(Cane + Rope) x Erotic Pain + Passion = Peace? Really??
by Claire Thompson
What is it about erotic pain that can so profoundly shift the focus of a jittery, wound-up person and send them into a place of profound peace? How could it be that the cut of a cane against tender flesh can somehow segue into pure, perfect pleasure? Can a thorough body flogging really send a person to that height of ecstatic experience sometimes referred to as “flying”?
To those who have never felt the yearning for the feel of rope and leather restraints, or the tingle of skin longing for a hard palm or the kiss of a leather flogger, it’s got to be hard to comprehend this lust for erotic pain. I mean, stubbing your toe is not at all sexy or satisfying, yet the bite of a pair of clamps against tender nipples can send a sexual masochist into spasms of pleasure. Are there different types of pain? And why and how can submitting to erotic pain bring such utter serenity?
There are studies out there citing proof positive that folks who engage in BDSM play are more relaxed and happy than their vanilla counterparts. Could it be the intensity of experience that is the draw? And what of this concept of flying? What is it, exactly? How do you get there?
For me personally, getting there isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s never easy, but that’s part of its power. I have likened the physical and emotional experience of enduring erotic pain to the concept of Purgatory in preparation for Heaven (though I’m not a religious person, I find the allegory useful). According to one definition I find useful, Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven. Each stroke of leather tresses, each biting kiss of the cane, takes me one step closer to that state of grace. It isn’t that the altered state into which one enters puts out the fire out, but rather softens its flame. Instead of enduring the pain, one encompasses it.
I’ve tried to capture it over and over in my writing, but I don’t think, alas, it is truly possible to put it into words. Not that that’s stopped me, of course! I’ll blather endlessly about anything, as I prove in these few examples below from my novels.
From Accidental Slave:
“It hurts, oh, Cole, it hurts. It’s too much. I can’t do it.” Elizabeth danced on her toes, twisting in a frantic, futile effort to escape the stinging lash.
“You can. You are. I can sense you’re almost there. Breathe. Go with it. Stop fighting the pain. Become the pain. Become the whip. You’re strong. You’re brave. You’re almost there.”
Almost where? Where am I going? Ah… Elizabeth let her head fall back. She didn’t have the strength to lift it again. The sting was still there, but somehow more bearable. Her skin, a moment ago on fire, began to cool. Her head still hung back, eyes closed. Her lips parted and she drew a slow, shuddery breath.
Something shifted. He continued to whip her, if anything harder than before. She felt the sting but no longer defined it as pain, no longer processed it as suffering. Her fingers, which she hadn’t realized had been clutching the chains, relaxed. Her hands went limp and she sagged against the thick cuffs at her wrists.
She was aware of Cole behind her, aware the whip was still biting into her flesh but she no longer felt it. She no longer heard the whistling warning of its trajectory. Her mind emptied, her breathing slowed…
Elizabeth opened her eyes, blinking against the bright light. On one level she’d been aware of Cole dropping the whip, Cole releasing her from the cuffs and lowering her to the ground, taking her head into his lap. But she had been too deeply nestled in the cocoon of a trance to respond or speak.
She had no idea how long she’d been lying there. She hadn’t been sleeping—it was more like drifting, or flying. Flying over a vast expanse of clear sky, weightless. She looked now into Cole’s handsome face. He was smiling at her.
“You did it.”
“What did I do?”
“You got there. You got to that place of utter peace, didn’t you? I could feel it happening. It was the most incredible thing to watch.”
“It was like flying,” she offered, trying to find the right words. “Like soaring. I could still feel the whip but I didn’t feel the pain, if that makes sense.”
“Perfect sense. You gave of yourself, Elizabeth. You worked past the pain, you trusted me, you trusted yourself.”
From Texas Surrender:
Avery was paying attention, and clearly made an effort to obey, staying still all the while under the barrage of stinging leather. JD was impressed with his ability and willingness to take the whipping, but he wanted more. He wanted to take Avery beyond mere endurance, to that place where pleasure and pain lost their meaning as separate concepts.
He kept up a steady, methodical cropping over Avery’s ass and thighs, watching Avery’s face and reading his body language all the while. After several minutes, he no longer needed to remind Avery to breathe or relax. Avery was breathing deeply, his hands open and limp on the bale, his eyes closed. The muscles in his face had relaxed, almost as if he were sleeping, and a small half-smile played over his lips.
Avery, this newbie to erotic pain, was entering subspace. He was flying. Though JD had never flown himself, not being one of those Dom who felt it necessary to experience every sensation they provided for their subs, he’d seen it often enough to know it when he saw it. It never failed to thrill and astound him—the knowledge that he was the one responsible for the euphoric trancelike state induced by intense physical play.
Because Avery was so new to the sensation, JD had to be especially vigilant. He would ease Avery into the experience, keeping a careful watch on his reactions. The intense sensations of both pain and pleasure triggered a dumping of endorphins and other chemicals into the bloodstream that acted much like morphine—increasing the pain tolerance of the sub as the scene became more intense. Because of that, Avery might not be aware or even capable of telling JD to stop.
By the same token, if he stopped too soon, he’d jerk Avery from the trance, denying him the complete experience of flying—a sort of subspace interruptus that he’d learned from lovers in the past was the most frustrating of experiences.
“Avery,” he whispered, his mouth close to Avery’s ear. “You okay? You don’t have to speak. Just nod.” He ran his hand lightly over Avery’s ass. The skin was hot to the touch and flushed a dark red from the cropping. If Avery didn’t respond, he would stop. But after a few seconds, Avery slowly nodded his head, his eyes still closed.
