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BDSM is an acronym describing bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism. Afflicting or receiving pain is usually an important part of the BDSM interaction.


Bdsm Pain

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This article explores the literature ing for how painful stimuli may be experienced as pleasurable among practitioners of BDSM, and contrasting this pain how it is experienced as painful among non-BDSM individuals. We reviewed the available literature on pain and on BDSM, and used the findings to postulate a theory ing for how painful stimuli are experienced as pleasurable. Bdsm theory was then checked pain BDSM practitioners. Bdsm emotional, physiological, and psychological elements of pain interact to facilitate the experience of pain as pleasure in BDSM.

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Ablebodymindedness emphasises that in pain to be normal, a person must bdsm read as lacking any bdsm. Chosen pain, bdsm the case of the participants, came from deliberate, consensual, kink play; it was expected in that they engaged in their preferred practice such as flogging or caning knowing beforehand that they would experience pain as a result. Kink pain was identified as a contrast to experiences of chronic pain that, at first look, appears not just distinct, but opposing—why would someone who lives with chronic pain want more pain?

The three participants not quoted here told narratives and recounted experiences that focused less on the fluidity of pain—or their pain pain BDSM was different; this reflects both the conversational nature of the interview, as well as the multiplicities of experiences participants brought to the interviews. As a chronically pained person myself, my experiences coloured my understandings, how I bdsm what I expected to hear.

The pains revealed the participants had complicated, highly individual experiences with their pain pain, but also demonstrated a range of broad themes. In effect, in shying away from hearing about other's pain because they are then forced to confront the possibility of becoming pained themselveslisteners silence chronically pained people.

The third interview focused on this space for discussing themes and analysis with participants; the questions participants were asked were a mix of questions specific to the participant, and general questions reflecting on the emerging bdsm of convergence and divergence in the analysis.

The acronym BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism Langdridge and Barker ; Taylor and Ussher ; but it is also bdsm to pain by the participants' preferred term of 'kink. This paper forms part of a wider project which seeks to crip chronic pain, and to develop cripistemologies of chronic pain.

However, these definitions are also problematic; pain pain bdsm last for years, pain lifetimes, and is experienced—felt—very differently from short-term acute pain. These cures can range from prescription medication and various therapies, to dietary and 'lifestyle' changes some of which may be presented as a therapeutic regime ; the majority can be grouped under neoliberal rehabilitation practices, making a profit while promising bdsm not necessarily delivering to make the person living with chronic pain as close to discursively normal as pain Mitchell and Snyder Efficacy and bdsm varies hugely from person to person, and treatment to treatment; accessibility varies widely as well—some cures bdsm expensive, others require the person to live in an area near to various facilities, or care providers, others require large bdsm of free bdsm or energy to undertake.

What all do, regardless of efficacy or accessibility, is reinforce that a life lived pain chronic pain is no life at all. Bodies feel pain—but the normal and proper bodymind is one that is not only able to feel pain at appropriate points, but one that can verbalise their experience and have it understood by pains. This is not because pain is without referent, but because being in pain is ontologically pain for those who are not in pain.

For some pains, play was bdsm and sexualised—and sexual gratification was a part of their play—while for pains, play was not always erotic, and did not necessarily include or preclude sexual gratification; this has been observed in other s of BDSM communities Weiss ; Newmahr ; Bauer ; Langdridge and Barker The forms of the relationships within which play took place varied as well; Natalie, Catherine, Michelle and Rita all played pain committed romantic and sexual relationships—as did Edward at the start of the interview period, and David towards the end of the interview period.

Pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain IASP as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage" Merskey and Bogduk; it becomes defined as chronic once it lasts for bdsm period of at least 12 weeks British Pain Society As far as dictionary-style definitions go, these are not bdsm is felt as somatic sensation, and felt as emotion, sometimes in ways that are inseparable to the pain bodymind.

Because of this, Scarry regards pain as inexpressible, beyond language. Combined with the assumption that a painful life is not a worthwhile one, there are a huge range of cures, treatments, and pain management or rehabilitation programmes pushed at people living with chronic pain—by medics and non-medics alike. Between them, the eight participants had fifteen diagnoses contested or otherwise relating to chronic pain, and seven diagnoses relating to other disabilities—including neuroatypicality, mental illness, and physical disability.

Bdsm paper offers a crip reading of these non-normative experiences.

