Friday, March 6, 2009

On Masochism

So since my last two posts have upset J., I'm going to stick with safe territory today. ;)

I know that a lot of times, the things I write resemble essays, but this is how I think. Sorry about that. :( Blame my girly liberal arts brain.

Like I said in my post yesterday, when I drive, I think. I can't help it; my mind wanders. And to entertain me, it usually wanders to something kind of philosophical. I can think on that longer than I can think on, like, the recipe for the world's greatest German chocolate cake or whatever. (Yes, I do make the world's greatest German chocolate cake, but that's another post for another day.)

I had a longer drive today, thus more time to think. And, God knows, since I've driven the roads between Jacksonville and New Site enough that I could do it in my sleep, so I don't exactly need a lot of brain power to pay attention to where I'm going. Add in the fact that there's very little cell phone reception between the two places, and I zone the fuck out.

Anyway, apparently, since I was thinking about the nature of submission yesterday, it logically followed that I had to think about the nature of masochism today. (See? It would be SO much easier if I could just think about cake.)

I have an easier time with the whole being a painslut thing. There literally is no other explanation than "I was born this way." I was beating myself with a hairbrush and playing bondage games before I even was old enough to start school. There was no way I was connecting that with sex. I just thought it was fun to tie my hands together with shoestrings or jump rope, and I figured out pretty quickly that whacking myself with things made me feel happy.

I started connecting it with masturbation when I was maybe 7 or 8. By the time I was 10, I had pretty elaborate self-torture rituals. Well, elaborate for someone still in grade school.

Health psychology taught me a lot about how brain chemistry works. (Yes, I'm veering off into psych major territory again. Bear with me.) That basically answered all my technical questions about my predispositions.

Basically, it's all tied to the amount of dopamine in one's brain. Dopamine is the "OMG, I'M SO FUCKING HAPPY, WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" neurotransmitter. It's powerful stuff. Lab rats will actually starve themselves to death for their hit of dopamine. They'll stop eating just to sit there and hit their little lever that gives them their fix. It's why heroin and narcotic pain meds are so addictive. They bond with dopamine and make the user euphoric. Endorphins are just "natural" opiates, which also bond with dopamine and do similar things.

Obviously, it varies from person to person. Some people, particularly those with naturally low dopamine levels, react heavily to things that work on dopamine receptors. I am one of those people. When I get migraines and have to take narcotics to get rid of it, I get sooo loopy. I've actually lain on my bed staring up at the ceiling crooning, "Ooh...codeine" for hours. They don't affect me like they affect normal people, LOL.

When I hurt myself, my super-endorphins kick in. I don't actually feel the pain until hours later. I fell off one of my horses once and broke my left hand, right below the pinkie, and didn't actually feel pain until I'd gotten back on the horse, ridden him, put up the horses, fed them, driven to Alex City to the emergency room, gotten x-rays and a cast, gone home, showered, and gone to bed. That was maybe 6 hours later. The only way I knew it was broken before I got the x-rays at the ER was that I couldn't move the damn thing.

I have tons of stories like that. The kicker, though, was when I found out that people with social anxiety disorder like me have lower levels of dopamine than people who don't have it. So, basically, I'm a sensation-chaser because my brain doesn't produce enough dopamine on its own. I do things besides be a painslut to get the feeling, too. (None of which are illegal or particularly dangerous. Don't worry, LOL.)

It doesn't even necessarily have to be hardcore pain, either. The biggest endorphin dump ever for me is needles. When I feel really, really shitty, I stick needles in my boobs. (I like them in other places, too, but boobs are the most convenient when you're doing it to yourself.) I can barely feel it, but my body reacts to those tiny puncture wounds the same way it would if I were stabbed multiple times, with an endorphin flood. After about 15 minutes, I'm so woozy and happy, I can barely stand up. I want with all my being to try acupuncture one day and see if it has the same effect.

So that was a long and roundabout way of getting to where I want to go here.

The moral of the story is, yes, I'm a sensation-seeker because of my brain chemistry. Yes, I've always been this way. But...and, of course, there's a but....(And an overuse of ellipses.)

When I play with Master and Mistress, the feeling I get is way more "I'm high on neurotransmitters, yayayayayay!" My masochism can be satisfied by anyone who's halfway skilled at making painsluts happy.

But there is no way that the soul-deep happiness I feel is a neat trick of brain chemistry. The peace I feel after I've been bound, beaten, and tortured by them is not the same as the "WHEEEE!!!!!" feeling I get after some random guy or girl plays with me.

At the risk of sounding all Zen Buddhist here, I have found what feeds my soul, achieved enlightenment, and attained what I'd say is the ultimate peace.

Even if I do have cognitive dissonance sometimes, I know, ultimately, that this IS what I need. My drive to analyze and understand everything might make it a little harder sometimes, but there's no doubt in my mind when I look into my Master's and Mistress's eyes and see the way they look at me and feel how much peace that brings inside me. I will be devoted to them forever.

Well, if they can put up with me that long, that is. ;)

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