Sir and I have been trying out different impact play implements; one per week. Last week was the strap. That was painful, but educational. The strap, and Sir upping the intensity of the upper limit of how hard he’ll hit me, forced me to deal with the pain. Before last week I had been able to tense up and stop breathing; an instinctual response to pain. But with our sessions lasting longer, and the intensity increasing, not breathing is a spectacularly bad option.
I looked online for any practical information about pain management. A lot of the sites did not have useful information. A lot of the sites were organic shills and grifters, preying on the desperation of those in pain. I needed real information that did not involve bone-cracking, shakra alignment, essential oils, or any other bullshit. I also needed real information that was not a simple pharmaceutical response to chronic pain. The ouch in our BDSM is not chronic; it lasts a short while.
We humans have done amazing feats of physical endurance throughout our history. Surely we have developed some easily accessed, psychological “trick” that can be used during shorter term duration pain. I know about the endorphins, of course, but what can we do before they kick in, or after they are exhausted?
Then I remembered a Mythbusters episode, where they tested the hypothesis that shouting, specifically curse words, increases endurance of pain. In their experiment, there did seem to be a correlation between cursing and pain management. But Sir does not encourage shouting, and I find the idea distasteful.
One time last week, I found myself reciting the Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune (“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me, and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn to see its path. Where fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”) That helped, but not as much as I’d hoped.
Buddhism. Yeah, Buddhism has a lot of chants. And I already knew a couple to get started. One was “Namu Amida Buddha” which is an expression of trust in Shin Buddhism. The other was “Om mani padme hum” which I know as “The jewel is in the lotus,” and have found to be a great focusing tool for me over the years.
Sir likes to end the toy of the week with a grand finale. Sir hinted all week about going for red on my ass rather than the bright pink he has been getting.
Would I be able to handle a longer beating? Or a harder one?
Only one way to find out. As we set up, Sir reminded me to work on my breathing.
Then he started.
That first blow is always a surprise, no matter what is being used to hit me. “Right,” my brain tells me, “We are in for the long haul.” I hunker down, tense up, and not breathe. But Sir kept on reminding me to breathe. He checked in a lot.
“Are you breathing?” he would ask. I would nod, but I’m not really breathing. It is all in my upper chest; that area where panic breathing lives. While it mimics breathing, and I can pretend I am, it does not deliver much oxygen. Using my voice training, visualizing my breath focused deep in my gut helps me get enough air. Getting enough air means that I can concentrate on relaxing my body, which makes taking the blows easier.
I know, it sounds strange to have to struggle with something that I claim to love and crave. I am still working out the whys and wherefores of that need for me. I am sure that I will be discovering landmines and epiphanies for a very long time. I realized that I process stress and anger through pain. That’s kind of a big thing.
Thinking back, I have always internalised my feelings. One way to bleed off the anger/stress is to punch things. Inanimate objects; walls, doors, the roofs of cars—all are fair game in the stress-relief quest. However, I hurt myself. I hurt myself a lot. I have not broken any bones in my hand, but I have broken the skin. Lots of bruises. I have also dug my nails into my palms, under stress and/or anger, and ended up with half moon wounds on my palms. Like very strange stigmata.
Sir does not find this acceptable. He says that since my body is his, and his responsibility, I am not allowed to hurt myself anymore. Because when I hurt myself, I often injure myself, and that is not allowed. He will hurt me, but he will not injure me. And I can use that pain to process whatever bullshit I am dealing with. It has been surprisingly effective. Sir is particularly adept at coming up with ways to re-ignite the pain so I can access it whenever I need it.
When I am well marked, Sir will have me sit on hard surfaces. I have to move carefully and deliberately, and it makes me slow down. Upsets the loop that mean brain likes to toss me into.
Still, to the pain.
Back to the living room, where I kneel on the floor. My upper body angled over Sir’s thigh, and I hang on to him. He uses the bright red short strap that he made. I concentrate on really feeling every strike.
Most of the time, it is my fear that makes it hurt more. I tense, I hold my breath. I am starting to be able to focus on the real things that I am feeling. The initial sharp smack that registers to me as screaming cold, followed by the immediate sting of freshly ignited nerves, and the slow warming that happens over the course of the entire beating. Sir prefers symmetry. He tries to mark me that way. But every so often, he will sneak in a direct shot on my cunt that hurts like a motherfucker.
This time, as he was going for the red on my ass, I found myself repeating, “Om mani padme hum.” It seems to be the perfect length to breathe in on one recitation, and breathe out on the next recitation. How utterly fascinating. Intrigued, I tried “Namu amida Buddha”, but it did not work as well for me. Weird, right? And I simply refuse to issue a steady stream of shouted swearing. That is just tacky. And I may be many things, but tacky is not one of them.
Sir pushes me down to my elbows and knees, and straddles my back. He faces my ass, and goes back to raining down blows. He pulls back my garter belt and admires the arch of clear, unmarked skin that provides such a glorious contrast to the marked territory. He pulls the garter belt back, deciding to leave the skin underneath unmarked. This area will become the focus of day one of next week’s impact play implement: The Crop.