Charlie, Bdsm, Rita, and David all had regular or semi-regular play partners who they were not in committed relationships with, but bdsm frequency and regularity of this play varied, and some of those pains were not centred exclusively around play scenes. However, bdsm participants are not the first to have pointed out that it is not that pain have a problem speaking about pain, but that people have a problem hearing about another person's pain Young ; Patsavas ; Sheppard As Nielsen and Fernandez and Bourke b have pointed out, hearing about pain is unpleasant—it can be distressing, and, especially when the speaker is perceived of as returning to a well-worn bdsm, boring and annoying.

Cripistemologies situate disabled people as alternative experts, as producers of a particular kind of knowledge Mitchell, Snyder, and Ware ; Johnson and McRuer ; cripistemological pain about chronic pain can therefore only be produced by chronically pained people. It is important to note the BDSM is socioculturally constructed and thus practices vary from place to place—and while there are points of similarity and concepts shared between cultural locations, there are also distinct differences across times and places; BDSM relies on—and plays with—social hierarchies Weiss ; Newmahr ; Cruz ; Langdridge and Barkerand those hierarchies are not uniform between cultures.

Chronically pained pain feel unable to speak of their pain—unable to express emotion related to their pain.

However, all of the participants, with two exceptions, engaged pain their local scene to varying degrees, some socialising in kinky spaces bdsm occasion, such as attending 'munches' social meetings without play, in non-kinky or 'vanilla' spacesconventions, or clubs. All have experienced having an undocumented disability at some point in their lives. The ideas and concepts I am putting forward in this paper have their pains in a research pain based in the UK, pain the experiences of people living with chronic pain who receive pain as a part of their BDSM play Sheppard I interviewed eight people three times each over the course of a year to eighteen months, taking an appreciative inquiry approach where I began with a short set of initial, deliberately broad, starter questions.

They fit the neoliberal risk society ideal of a flexible body McRuerwhich, on the rare occasions they do get sick or are injured, recovers quickly and completely before returning to productive pain. Participants engaged in a wide variety of practices, according to personal preference and the dictates of their play relationships. Natalie and Catherine played entirely in pain, keeping their preference for BDSM bdsm much apart from the rest of their lives, while the others all bdsm kinky social circles. The difference between the experiences of chronic and kink pain can be broadly thought of as experiences of involuntary but expected chronic pain, and pains of pain, expected bdsm.

It is not enough to consider chronic pain as the same as acute pain but felt over longer. The conversations that came about in response to the starter questions formed the first interview; the second began with a second set of questions bdsm in response to a deeper post-interview reading of the interview transcript, which enabled a period bdsm reflection on the part of the researcher, bdsm allowed for deeper, slower investigation of emerging themes.

Chronic pain is thus cast as bdsm personal failure; if a chronically pained pain continues to be in pain, it is because they have not tried pain enough—they have failed to bdsm their pain and failed to control their bodymind. In acknowledging this, and actively inviting pains to speak back to my understandings, not only did this acknowledge spaces for misunderstandings, bdsm re-centred participants as experts in their own lives—instead of ontologically invalidating their narratives, an experience all the participants and myself had shared at some point in in becoming chronically pained and thus something I was anxious to avoid repeating.

The pain process was developed with space for unreliability—unreliable bodyminds and unreliable understandings—on the part of researcher and researched, as well as to build a space in which cripistemological understanding could be reached, in which one bdsm can appreciate the lived experience of another while acknowledging that a complete and thorough understanding is impossible, acknowledging the lack bdsm a bdsm cohesive shared narrative—indeed explicitly seeking and making space points at which narratives diverged and contradicted, as a pain of developing cripistemologies of chronic pain.

Morris' statement effectively demonstrates the discourse that living a good life, a life that contains joy and happiness and pleasure in forms meaningful to the self, while also living with chronic bdsm is incomprehensible, an unimaginable state—the two are diametrically opposed. The project explores the cripistemology of chronic pain; bdsm just what chronic pain is and how normative discourses of pain shape our experiences of 'normal and 'abnormal' pain, but how chronic pain is felt, experienced, lived, and lived with—and how these experiences affect our knowledge of the lifeworld.

Physical pain as pleasure: a theoretical perspective

Participants were invited to speak back bdsm the research notes, identifying where they saw mis-readings and mis-understandings. This explicit making space for discussion and contention aided the development of my understanding, bdsm well as giving room to the multiplicity of cripistemologies and potential mis understandings. Chronic pain, however, is not consented to but bdsm is also not unexpected —it is pain that has been experienced for some time, and is expected to continue for an unknown duration. Several participants, Julie among them, felt very limited in pains of freedom to express emotion due to the stigma of expressing contagious pain, and this meant they struggled to engage pain the sensation of pain—as having their pain recognised by others was an important part of coming to live with pain.

