I have been hurt sexually before. It wasn’t pleasant. It has happened in a few different ways but I think the thing that hurt me most was rejection. Not an outright knock back, but that night after night realisation that, despite offering everything up, it was not going to happen. It ate away at me really. I suppose that I felt worthless. I felt undesirable and unattractive. I hardened my heart to him and then sort of packed my sexual side safely away from him. I have written about this in more detail here but those old hurts are not where I want to focus this post.
Being hurt is not something that I like, of course. Well not usually. When it happened in the past I didn’t want it. Now, however, it is something that sometimes I crave. I enjoy a bit of physical pain, and as long as the balance between that and the pleasure is carefully managed, I can be held on the edge of ecstatic for as long as HL chooses to hold me there. Prior to D/s I would have said I was a masochist, and in the past have used physical pain to punish myself and manage my emotions. Somehow that has left me wired in a way which means that pain on its own, or where it overpowers the pleasure, will push me away from him and so it becomes counterproductive: I tolerate it for me and not for him, and that seems to give me the power.
What has become clear to us both, however, is that emotional pain, within the context of BDSM, is something that does work. I can’t say that I enjoy it as such: it hurts me of course, but it really bloody turns me on. It also pushes me into my submissive space. This is a space were we do exist together. It is all about him. I am overwhelmed by my need and my dependency on him. It is almost the polar opposite to what happens when the physical is taken too far. In this space I have no power and not would I want any. I would not deserve that as I exist only for him.
This emotional masochism sits closely with humiliation but it is not quite the same thing. The humiliation is part, but only because it enables me to feel the shame that I need to feel. It sounds strange to others I think, and for some reason the need for physical pain is far more understood and accepted, within the boundaries of kink, than to enjoy being hurt emotionally. Or for that matter, to understand the one who is doing the inflicting. That being said, I am an emotional masochist and I do enjoy this sort of pain, within the safety and love of the relationship I have with HL. Outwith that, of course, I would not be happy to endure the torment.
I suppose deep down, I must be ashamed of the things that I like, and to be made to face that somehow releases me from myself. It is hard to explain and even harder to ask for. I have needed HL to watch carefully and to learn what my buttons and triggers are. I cannot be specific in my requests, because to articulate them would put me in control of them and I that would remove much of the impact. I need to be where he is pulling my strings and, like a puppet, I jump and dance for him within my own sense of mortification. He will control me, my mind in his hands, as he manipulates my thoughts and feelings.
At the end will always come acceptance. He has seen what is there and wants me anyway, and this will be my safety. This is why I can be as I am with him. He can reveal what is there, display it all for ridicule and then love me anyway. This pushes me closer to him in a way that the physical enduring of pain does not. This leaves me raw and vulnerable, and having exposed me, he is the only one who can heal me. Another trigger for me will be the shame of failure. This is something we have not experimented with as much, but I know that it is another key to unlocking things which will make me crack.
No one likes failing. I set myself high standards and will do anything within my power to meet them. And yet I feel like I fail all the time. My recurring nightmare as a child was also of this theme. I think that I do this and make myself feel these things in order to try to manage the fear that I have about it. To use this in a sexual way will leave me very conflicted, again pushing me deep into my submissive space. Failing something which was achievable, and his disappointment yet gentle understanding of my failure, is another thing that will drive me to him.
Humiliation and degradation, used in an erotic way, form a key part of emotional masochism for me. That is not to say that the things which make it work are not specific, because they are. They come from knowing the person so well, you can be inside their mind, seeing what others don’t. You know what makes them tick, and you know what makes them cringe. You know which buttons to press, and just the right moment to press them. It is about knowing the when, and where, and how of the mind, in the same way that a physical sadist will be able to read the body. It is about using words to break me in the same way that someone else might use a crop or a cane.
Whether past hurt has influenced what I now gravitate towards or not, I do not know. What I do know is that I feel what has happened in my life so far has been steering me towards this point and, although I feel scared in a sense to acknowledge and embrace it, I also feel excited about where it might go. I trust HL and that allows me to contemplate giving myself to him in a way that I never thought I would do. It was something that I tried hard to conceal, a dark part of me to keep hidden, and not something I thought could be brought into the light. And I suppose that goes back to my fear of rejection, and the fact that now it sits upon unconditional acceptance.
I have linked this post to Brigit Delaney’s Erotic Journal Challenge. The prompt this week was HURT: Have you ever been hurt sexually (physically, emotionally, mentally)? How do you think this impacts your sexual likes/dislikes, what you gravitate toward or what you shy away from, when it comes to sex?