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The Pain Threshold and Endorphins

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Peter
Senior Spanko
Username: Peter

Post Number: 908
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 03:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found this article on a website. http://www.vanilla-not.com/reallife/endorphins.html

It may be of interest

The Pain Threshold and Endorphins or, "No Pain, No Gain"

The pain threshold is the level of pain which the bottom can no longer voluntarily endure. This is the point at which your bottom will safe out. Learning where that point lies for your bottom is very important if you wish to maximize the experience for both partners. This is because once that point is identified, it can be manipulated.

Endorphins are neurotransmitters (chemicals which are directly involved in the brain's electrochemical workings). They are also natural painkillers. High endorphin levels cause a feeling of euphoria. Of course, SM is not the only way to achieve this state. Long-distance runners refer to it as "runner's high."

The sensitive, careful and methodical application of pain can move the pain threshold higher, enabling the bottom to tolerate higher levels of pain, thereby receiving the benefits of higher endorphin levels. To the bottom, the pain will not seem to increase, even though the physical trauma upon the body does. This is because as endorphin levels rise, the pain becomes deadened.

Safety Note: The fact that the pain is deadened must never make you lose sight of the physical trauma you are causing. Don't abuse your responsibility for your bottom's safety just because the euphoria of a endorphin rush makes your bottom a little giddy.

In order to stimulate the release of endorphins, the top should gradually increase the pain level until it nears the pain threshold. After reaching the threshold, lower the intensity and allow the endorphins which the pain released to work their magic, nullifying the pain. When the top once again begins to increase the pain, the endorphins which the previous cycle released allow the bottom to tolerate a higher level of pain. The now higher level of pain releases even more endorphins, and the cycle begins again .

Patience is a virtue here. There are several difficulties you may run into. They can discourage you, but don't let them! Keep them in mind, watch for them, and when they occur, alter your technique until you find that unique formula that works for you and your bottom. Sometimes subtle changes in technique can produce dramatic results.

Sometimes the pain threshold will hit a plateau, refusing to rise further. If this happens, a complete break in activity for a few moments, a few minutes or longer might be in order. Every bottom has a certain point beyond which even the best technique cannot take them. This point can vary from day to day. Just because the bottom hit a new high yesterday doesn't mean he or she will hit it again today. If you try every technique you can think of to get beyond the plateau, but to no avail, it's just not the right day. Accept what comes.

Another common problem is hypersensitivity, which causes the pain threshold to drop dramatically. Those of you who have had large tattoos done know how it works. Believe me, it's no fun. You are playing, having a great time - the bottom is on a major endorphin high and you're loving it. Suddenly the bottom safes out. You take a break and then get back into it, but after the break even love taps are too painful. What went wrong?

Hypersensitivity seems to happen most often when you have been pushing too far, too fast. Playing right around the threshold is physically and mentally stressful, and too much of it will wear the bottom out. Make sure when you bring him or her back down, you leave plenty of time for rest.

Endorphin highs are a great reward, but they take hard work. If you are not successful after a few attempts, don't give up. Even an experienced player takes time to learn a new bottom, and as a novice you have to learn the bottom while learning the technique. Just work slowly, stay determined, and look for small signs of success. These small successes will tell you what works for the bottom. Eventually, with patience, you will get it.

Man 'n a suitcase
Master of Spankology psychology

Ignore the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey
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Serijules
Spanko
Username: Serijules

Post Number: 74
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 04:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just some random thoughts as I read this...

"Even an experienced player takes time to learn a new bottom, and as a novice you have to learn the bottom while learning the technique."

This is a really interesting article. I judge a good top as someone who takes the time to 'learn' me and my reactions before taking play to a level where they are in total control, so to speak. I prefer to play on a level where what is going on is what the TOP wants rather than what I want, that is the submissive nature in me, however, there are steps that need to be taken to actually get to that level, and a top that does not realize that is not someone I will respect.

I have run into it a lot actually...tops that are so focused on being in control that they can't see the forrest for the trees. There is a fine line between being in effective control, and being effectively ignorant. Unfortuately, I seem to have had more experiences in the latter :/

I have learned that pain thresholds are ever evolving. What may be something you can handle in one situaion may be something that totally pushes your limits the next. Mindset, surroundings, relationship with a partner, comfort zones, health, stress level...so much affects how a person processes something. Pushing these thresholds and discovering new ones are huge challenges and takes a very insightful person to handle them with positive results.

"Another common problem is hypersensitivity, which causes the pain threshold to drop dramatically. Those of you who have had large tattoos done know how it works. Believe me, it's no fun."

I agree with that comment!! lol I have a large tattoo on my back, it covers most of my upper back from shoulder to shoulder. So far the work that has been done has taken about 6 hours. The first sitting was the longest, all of the outline work. I was fine, in fact, more than fine for the first 2.5 hours and was loving the pain. All the sudden I completely shut down and couldn't handle another second of it (although I did stick it out since we were almost done and couldn't stop). The shift was so sudden and so extreme, it really was a bit scary and definately no fun (though I still LOVE getting tattoos).
xoxo,
serijules

check out my satin ribbon floggers at www.serijules.com/flogger.htm
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Kilahara
Spanking Wizards (Moderator)
Username: Kilahara

Post Number: 2296
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 09:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sometimes I wonder if 'This thing we do' may not be incredibly similar to playing a musical instrument? There are times when learning to play the piano or pipe oragn, that obsession with technique obscures the feelings thjat are vital to understanding and appreciating a work of art.

Does anyone else ever feel that way?

Ross
Navigo, ergo sum.

Spanking without love, trust and consent is abuse.
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Shewolf
Senior Spanko
Username: Shewolf

Post Number: 3424
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not me Ross. I still feel very much a newbie in TTWD, and I'm always fascinated by learning all I can about everything spanko. It helps me to better understand myself and what makes me tick, and has even answered questions I didnt know I had.

I have learned so much in this past year, things I never knew existed. Positions, techniques, implements, feelings, aftercare...the list is endless. There hasnt been a day I havent come to this board and learned something new, even some things not spanking related! I'm also grateful that the man I love has spent a lot of time learning about TTWD and perfecting his technique, it is for my pleasure after all. :-)

Luckily for me, all this learning has only enhanced the joy I get from spanking!
Yes, I am the big, bad Wolf your mother warned you about...

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