You know that feeling when you’re really intrigued by something, but you don’t want anything to do with it personally? When you’re fascinated that such a thing exists, and that other people enjoy it so much, but you don’t feel particularly drawn to experience it yourself?
That’s how I am with pain.
I’m quite captivated by S&M. I’ll admit I’m drawn to those pictures with all the marks and welts and bruises. I find it uniquely beautiful in a way I can’t grasp completely. I love reading the works of both sadists and masochists as they describe the kind of carnal pleasure they get from inflicting or receiving pain. I love getting that glimpse into their world. And I adore it when they describe the connection they share with their partners.
But I don’t find myself wanting to partake. I’m definitely not driven by any sort of masochistic urge. I like to think I take pain pretty well, I’m definitely not afraid of it (at least not any more than you should be), and I understand how it can produce feelings of euphoria. But I’ve yet to find myself desiring it at all.
What I do enjoy about pain is in terms of my fascination with the human body and how it heals itself. I like watching how little cuts and bruises evolve and disappear. I enjoy the process of feeling sore from something and eventually working through it. And I love scars because they serve as little reminders of what I’ve been through. In fact this is why I’m into tattoos. I don’t like getting tattooed, but I like my ink because it’s proof that I’ve gotten through moments (or hours) of pain.
Yet, in terms of kink, I don’t describe myself as a masochist. I think it’s because my instinct is to equate masochism with really heavy and intense masochism. I like playing with heightened sensations, and I like it when things hurt a little, but you probably won’t see pictures of me all black and blue and bleeding. That plus the fact that I don’t crave pain makes me feel like I’m not qualified to call myself a masochist. And I’m perfectly fine with that. (I do think you should be able to call yourself a masochist even if you’re not into the heavy stuff, but I digress.)
I’m intrigued by S&M because it exists and there are people who honestly revel in it. I don’t have to be into it myself to understand the attraction. I might not comprehend it as deeply as you do, but I get it. You’ve found something that makes you happy, and that’s all that really matters.