Have you ever wondered why pain hurts so good? A masochist is defined as someone who derives pleasure, often sexual gratification, from experiencing pain or humiliation. In contrast to that, a person who derives pleasure from inflicting pain is known as a sadist. This is where the commonly known term S&M comes from.
For masochists, there’s something deeply satisfying about experiencing pain, and there’s science behind it too. Our pleasure and pain receptors in the brain are very closely wired, and endorphins that are released when we experience pain, such as a spank for example, are interpreted by the brain as pleasurable.
In addition, experiencing pain is said to push blood flow out of the brain, which is what can cause us to enter altered states of consciousness (often referred to as subspace). There’s a lot of different hormones at play such as serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine which all contribute to the yummy fuzzy feelings some feel when they experience pain.
And then there’s the element of taboo that comes with being physically hurt, degraded or humiliated. The feeling of something being “wrong”, “naughty” or “taboo” is often what makes a kink even more appealing. And to be able to explore that kink in a safe space allows you to surrender into those feelings guilt free, making for even more pleasurable experiences.
So, if you think you might be a masochist, or you’re looking to play with a masochist and want to know how to explore this kink in multiple different ways, here’s my top 5 ways to play with a masochist…
For a lot of masochists, physical pain is one of the biggest kinks that gets them off. This could include spanking with a variety of toys and tools such as paddles, floggers, whips and more. It could also include scratching, biting or slapping – pretty much any type of physical pain they have consented to. Often pain is used in power play dynamics such as through punishments for being naughty, funishments (just for the fun of it), and general rough play.
When it comes to exploring physical pain during play, it’s important to communicate clearly before doing anything. Some things to consider include where on the body they feel comfortable experiencing the pain, how often/long they are okay receiving pain, whether they are okay with marks being left on the skin, and what kind of aftercare they would like after play. Remember to always use a safewording system, especially when trying something new for the first time, to ensure limits are not pushed too far.
Humiliation & degradation
Masochists don’t just get off on physical pain. For some, it’s more about the psychological feeling of being humiliated or degraded by someone. This could include being called names or generally being trash-talked during play, for example, being called a slut or a whore, or being made fun of for looks/size of genitalia.
In a power exchange, this could also include demeaning tasks such as being treated as a slave, animal or even a piece of furniture, or it could mean being treated as absolutely nothing, ignored and made to feel worthless.
Why would somebody enjoy being treated this way? It all comes back to vulnerability. Being vulnerable with someone can be an incredibly intense feeling, and often for masochists and submissives, that feeling of being totally exposed and vulnerable is incredibly liberating and freeing.
When we surrender ourselves to our partners as purely an object of their pleasure, this can also allow us to transcend to those altered states in the same way physical pain can. Clear communication, safe words and aftercare should also be considered when experimenting with humiliation and degradation.
Similar to humiliation and degradation, mind fuckery is a type of psychological play which is often used in power exchange dynamics as a way of getting into the submissive’s mind. Forms of mind fuckery include elements of humiliation such as taunting and teasing and also physical acts of denial. This type of play is all about creating anticipation and tension (as is a lot of BDSM play), and can start long before you enter the bedroom.
Taunting, teasing and denial can be used as a form of punishment, or even as a way of training or conditioning your submissive to become your slave. Masochists who enjoy mind fuckery may enjoy feeling certain emotions such as jealously, shame and desperation when with their Dominant. This could include things like hearing about or watching their Dominant play with another person (cuckolding), being edged with a toy or vibrator, forced masturbation and denial of orgasms, or generally being “used” by their partner and others (again always with consent).
The appeal here again is about total surrender to another. Being “owned” by someone or participating in Total Power Exchange (TPE) allows the masochist or submissive to completely let go of all responsibility in those moments of play, in doing so feeling totally liberated and free. The taboo element of going against gender stereotypes is also a very popular appeal of these masochistic kinks.
Bondage is a popular accessory to S&M play. Being bound and unable to move while being dealt any of the above adds a physical layer to the element of surrendering. When you physically cannot move, you have no choice but to take whatever is being given to you.
The position in which one is restrained, the material and texture of the restraints, and how tightly one is bound all adds a physical layer of pleasure for masochists to enjoy. This could include using leather cuffs, tape, bondage rope or items such as spreader bars and hogties, or simply getting creative with items you have lying around the house!
Physical or mental bondage makes a masochist feel “trapped” during play, unable to escape the things their partner wishes to do to them. When using bondage, it’s always important to consider comfort to a certain degree to avoid real damage or injury, and remember to never leave a restrained person unsupervised to minimise risk of injury too.
(TW Rape Play)
As I’ve mentioned throughout this guide, the most common dynamic you find masochists in is Dominant/submissive. Masochists may enjoy playing the role of a slave or a pet that is owned by a Master/Mistress, and this could be both in a one-off scene or as an ongoing dynamic.
However, not all submissives are masochists and not all masochists are submissives. You are allowed to enjoy pain but not be in a D/s dynamic, you may simply enjoy exploring the different kinks in this list without identifying as a particular role at all.
However, for most, there is an element of role play that comes with S&M fantasies, in which a power exchange is in play. While that might not be strictly Dominant & submissive, it could be something like a teacher/student or boss/employee role play (both common authoritative role play in which one seduces the other).
This could also look like a consensual non-consent scene, whereby play is agreed in a way in which one partner (the top, Dominant) takes what they want from the masochist (the bottom, submissive), without asking, such as forcing masturbation/orgasms/arousal, fantasy rape, and total power exchange including all of the other kinks in this list.
It is SO important to communicate and discuss a consensual non-consent scene before you go into it. Everything that could happen during a play session like this must be pre-agreed and actually consented to. Once you have set the parameters of what’s off limits and what’s not, that leaves room for a little spontaneity and suspense in this type of role play.
Staying safe when exploring S&M
As I’ve mentioned with everything in this guide, all play must be thoroughly considered and discussed beforehand and safewords in place to ensure limits aren’t pushed too far. When explored in a safe environment, masochism is a beautiful way to express vulnerability and allow yourself to truly let go and experience pleasure.
You don’t have to be into all of these things to be a masochist, nor does it mean you’re not allowed to enjoy other sensations too. For many, their kink is on a spectrum, and it changes from day to day depending on who you’re with and what mood you’re in. One day you might be a masochist, the next you might be a sensualist. Enjoy exploring whatever feels good for you in the moment.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into your desires then why not book in for a BDSM Exploratory Session with me, where I provide coaching and education to help you gain clarity and confidence in your desires. If you’ve been dreaming of exploring your masochist desires, drop me a message and let’s chat.