The line between pain and pleasure - Play Safe Forum Topics
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    I’ve recently been listening to the ‘Sex Nerd Sandra’ podcast on Spotify and in one episode the discussion of pain and pleasure came up. I thought it was interesting that they mentioned that during sex the line between these two concepts can become blurred, pain often being interpreted as pleasure.

    Personally, I can become very rough in sexual situations (with consent of course)! People always find pleasure from this though, whereas in any other situation, certain actions would just be painful rather than pleasurable.

    What are your thoughts on pain vs. pleasure in a sexual context? Do you think the line becomes blurred? And how can safe BDSM be practised, creating a clear distinction between pain and pleasure?


    @tea great thread – and something many people are too nervous to bring up or discuss. Although a certain 50 Shades film has definitely made BDSM less of a taboo subject! 

    I think that it’s each to their own when it comes to this. As long as both people are consenting and they have spoken about what is okay and what is not. I think there does have to be some parameters though between causing a little bit of paint hat feels good, and something that actually causes harm to another person. 

    This question also reminded me of an article I read the other day about the most popular safe sex words . Number 1 is ‘red’ and number 10 is ‘Unicorn’.

    Just imagine being mid throws and yelling ‘UNICORN!!!!’  😀 😀


    I think because of its popularisation, maybe people get the impression that a lot of couples are engaging in rougher play – not too sure if that’s the case.
    I’m a big fan of checking in during anything rough, just a simple ‘does that feel good’ to make sure it’s on the pleasure side, rather than the pain. 


    @tea such a good topic! I completely agree with @Aunt_Flo, checking in during anything rough is really important and it’s actually so sexy hearing ‘does that feel good?’  :p 

    I’ve had two really different experiences with choking where one was because the person got off on choking people and being rough/in control and the other because they got off on pleasuring someone as restricting someone’s airflow can enhance pleasure. The first experience was just painful and didn’t feel good at all, so after that I thought I didn’t like rough play at all. But knowing the intentions of this second person, I enjoyed it way way more. So I think your whole attitude towards pain/pleasure and having that conversation with your partner about what you like beforehand, can definitely create a safer and more pleasurable experience. 


    I see it more as a continuum than a line, because the idea of “pain” is kind of dependant on the person, I think. I like to think of tickling as an example – some people hate being tickled, like it actually hurts them, but other people love it and if you do it in a nice way can kinda be sensual. Same could be said for a lot of things that would be considered painful, like slapping or spanking. Some people get aroused by that during sex, for others its just plain painful and unsexy. 

    I don’t know if I’m explaining it very well haha but basically I see it as a wide range of tactile sensations, some more aggressive than others, and different people react differently. I love to be tickled, and light touches like that on my skin really get me going, but a slap thats anything more than a gentle tap is a bit off putting. My partners the opposite – can’t stand being tickled, but a hard slap really gets him going. 


    Good analogy @MintMilano


    Really good analogy there @MintMilano! I guess it’s definitely an explorative practice of getting to know where your line is and where your partners are too. 

    Checking in is so so important like @Aunt_Flo and @peachy were saying. I never considered how someone’s intentions could affect feelings though, I guess that comes down to good communication as well and ascertaining each other’s goals and desires before sexual activity. 

    I always check in along the way though, even if we’ve had a big chat beforehand! Consent + communication = good BDSM practice! 

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