As I have a severe aversion to pain, the philosophy of masochism has always been one which has baffled me.

Last night I had a curious thought. If a masochist were to uninentionally slam their fingers in a car door, would they derive pleasure from such a task?

One wonders, as a masochist, does one receive the same pleasure from accidental pain infliction as from intentional self-infliction, or even sadomasochism.

I feel a need to elaborate here. Please, however, keep in mind that what I say really only applies to me personally, I can in no way speak for other masochists and submissives. Also, I'm trying to be brutally honest, so ask questions if there's something that you're curious about that I failed to cover.

I can enjoy pain in many forms. Like Nailbunny implies, pain in a sexual situation is the best, but that can be hard to define. I'm not personally fond of emotional pain in general, but there are times, such as when the pain comes along with other joy willing bought, that one must love the whole package. In the end, however, my masochism centers around physical pain, but I don't derive pleasure from all physical pain.

One of my main dividing lines is when my survival instincts kick in, when I become worried about damaging my body and stop seeking ecstasy. In particular, I most certainly do not enjoy slamming my fingers in a car door, as hands can be easily injured and have lots of bones that are difficult to heal. Moreover, hands in severe pain tend to be pretty non-functional, which is just plain annoying. Similarly, I don't enjoy having a headache, they just distract me. In fact, I don't enjoy everyday pain much at all, although sometimes I can by shifting my mind set.

At the other end of the spectrum, pain in an intimate and/or sexual setting can be incredible. There are really two "good" feelings that I generally associate with pain. One is the initial burst of ecstasy, literal pushing me out of stasis and into another place. Following that is the endorphin rush, the warm, happy, loving glow that drifts in. The benefit of this is that it raises one's pain threshold, thus one can willingly experience more pain, looking for greater ecstasy and an even higher rush. Endorphins also result in a sort of afterglow, which is well spent on further sexual activities or cuddling. It's a natural response that pretty well everyone has towards pain, the same feeling as a runner's high.

Different people handle pain in different ways; however, I've never been with anyone that didn't like at least a little pain under the right circumstances. Being a masochist is more a matter of degree. In some cases it can be learned, and sometimes it's instinctive.

A little side note, inspired by b o leary: pain is an extraordinarily bad thing with which to punish a masochist. This can come up more often than one might think, as a few of my previous vanilla lovers found out. Probably the most effective punishment on myself is to withdraw attention and approval. Punishing a masochist with pain is counter-productive, it just conditions them to associate their misbehavior with reward.

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