Years of experimentation have taught me that there are, for me, four stages of receiving a beating - or anything that causes more than incidental pain. I’ve recently mentioned in a different article that BDSM has helped me to develop a few useful techniques for processing discomfort. It occurred to me as I was writing about them that people have asked me before now how those techniques work. I give you:

The Submissives Guide How to Take a Beating


The Submissives Guide to Taking a Beating: Stage One


As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to give a sub a warm-up before you really get down to business. I love all the stages of being beaten, of course, but this is often the one that is the most straightforwardly enjoyable: I’m usually actively smiling at this point, and anyone watching me would see that I’m clearly having a glorious time.
There’s a sort of switch I can flip in my head where I can reinterpret lighter pain as being pretty much entirely pleasurable. I’m a lot more submissive than I am masochistic in the classical sense, but my understanding is that serious masochists can keep doing this for a lot longer than I can. It’s a neat trick, and one that makes “basic” spanking a lot of fun.

The Submissives Guide to Taking a Beating: Stage Two


When things start to get a bit more difficult, I start to get louder - not to mention much more active and more likely to move around. Something about gasping and moaning and flinching (and occasionally swearing!) channels the pain outwards, making it easier to bear. I can imagine myself sending the pain away from me as it intensifies. One of the best things about this stage is knowing that I’m likely to be left with marks that will please me enormously.

I know that a lot of Doms enjoy this stage the most, because it’s when I’m the most reactive. I’m told there’s something glorious about hearing and seeing someone taking a beating for you, and thinking about that is yet another thing that I enjoy about the experience.

The Submissives Guide to Taking a Beating: Stage Three


submissives guide to taking a beatingAfter a while, things can start to become much harder - whether because the Dom has switched implements or increased intensity or simply because a sustained beating builds up and up as you get sorer and more tender. I love to know that I’ve made it through a beating like this and come out the other side; it makes me feel powerful, somehow, and more resilient. I also enjoy giving my Dom the kick they inevitably get out of knowing I’ve taken something so difficult for them. It does take a little endurance, though, and one of the reasons I don’t like to reach this stage with Doms I don’t know or trust too well yet is that I get a lot harder to read.
Instead of sending the pain outwards, I start drawing it in: I imagine myself absorbing it, letting it become a part of me and flow through me. I’m usually very still and very quiet while this is going on, because it requires a lot of concentration and steady breathing. It’s a conscious process; less of an innate ability and more of a psychological trick I can play on myself.

The Submissives Guide to Taking a Beating: Stage Four


Eventually, when that stage has gone on for as long as I can keep it up for, I suddenly can’t take it any longer and I sort of spontaneously burst into tears. This hasn’t actually happened very often, and it’s not something I’m usually interested in pursuing - the vast majority of the time it’s best for both me and the Dom if we stop before this point, and as a result I’d be more likely to use a safe word than get this far.
The few times it has happened, though, it’s been incredible. It feels like being laid bare, somehow; taken back to first principles, totally revealed and known and understood. It’s deep and raw and the kind of experience that it’s difficult to talk about without sounding like a mad hippie who overthinks everything. (Spoiler: I am pretty much a mad hippie who overthinks everything.)
It’s always signaled the end of a beating for me; it’s less a technique and more the end of the road. It’s also a moment of deep connection with the person who has been beating me, and a time when I need for a few moments at least to just be held by them and come back to myself.

Abi Brown is a freelance writer and general pen-for-hire devoted to sexual deviancy, far-left politics and wearing too much jewellery. Find her at her website or @see_abi_write.

© ALYUSHIN / Dollar Photo Club and Nick Fisher via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 license

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