Emotional Masochism

Emotional Masochism

I have always had a good pain threshold. Pain was always something that I could manage and make work for me so I probably would have said back in the vanilla world that I was a masochist, or at the very least, masochistic.  When we started D/s I was able to explore my relationship with pain as well as my relationship with pleasure. I began to move away from the idea of being a masochist at this point really. I suppose I had the opportunity to discuss the use of pain as part of play much more openly with people who did it a lot and I realised that there was a difference in terms of where it took them, which I explored in The painful truth.

What I have learnt, however, is that I am an emotional masochist. This was pointed out to me by my friend furcissy who is a great source of information on all things BDSM. He defines an emotional masochist as “someone who gets arousal or sexual gratification from experiencing emotional suffering.  This suffering can happen in a number of ways.  Humiliation, anxiety, degradation, embarrassment, hurt feelings, and heartbreak are some examples of the types of suffering that an emotional masochist may to.  Basically, things that do not feel good.”

Experiencing emotional discomfort in the form of humiliation and shame is something that takes me to a completely different place than the physical pain and discomfort caused by heavy impact play. Although I enjoy it, physical pain will push me deeper into myself and therefore further from HisLordship whereas emotional pain will draw me out of myself and closer to him. I know that this sort of masochism is not the type which is widely spoken about, and there are often misunderstandings surrounding it. Just to clarify, I am not saying for one minute that I get off on being emotionally abused or mistreated.

What I have found is that these sort of acts, under the right set of circumstances, can be a huge trigger to me finding my submissive space and also to keeping me there. As I wriggle and squirm and am confronted with what I really am, the cognitive dissonance created pushes me deeper and deeper into my own submission, and into subspace. The discomfort can lead to me being so highly aroused that nothing else seems to register. My heart races, my senses are heightened, I am out of control of my reactions and responses and nothing else matters other than the connection that I have to him.

Although I can admit that I am an emotional masochist, I struggle to admit the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ in specific terms. I find it embarrassing: both the fact that I like it and the specifics of what I would like him to do. I don’t want to admit that this is something that turns me on, and I can’t take ownership of the detail of what exactly will press my buttons. It goes against the very idea of what I am, although ironically it is only through the ‘forced’ acceptance and acknowledgement of what I am, that I am able to reach this state and find the freedom that I crave. I cannot ask for what I want because I don’t want to want it, if that makes sense.

Another issue is that because this is something that turns me on, it has become a large part of my inner voice during play. I think there is a hesitation in handing that power over to someone else. I cannot ask him to do this to me; he has to take the control from me and do it because he knows it is what I need and want. And I need him to let me know that is what he is going to do, is doing, and has done. In life I have sought to surround myself with those who will seek to negate the words and thoughts of my inner voice, not work with them, so to take that down a different road with someone I trust and love is a thought which is both exciting and scary at the same time. So I hesitate. And I hide.

It is tricky because I do not enjoy feeling humiliated and ashamed per se, but within the right context and the right environment, with the safety of the person I love, the feelings which come from it will arouse me. The cognitive dissonance created will mean that I am freed of what I was before. I will be reduced to the point that none of that matters. In being exposed for what I am, I can leave that part of me behind. I have nothing to lose because that tough layer of self-protection has been broken apart. It has gone and he has seen what is at the centre. Not only has he brought about my reduction to this, having seen what is left, he still loves me and wants me.

I tried to explain how it worked when writing about the wearing of a tail. Usually the feelings come from doing things which I see as forbidden, or dirty or wrong. Having to admit that I get off on the things I shouldn’t want to do and acknowledge the parts of me that I have always pushed away, causes a level of discomfort that is a trigger to  feeling submissive and aroused. I simultaneously want, and don’t want, to do these things so the two lines of thought from the two parts of me collide. The fact that I have not only permitted it but also got off on it, means that I have to throw aside the sort of girl I feel I should be and embrace the sort of girl I am. That brings a huge sense of freedom. I can just be. I can just exist for him and as what he has made me.

Post originally published on submissy

5 thoughts on “Emotional Masochism

  1. Wow! Good post Missy and I get it completely and understand where you’re coming from. Let me see if I can explain it from my point of view. The reason physical pain from an implement being used only draws us deeper into our head is because we are mental focused on physical feeling and we are enjoying which draws us deeper within ourselves because there is no mental trauma involved, it’s all physical. Now emotional pain like humiliation, degradation, embarrassment, hurt feelings draws us out because we are mentally focused on our Doms words that draws a response verbally sometimes. We need to except what we won’t admit to ourselves on our own so we can start to heal within. Our Dom’s know when we need this because we try hiding from ourselves and from them as well. And believe we do want our Doms to use emotional pain on us because we know we won’t ask for it ourselves but need it and do love it after the fact. It’s a totally different feeling within us on how we process it and release a pain that deeply affects our heart and soul. I love when Sir uses emotional pain on me because it tells me that my Dom is taking care of me by giving me what I need at that time and will always be there to catch me if and when I fall. I have fallen deeply emotionally because of past trauma that has been triggered by someone or something. Do I feel guilty by admitting to myself or my Dom that i got aroused or turned on by what he did….NOPE! Because I did not enter into this act aroused I got in that state because of what my Dom triggered and pushed me into releasing the issue that was holding me in a state I did not like about myself. My Dom took charge and pushed me to give my total submission to him and let go and when I did my Dom gave me that gift of expecting the pain that I enjoy that gets me aroused and to slip into subspace without any regret of how I may have gotten there. I except that I am a masochist and love it ♥


  2. Thank you for this very insightful post Missy. I have been trying to put this into words for the longest time and you have. Ditto everything you said. I need to print this and read it often. I never put a label on this feeling but you have and your description of what is actually happening in a sub mind and hear is spot on. Describing emotional masochism as ‘cognitive dissonance’ explains it perfectly. hugs, elskling.

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