“Want me to keep going?”
Again Avery nodded. JD dropped the crop and stroked Avery’s heated flesh with his fingertips. Cupping his palm, he caught the bottom half of one round globe, hitting him hard enough to elicit a faint groan. He hit the other cheek just as hard, leaving a handprint on the darkened skin. Again Avery groaned, his eyebrows furrowing just slightly. Gauging Avery had had enough, JD eased off, finishing with a series of light smacks that he slowly changed to more of a massaging stroke.
He sat down on the bale beside Avery, lifting Avery’s head gently into his lap. The smile still hovered on Avery’s lips, and he gave a long, low sigh of contentment. JD smoothed back the hair from Avery’s soot-smudged cheek and tucked it behind his ear.
Avery opened his eyes and twisted his head to look up at JD. “Wow,” he offered.
JD grinned. “Feeling better?”
“I feel…” Avery paused, seeming to ponder this. He lay his head back down on JD’s knee. “Amazin’. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s like, better than sex. No, that’s not it. It’s like bein’ drunk, only without the sick woozy feel after. No, no, that’s wrong. It’s like…” He paused, gathering his thoughts. “It’s like this one time when I was a kid and my mom took me down to Galveston. I went swimmin’ in the water, and I got kind of far out. I was tired, so I just lay back and let the water buoy me. I was floatin’ beneath this clear blue sky and it seemed like everythin’ was right with the world.”
And, you might ask, what does the Dom get out of all this? (S)he becomes an intrinsic part of the equation. The love, concern and total connection necessary between the two is essential to create the right environment for a sub to fly. It’s one of the few acts of erotic lover that can’t be mimicked in any masturbatory or auto-erotic fashion. It takes two, which makes it that much more special, and more powerful.
From Heart of Submission:
She sat at the bottom of the bed, perched on the edge, a look of dreamy contentment on her face. “Gosh, Chase. That was amazing. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I guess that’s what they call flying, huh?”
Chase knelt on the rug in front of Kate and put his hands on her bare thighs. “Yeah. It’s really something to watch, to be a part of. There’s no greater high for a Dom than taking his sub there. It’s…” He paused, trying to come up with the right words to capture what was, essentially, indescribable. “…it’s a moment of intense connection. There is no other time, or place, or past or future. Everything is completely concentrated in that moment. It’s like a beam of light as focused as a laser, and as powerful.” He laughed at himself. “I know I’m making absolutely no sense.”
“No, no, you are. I mean, I experienced that too—the connectedness. Like the flogger was an extension of your arm, like you were,” she paused and ducked her head, finishing shyly, “making love to me with it.” She laughed. “Now who’s making no sense?”
“It makes perfect sense,” Chase murmured, stroking her impossibly soft skin. “It’s about trust. I could feel your trust and that freed me to take you further on the journey. You give me the power, you see, when you give me that trust. That’s what I mean about an erotic exchange of power. When it happens, there’s nothing like it. I take that gift very seriously, Kate. And I would never abuse it.”
“Thank you,” Kate whispered.
“Thank you,” he responded, “for your gift.”
And thank you for reading this far! Remember, nothing presented in this article is written in stone. It’s just my own personal take on the experience, and my feeble efforts to give words to the feelings. I’d love your comments on this post, and on your personal experience with the concept of erotic pain.
About The Inner Room
Step into the dark, passionate intrigue of The Inner Room – where submissive dreams become reality
Dr. Marissa Roberts takes charge and saves lives by day, but spends lonely nights embracing fantasies of erotic submission. When a friend encourages her to explore her submissive longings, Marissa agrees to an evaluation to become a member of an exclusive local BDSM club. With that act, a door is opened to Marissa, and her long-standing fantasies may just become reality.
Cam Wilder, a nurse at the same hospital as Marissa and an experienced Dominant in his private life, has no idea the prospective slave girl he will assess in The Inner Room of The Power Exchange will be his reserved co-worker. Sparks of desire ignite into flames of passion as Cam recognizes in Marissa the heart of a true submissive yearning for freedom, and she sees in him a Master who speaks directly to her soul.
Their potential BDSM paradise is threatened by the unwanted attention of an arrogant bastard who refuses to take no for an answer. His secret surveillance and devious plans lead to terrifying results that threaten to destroy not only Marissa and Cam’s careers, but the bonds of trust and love they’ve forged together as Master and sub girl.
Available at: Romance Unbound Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
About Claire Thompson
I’ve been writing for nearly two decades, and have published over 70 novels. I write BDSM romance and non-con abduction tales, spanning both m/f and m/m genres. My love affair is with all things D/s (Dominance/submission). My work began as a romantic exploration of the BDSM life style, and then veered somewhat to the darker side of fantasy. I love delving into the dark psyche of a twisted mind, and gaining insight into what might motivate such a person to do what they do. I don’t create all black and white villains and heroes, but rather strive to develop real, complex and flawed human beings. I don’t want to simply provide an erotic thrill or evocative description. I seek not only to tell a story, but to come to grips with, and ultimately exalt in the true beauty and spirituality of a loving exchange of power. My darker works press the envelope of what is erotic and what can be a sometimes dangerous slide into the world of sadomasochism. Ultimately my work deals with the human condition, and our constant search for love and intensity of experience.
You can find my work for sale on Amazon, Itunes, ARe, Barnes&Noble and Kobo, but I’d be happiest if you bought directly from my publishing site, RomanceUnbound.com.
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Don’t forget to check out JustJen’s review of The Inner Room to see what she thought of it!