Having said that, it may seem hypocritical to purposely inflict pain upon your partner, or even have a desire to do so. Yet, within the BDSM lifestyle, or some type of power exchange relationship, many times this is exactly what occurs. There is one big distinction, however, between what we do in this lifestyle and what happens in abuse situations. It’s called…CONSENT!
In abuse cases, there is no consent. It is done against the other persons will and desire. It is unwanted treatment done with the intent to cause harm and fear. In BDSM, there is (or should be) full consent, and even a desire by both persons for the activity. In some instances it is even done for sexual gratification. I’m not going to get into the full legal issues surrounding this, as that isn’t the point of this post. But I will mention that I read in another blog post recently about a case, I believe in England, where some individuals were found guilty of a crime even though they had full consent. So please be aware of the laws in your region and how this type activity is perceived, viewed, and the potential consequences.
There are many reasons why people within the BDSM community may engage in activities involving pain. It could be to push submission. It could be to feed someones masochistic side. It could be to feed someones sadistic side. It could be for punishment. There are many aspects of this lifestyle that can involve pain and physical infliction upon another person. The biggest difference in what is done in this lifestyle is that it is not out of anger or rage. It is very calculated and controlled when it is done. It is done with a purpose. It is done in a specific way that is planned and intended. It is done with the receivers full consent, and always with their safety and well being in mind and at the forefront. In having a safe word in place, the receiver/sub can even stop it immediately, no questions asked.
For me personally, I think my use of pain in a Dominant/submissive relationship is twofold. One, over the years I have found and discovered my desire for pain infliction, at least on the mild side. I will be the first to tell you I have a slight sadistic side I didn’t know was there years ago. This was brought out by being involved with some submissives that also had a need to receive assorted inflicted pain. Second, I have learned of my desire to inflict pain from a place of love and care. that’s right…I said my sadistic side is played out with love and care.
Now you might ask, how can you possibly inflict pain on someone out of love? It took me a while to grasp this concept myself. I believe that as a Dominant, if you have a submissive that needs to feel pain, or physical force from you, then it’s part of the dynamic the two of you have. My submissive very well may need to feel the pain. She can be masochistic on some level and have a need to feel that from me. This can be multi-layered as to why she needs it, in being the pain helps in feel my control and Dominance, it makes her feel her place as my submissive, it gives her the physical force she needs to feel herself endure for me, and maybe even be something that arouses her in a sexual way. So, when it’s something she needs from me and our relationship, I may be doing it for my own fulfillment, but it’s also done out of love and care for her and her need and desire to feel that from me.
Any relationship is about being with someone because you enjoy them and they meet your needs. Any person that is with someone that doesn’t meet there needs, won’t stay there for long. There is no point in being with someone that leaves you unfulfilled and leaves a huge void for you. In being able to live out my sadistic side, and even explore it further, I am also feeding her masochistic side. I am giving her what she needs from me because I care. Because I want to give that to her. Because she means something to me. I would even go as far to say that not giving her the pain and force she desires and needs from me, thereby leaving her lacking in our relationship, is more harmful to her mentally and emotionally than any form of pain I can inflict. Yet, always and in all manners, inflicting pain is done under complete control, never when mad or angry, and with a purpose.
I think this is a perfectly good example of why this is referred to as an alternate lifestyle. It goes against many of the norms of how people should be treated and what is expected in our society. It is an alternate way of seeing and conducting a relationship. Yet, when it is needed and desired by both partners, it can become a true bonding experience and bring you both closer. It can strengthen the trust you have for each other, and make your relationship stronger. I affectionately refer to this as “Beating her with Love”. Because that’s exactly what it is… giving her the pain and force she needs from me in a caring and loving way and with care and love as the full intent behind it.