Health, Your Sex Life

Why Do Masochists Crave Pain: The Brain Science Of BDSM

It all comes down to how your brain perceives pain, and what happens as pain is inflictedWhips And Chains Feel Good In My Brain

Have you ever wondered why some people get incredibly turned on by pain? Why  you might be drawn to slightly kinky play like being tied up?  What is this  thing called subspace and the altered state of consciousness that’s spoken of in BDSM circles.

It all comes down to how your brain perceives pain, and what happens as pain is inflicted. This is a quick look into your brain on pain, and why it can feel good.

Disclaimer: This article isn’t meant to be a primer in BDSM and Kink  – it’s an explanation of why pain can feel like pleasure.

The brain perceives the painful sensation in the somatosensory cortex, which tells the brain where the pain is being felt...back, thighs, butt... 

Nociceptors: The Pain Receptor

nociceptor is a pain receptor that responds to pain and sends signals along the spinal cord and to the brain.  Nociceptor comes from the word Nocer which means to injure or to hurt in latin.

These little receptors help keep us safe and tell the brain when the body is injured or hurt.

The brain perceives the painful sensation in the somatosensory cortex, which tells the brain where the pain is being felt…back, thighs, butt…

Then the insula, a little chunk of grey matter in the brain helps control the emotional response to the pain, and in BDSM this is where some of the magic happens

These feel good hormones can literally promote sexual arousal when they flood the brain enough.

Endorphins To The Rescue

The body’s natural response pain is to release some really nice feel good hormones called endorphins; in this case oxytocin (the hormone of love), melatonin (the sleepy hormone)and serotonin (the happy hormone). These feel good hormones can literally promote sexual arousal when they flood the brain enough.  Along with the happy hormones the brain also releases adrenaline in the form of norepinephrin and epinephrin; these hormones trigger the fight or flight response.

So when prick yourself with a pin, your body yellls “Ouch” and you remove the pin as soon as possible. When it comes to BDSM, the pleasure and pain response is just the same.

A gradual build up from light stimuli (a thuddy flogger) to heavier pain (harder spanking, whips and canes)  (safe, sane consensual only please)

Slowly Please…

A gradual build up from light stimuli (a thuddy flogger) to heavier pain (harder spanking, whips and canes)  (safe, sane consensual only please) will flood the brain with feel good hormones, and that light, sleepy, aroused, drifty sky-high feeling known as subspace takes over and whomever is receiving the pain can actually perceive it as pleasure. A LOT of pleasure.

The fight or flight response is often short lived, and once it passes, it produces another rush and flood of endorphins, further creating an altered state of consciousness. Basically, it feels really good.

 

 

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