Emotional Masochism

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Me: I do know that, for me, after we scene and in the days following…I feel very submissive and subjugated…(and) the misery afterward enhances that feeling, keeps me in that headspace, and I like that.  I don’t want to let go of it right away.

I think in that respect our personal relationship and how it works–me being there, the intensity of our interactions in a compact, finite timeframe, and then being sent home to “real life” but with the lingering after effects of it all, but without close personal contact again with you for a space of time, kind of drives that desire in me to cling to the headspace a little longer, to want to feel it longer…   For me, the physical parts bleed over into the mental, coloring my perceptions of my “self” in relation to you–achieving mental subjugation as well as physical, and that holds over for a time after we are apart.

Him: I’m a little surprised and quite intrigued by one thing. With the shifted sleep patterns, lack of sleep, having to sleep in high heels, and – oh yes – being brutalized several times a day, I can only imagine that you must be feeling horrible, and perhaps will for the next several days. But from both your reports so far you seem to be getting some reward from your misery.  I’m curious. Sometimes one has a great night out – partying and getting drunk – and then really regrets the hangover the next day – but accepts it as the price of a good time.  What you describe seems to be different. The discomfort appears to reinforce your subjugation and perhaps prolong and in some ways even enhance the experience. Is this really true?

I have been turning over the notion of “emotional masochism” in my mind for a while now. I have seen the term discussed on various threads on FetLife before, but never read them too thoroughly, not believing they had much to do with me.  Then the other day, while working on this post, I recognized that my willingness–my desire–to experience all that life has to offer, the good and the bad, might fit in with the term.  After the last few play sessions in Austin and here at home, I am more inclined than ever to believe that this, too, is part of my kink.

The above email exchange happened some time ago, when W and I started all this together. It was in those emails that I first recognized the need in myself to expose myself to, experience and embrace, this darker side of what I do. We had had several intense day & nights of sceneing.  I had crashed pretty hard and was deep in the throes of subdrop…anxious and shaky, needy, insecure. I find it far more difficult to share that place of vulnerability with others than to share the crazy place I go when in the middle of a heavy pain scene; harder than the mindless fuckmeat I become (tho that’s hard to acknowledge too); harder than the small, submissive, docile thing I sometimes become right after a scene. Me in subdrop is me on the edge of deepest emotional vulnerability, and I don’t like others to see me there…I am so, so sure in that moment that I am unlovable and unlovely, and my fear of rejection runs high. It took quite a while before I would even let W see me like that.

I recall quite distinctly reading his response to me and immediately, instinctively, shaking my head.  No, that was not me, that could not be me.  But then, slowly, I turned it over in my mind. Reread it, and was drawn to his innate understanding of that part of myself that I had revealed without meaning to in my previous email. It was the first time I recognized that the need to experience the side that makes me feel lost and afraid, lonely, needy and vulnerable, might be as deep a part of my kink as the physical stuff, as the need for comfort afterward, as the need to be used and fucked and made to hurt.  That in order for the “getting put back together” part to move me as deeply as it does, I need to find that place at the bottom, I need to scrape myself raw on its edges, I need to bleed inside as well as bruise outside.

That wasn’t an easy acknowledgment for me, truthfully. To admit that I want to experience emotional/psychological pain/distress…  Well, it’s much easier to say, “hurt my body” than “hurt my mind.” And easier for me to accept that I want that.  Hell, physical pain is just that: a physical sensation.  But what kind of fucked-up person wants their mind/heart to hurt? Of course I know now that there are many people that do, and I recognize the validity of it as a means to dig deeper, to delve into those dark places…and to come back from them, safe, sane and whole.  But…it wasn’t an easy thing to think about, to accept, about myself.

But…accept it I have…and even embraced it.

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