“harder” isn’t always better

My colleagues and I produce and host a weekly *BDSM event in a nightclub.  Basically, people sign up and tip us to bind them to a chain link fence and use the whips, paddles, and floggers on them.  Anyway, at least once a night there’s someone who decides to use the opportunity for a destruction test.  Their goal?  To prove they’re a bigger badass than Chuck Norris, at the cost of their flesh.

…I’m not invested in how hard you can take it.  Bragging to me about something like that is sort of like bragging about how big your penis is, for several reasons:

  1. I don’t care.
  2. you’re lying.
  3. I don’t care.
  4. **it’s not the point.
  5. still don’t care
  6. ***pain is subjective and highly personal to the individual.
  7. surprise, surprise: the ones who brag at length about how hard they can take it are, almost universally and without exception, the ones who tap out during the warm up phase.

It’s sort of like how some people like really spicy food and others prefer sweet or savory or salty or just nuances of spice.  Pain is something each individual is going to receive, interpret, and process differently.  Therefore, I really don’t care how hard you can take it.  I’m not going to be impressed.  Also, you’re probably being stupid if you’re trying to impress me.  I’ve done this for a long time and you can rest easy in the knowledge that I can dish out far more than you can take.  I don’t feel the need to brag about it, because being able to dish it out isn’t a contest, and neither is being able to take it.

It can actually be pretty damned irresponsible. Say for instance:

-you’re at the bar, and:
-you’ve had a few, which means:
-you aren’t feeling pain as acutely as you would if you were sober, so:
-you are actually prone to HARM and INJURY, because:
-you don’t have the best read on the situation due to drinks consumed.

So?  There’s a big, huge difference between hurting someone and harming someone.  I’ll hurt you all you want, at my discretion and with your consent of course.  But I will not deliberately harm you.  That is why: if you are tipsy and you ask me to play with you, I’m going to use my judgment and exercise my own discretion, and completely ignore your chest thumping attempts to impress me with how hard you can take it.

Featured image by PJ Weingart

* Bondage A Go Go at Exit nightclub in Chicago.  If you have never been, or if it’s been a while, here is a handy primer on the event:  https://dommedeplume.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/bondage-a-go-go/

**the point isn’t how much pain you can take.  The point is being able to let go, exhale, and trust another person with your physical well being.  The point is to submit and receive.  The point is to experience something you’ve never done before.  The point is to feel a little more alive for a few minutes.

***If you NEED to be hurt, like if you need a serious dose of a good beat down because that IS your endorphin rush, or because you find it otherwise enjoyable or therapeutic, that’s fine.  You need to express that like an adult, instead of bragging about how hard you can take it between swigs of beer.

***ALSO*** … if you insist “harder, harder” just for the sake of being The Guy Who Can Take It Hardest, that means your energy is being spent to brace yourself for the next blow…rather than settling into a good mental head space and getting any benefit from the situation.  I don’t need “proof” of anything.  It’s pretty silly.  Relax and let go of the idea that you have to prove anything, and try to have fun. 



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