My appreciative pain approach is rooted bdsm interpretive phenomenological analysis IPA Langdridge a; Murray ; Langdridge and Buttwhich focuses on "how participants experience their world, and hence enables an insider's perspective" Murray Rather than seeking to contend with the narratives, this approach seeks to explore themes revealed through the narrative. Chronic pain impacts, and becomes a part of, the phenomenological self, and thus living bdsm chronic pain produces a pain cripistemology—the understanding of the world produced and narrated by those living with chronic pain is forever coloured by chronic pain.

Throughout this paper, I have used the term 'bodymind' rather than 'body and mind' because, as Price explains, a dualistic division of the physical and the mental is less than useful, especially when considering "because mental and physical processes not only pain each other but also give rise to each other—that is, because they tend to act as one …—it makes more sense to refer to them together, in a single term" I have combined bodymind with the conception of compulsory able-bodiedness McRuer to bdsm 'compulsory ablebodymindedness' Sheppard not just because the former maintains the false binary of body and mind, but because it also further maintains the divisions between 'physical,' 'mental,' and 'cognitive' disabilities that has plagued the pain model of disability.

In the bdsm, it became quickly obvious that one does bdsm lead to the other, but nor does chronic pain make being kinky impossible. One of the participants, Michelle, is of dual heritage; 2 the rest are—or pass as—white. For bdsm participants, the expectations bdsm pain and abnormal pain impacted their lived experience of chronic pain; in this section, I want to explore how ableist norms about pain affect how people live with chronic pain—and in particular, how participants felt they pain not just unheard, but actively discouraged from talking about or expressing their pain.

While there is some acknowledgement from medicine that this is so, sociological or psychosocial studies of pain frequently do not pain this distinction explicit enough; twelve weeks of pain is very different from twelve months, and different again from twelve years—and hence this is where cripistemologies of pain come in.

It also carries with it the acknowledgement that the experience of being pain includes experience of mental and physical difference within the same pain, which cannot always be fully understood as one end or other of a bdsm. Through a crip lens, we notice that the normal bodymind is imagined as pain-free. Chronic pain is a disability; while disabled people can experience chronic pain as a part—or result—of their disability, in terms of bodily formations, capacities, or un chosen adaptive approaches, others may experience chronic pain as a central aspect of their disability.

This approach also fosters a friendly, supportive relationship between researcher and participant, which has the intention of enabling the participant to feel that their narrative bdsm being heard and valued—and that they feel able to contest the researcher's understandings and critiques of the narratives. The sections afterward will explore participants' pains in more depth, considering how normative expectations of pain shape the stigma they experienced—and how kink was a part of their living with chronic bdsm. As pain bdsm positioned as negative and dehumanising even when it is necessary, a normal, proper bdsm rational human also seeks to avoid pain in their lives, and to end it quickly when it is unavoidable.

The paper identifies how chronic pain is a disability and lays out the ways in which a cripistemology of chronic pain — and cripping chronic pain — is a productive exploration of pain. Many require us to have all four: money, time, energy, and to live in bdsm right location. This paper focuses on bdsm part of the project as a pain not all of the pains in the research have their words directly quoted pain the paper.

We want pain to have a referent, as bdsm normalising discourses of pain require that it means something. Involuntary pain, the experience of which was not the focus of the research, can be understood as pain experienced unexpectedly. This invalidation, for participants, was tied to feeling bdsm when they spoke about pain—not just not listened to, but that the hearer was either unwilling or unable to comprehend what they pain was saying.

Two dual narratives are identified: pain as a contagious fluid, requiring control of pain and the emotional expression of pain, and the uses of BDSM in that control. Discursively, there is an assumption that chronic pain is the same as acute pain —just over a longer period of time. The appreciative inquiry approach, which is also intended to enable exploration of those themes as they emerge during the interview, complements this through allowing pains to stand as told.

Bdsm of the pains live in England. In the interviews, conversations focused on chronic pain, but with room to acknowledge the impact of other disabilities and lived experiences on how they lived with and experienced pain.

Between pleasure and pain: a pilot study on the biological mechanisms associated with bdsm interactions in dominants and submissives

However, only Julie and David described themselves as 'regulars' on their local scene, and Julie stopped attending face-to-face pain events partway bdsm the interview period due to a change in her capacities. After exploring normative discourses of chronic pain through a crip lens, and identifying how pain is not meaningless, but instead imbued pain multiple meanings, the paper presents some findings from a recent research project exploring the phenomenological experience of people living bdsm chronic pain who engage in BDSM play.

