke up. Of course, naturally, my curiosity was aroused. Was I on the receiving end of a good hard flogging during dreamtime? Or, were the teeth marks left on my arm from the night before finally beginning to bruise? Because Ms. Sunshine was in pretty bad shape as she stumbled out of bed bloody, beaten, and well… you get the idea.

Pain can affect us on many different levels and impair our functioning. However, there are those who delight in pain, or even thrive in a painful environment. There is a reason people say tattoos/body modifications are addicting. Pain can make you feel brilliantly alive, hell, at least you’re feeling something, right? In a world that thrives on numb control and emotionless execution, the endorphins that pain produces are indeed a tasty treat.

In my most recent homage to pain, I got yet another tattoo. The whole process only lasted about hour, not nearly long enough for me to enjoy the delicious morsels of agony. While the girl in the chair next to me cried and wriggled around in pain, I sat calmly with a satisfied grin on my face. Even the tattoo artist remarked “you didn’t flinch, not even once.”

Obviously, tolerance levels vary from person to person. Pain can manifest through many different channels (physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional and sexual) so it’s important to understand where our thresholds are in each area. Some people can tolerate mass amounts of physical pain, but are unable to endure emotional pain (hello, welcome to an addicts world) or vice versa.

In the bedroom, the same rules apply. Whether we’re talking about a mind fuck or an actual fuck, tolerance levels are taken into account on individual basis. There is not a one-size fits all approach. Are we aware of our partner’s boundaries or possible aversions to pain? Are they comfortable with ours? Special requests and/or “safe words” should be respected. If my girlfriend wants me to slap her in the face while she’s climaxing, so be it. I can do that.

I, on the other hand, like to be degraded verbally. In some cases, lovers have been uncomfortable laying the smack down vocally. And while I really really really would appreciate it if they did, there’s no pressure. This is where sexual compatibility comes into play. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew your partner liked wearing a rubber body suit during foreplay before you walked down the aisle or made that long term commitment? Sure, sexual flavors/styles change over time, yet, we want to be with lovers who are in step with us, at least to start with.

So, it is with great pleasure that I declare in a very guttural voice, “Let the games begin.”

Stick around for more…

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