The Masochism Tango
If you’ve never heard this classic from Tom Lehrer, have a listen. Granted, masochism is broadly played for laughs here, but what exactly is masochism?
This blog was prompted by a snippet of conversation last week with The Villain. During a pause in the proceedings, I’d asked him if he was a switch. “I’m a sadomasochist,” he answered. “Isn’t that what we all are?”
“No,” I said. “I have no desire to inflict pain on anyone.” “Ah,” he replied, “you’re a masochist, then.”
I must have made a face, because he added, “You don’t like that term, do you.” “No, I really don’t,” I said. “I mean, I don’t get off on pain for pain’s sake. I don’t get wet when I stub my toe. But when it comes to spanking pain, I’m like ‘gimme gimme gimme!'”
He just heard the “gimme gimme gimme” part and cheerfully complied. The conversation fell by the wayside. But I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
Here is the Dictionary.com definition of masochism:
gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc., inflicted or imposed on oneself, either as a result of one’s own actions or the actions of others, especially the tendency to seek this form of gratification.
This sounds fairly broad, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t the implication be that a masochist is gratified by pain, period? Not a highly specific type of pain? What about the psychological aspects of said pain — does that enter into the masochism equation?
I’ve heard that a spankee who claims he/she isn’t a masochist is in denial. I don’t think I’m in denial; I don’t object to the term per se. I just think in some cases of certain types of bottoms, it’s inaccurate.
Yes, I am gratified by having pain inflicted on my bottom. But it’s so much more than that — it’s about head space, power exchange, chemistry, emotions. And take that pain anywhere else on my body, and I go through the roof.
I have known of some hardcore masochists who can absorb (and get off on) all varieties of pain, the more the better. Their bodies are canvases for torture. Me? I hate pain. First sign of a headache, I’m running for the Advil bottle. I’m scared of dentists. I love spanking, but other forms of BDSM? Nyet.
If I were a masochist, wouldn’t I enjoy this?
Oh hell, no. The one time someone briefly tried this on me, the only thing I got out of it was the urge to thrust my heel back and rearrange his teeth.
And don’t even get me started on this:
I can’t even bear witness to breast play, not of any kind, let alone endure it. Four words — learn them, and learn them well: Leave_the_girls_alone.
But some of this action?
Yeah, baby. Bring it.
If I were a masochist, just into the pure gratification from pain, would I be so damn picky about my play partners? Would the attraction and chemistry be so important — I mean, as long as the guy is a pain delivery system, does anything else matter? Oh, and what about technique being important? So he has crappy technique and couldn’t hit the side of a barn accurately, so what? Wouldn’t that make it all the more masochistically exquisite? “Ooooohhhh… you wrapped that strap all the way around my thigh — do it again, please please please?”
I don’t seek pain. I seek spanking. And if it were just about the pain of spanking, I could just as easily self-spank. Or, as mentioned, play with any Joe Blow with a hand and a lap.
Oh, and that degradation/deprivation/humiliation business? Big fat “no thank you” to that as well.
So, here’s my question, fellow bottoms: What does masochist mean to you? And more important, do you consider yourself one? Why or why not?
EDIT: Guys, I know this could be a somewhat controversial topic — let’s be nice, OK? Don’t make me be toppy; I really hate that. 🙂