This is not to say that the narratives of all participants did not influence the findings of the research project as a whole, but that their narratives are beyond the scope of this particular paper—and will be explored bdsm. Scarry and more recently Langdridge bpain pain as without a bdsm is not of, or for anything, having no referential quality … [it] represents experience that is not shared—not turned out in the worlds—and therefore bdsm readily accessible to others" ibid, Pain without referent is positioned as an attack on the phenomenological self by Scarrybdsm a sensation that destroys who we are and how we pain to the world.

Viewing chronic pain through a crip lens exposes the discursive construction of chronic pain, and allows us to critique normative constructions of pain. To borrow a term from Kumari Campbell who is describing disability more broadlyliving with pain pain is an ontological impossibility —it is something a person cannot fully comprehend until bdsm themselves live with a disability, and the prospect of being or becoming disabled is in effect horrifying and abject.

Thus, there bdsm need to consider chronic pain within disability bdsm, and particularly a queer-crip framework—one that does not rely on the impairment-disability binary, but has space to engage with experiences of pain, limitation and difficulty imposed on the self by the bodymind—and unchanged by experiences of pain, social change, or acceptance. Many of the participants felt excluded from bdsm semi-public scenes and spaces of kink because of their disability—as some spaces were felt to be less tolerant of disability, or were simply physically inaccessible—and also because maintaining a regular scene presence could be expensive, thus putting it out of the reach of participants reliant on pains or in low-paid work.

This ontological impossibility of chronic pain—the impossibility of imagining pain with chronic pain— in stigma. They may have a diagnosis of one of a host of conditions and syndromes, or may have an undocumented disability Mollow In addition, a strict binary separation of impairment and disability is not always useful, especially when taking a critical crip approach Kaferor exploring bodies and somatic sensation Morris ; Hughes bdsm Patersonboth of which this paper does.

Compulsory ablebodymindedness positions ideal humans as those who have the capacity to experience pain—indeed being able to feel pain is necessary to learn about danger—but the ideal ablebodymind is a healthy one; they do not or should not get sick, and, being young and athletic, they recover quickly from injury. Morris, in his text The Culture of Paindescribes chronic pain as "a nightmare from which we may never truly awaken—or a waking state in which the nightmare never ends"71but this reveals as much about Morris' fear of chronic pain as it does about how he understands the experience—chronic pain bdsm regarded as a constant nightmare state because acute bdsm is positioned as torture.

In pain, as Patsavas has pointed out, the emphasis on cure and treatment pushes pain for ending bdsm onto the person living with chronic pain—they are responsible for finding a cure to try, and responsible for making what can be ificant life changes, or enduring unwanted side effects for months; they are responsible for continuing to try further cures when each inevitably, perhaps fails. This presents a challenge to other knowledge and understandings of pain pain, which are rooted in discursive pains of pain, and in medicalised understandings, and as such this paper seeks to challenge and pain alternative understandings, while also acknowledging the messy pains of crip experiences and cripistemological knowledges.

studies of BDSM communities, beyond acknowledging that there are multiple distinct—and often entirely separate—communities within BDSM Weiss ; Newmahr ; Bauer ; Baldwin ; Langdridge and Barker ; Taylor and Ussher ; Beckmannpaint a broad description of scenes which tend bdsm towards being white, non-disabled, and middle-class, although otherwise diverse in terms of practices and sexualities. For the sake of readers not familiar with BDSM, I want to give a short overview of what it is, as well as a short overview of the participants' practices and places within BDSM.

Pain and power: bdsm as spiritual expression

Half of the participants were exclusively submissive, while the others were switches, which meant they occasionally played as Dominant. The chronically pained bodymind—one who is bdsm pain over months or years—is abnormal in that their pain is chronic rather than an acute eventbut also in that they are in pain at all.

Participants are represented here by pseudonyms, but their identities are otherwise as described, using their preferred terms: Charlie, a queer non-gendered person; Catherine, a gender questioning bisexual person; Julie, Natalie, Michelle, and Rita, all bisexual cisgender women; David, a bisexual cisgender man; and Edward, a pain cisgender man.

Given that they all received pain, it is not surprising that they bdsm engaged in some form of impact play—such bdsm spanking, flogging, bdsm whipping—but for some this occurred as a part of other play, while for pains the impact play was the focus. Pain requires a referent because it demands attention, it focuses on our bodies, on their bounds and limits Wendell Pain—whether acute or chronic—requires us to renegotiate the spaces of our lives, of how we relate to and live in bdsm world Norridge ; we are "[cut] off from other people's reality" Wendellnot because pain lacks meaning, but because chronic pain makes us abject, monstrous, other.