Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fun and unfun

I whacked my right elbow on a doorframe earlier (don’t ask) and now it really hurts. Wah. I walked into a door handle yesterday. Ow. I’m always bumping into things. I think maybe I should live in a wigwam. Or a nice, soft, padded room.

But, klutz though I am, never let it be said that I let a good elbow-banging go to waste. Because, sitting immediately afterwards nursing my aching arm, I found my thoughts wandering off into a kinky think.

There is fun pain and unfun pain. Kinky people know this, of course; it is a self-evident TTWD truth. Belt to the ass: fun pain. Stub your toe: unfun pain. Like, duh. But non-kinky people? I’m really not sure they understand the concept at all. To be fair, I figure that there is a sliding scale of understanding, or perhaps acceptance, going from those who get the appeal in a theoretical sense (“It’s not my thing but I can see how it might turn other people on”) right the way over to those who simply can’t comprehend how anyone could ever find pleasure in pain. To these latter types, a spanked bottom is just exactly the same as a banged elbow: pain is pain, right? Or, to put it another way, how can someone moan about a sore elbow when she loves to have a sore bottom? What is obvious and natural to me is baffling (and even perhaps a sign of depravity) to him or her. It’s a fundamental divide in understanding, and that’s without even touching upon the psychological and emotional aspects of TTWD, or the complex and individualised boundaries between play and discipline.

And I think that this is so – that is, I think that a non-kinky person can never really ‘get it’, however much they might wish to – because ‘it’ is something that is felt. And of course, whether you’re kinky or not, you can think about kink as much as you like, but at heart it’s a matter of something feeling good or bad, right or wrong, fun or unfun.

As my elbow reminded me today, in vividly direct fashion.


  1. Belt? *shudders* Not fun in my world. Or Kat's. So it does depend even within kinkland.

  2. Sure, I get that :) I was just using it as a kind of metonym to represent BDSM in general.

  3. I like belts on a bare bottom.

    You are right. Non-kinky people do not understand TTWD.

    Excellent post.


  4. I agree with you Penny, but I think it's the same with many interests. People who have no interest in sport find it hard to see why others get so worked up about it. Those that don't read don't understand those that do 'waste' time reading for pleasure. We're all very different and thank the Lord for that, the world would be a mighty tedious place if we were all the same.

  5. Yes Aunty - I was going to use a couple of examples in the closing paragraph to make that point but I thought 'nah'. I should have! And I agree, people being different is one of the things that makes life interesting. (Jelly worms are another).

    I'm happy that we're in the belt club together, Joey :)

  6. A subsequent think I had last night after writing the post: one of the non-physical factors that differentiates fun and unfun pain is that of consent.

    Whatever a person's particular kink, consent always forms some part of it. An accident, on the other hand (or elbow), is by definition non-consensual. I want my butt striped red with the belt. I don't want to whack my elbow. Big difference.

  7. Dear Penelope, if I had been around after sympathizing , I would have offered something to take your mind off it, in your case, yesterday probably a belted bottom, over skirt, then a few with it flipped up, and then on your bare. By the way TTWD ? I'll come out of the corner take my conical hat of, curtsy , put it back on and go back to the corner. Hi to all commenters,Harry

  8. Thanks, Harry! You are very kind. And a nice belting would have taken my mind off my elbow wonderfully, I suspect.

    TTWD = This Thing We Do. It's quite a new acronym to me, too, and I love it. It's just wonderfully neutral and non-judgmental, plus a bit more esoteric and sekrit than 'kink' or 'BDSM' or any of the other terms that have found their way into the mainstream.

  9. Whacked elbows = no sex appeal. Bumped knees, kicked shins, same. I wonder, though... would it be hot if you fell on your bottom? Possibly not. Maybe we need the proper context.

    It's interesting to consider. "This Thing" comes in many flavors, making it difficult if not impossible to nail down any universal recognition of pain and pleasure. Spanking can be erotic sensation or true punishment.

    Maybe it isn't limited to spanking. Some people like contact sports and enjoy the running into each other. People like super spicy foods that I just find painful. Jumping into freezing cold water isn't my idea of fun. How about the pain in seeking a runner's high? Those crazy endorphins. Seems most sensations have fans somewhere. Pain can be a path to pleasure. Then there are a host of possible emotions involved with spanking that are associated with pain, but on closer inspection are pleasure, release, or satisfaction. A "good cry" isn't limited to kinky activities. And where's the line between fear and thrill? On another tangent, some people like to be the center of attention even when it's not their finest moment. Spanking is a universe of potential.

    I hope your elbow is better. XO

  10. I think non-kinksters *think* they get it... but we know better. If you don't turn on, if you don't stop breathing at the mere mention of so many things - spanking, belt, hairbrush, discipline, scolding - then it's practically impossible to understand it at all. And I suspect it's not at all like sports or music, where maybe you love it, but it doesn't arouse you to an embarrassing extent (at least I assume not)...

    the stranger thing is people who love pain without discipline, or love discipline but hate pain... and so on... in truth I've had trouble fully getting into their headspace...

    even so, the most vanilla woman can understand the appeal of a hearty smack to a well-padded (or muscular) bottom - particularly as an expression of appreciation, not criticism! So it should be a little easier to distingush between that and a banged elbow. Just be glad you don't get off on banged elbows and stubbed toes - your blog would have a much different audience!

  11. Thank you for your interesting thoughts, TFD and John - it's a fascinating thing to think about, isn't it? :)

    I do think that some comparison can be made between kink and sensations in other walks of life. TFD's mention of fear/thrill reminded me of a trip I and some friends made to a theme park in the summer, on which I was reminded in a variety of ways just how much I hate rollercoasters. I can understand their appeal, but I don't like the feeling of riding them myself. Some people can't get enough of them, of course.

    I guess it really just comes down to us all being different, as Aunty Andrea notes above. 'Polymorphous perversity', as Freud put it. How complex and amazing we are, as I put it.

    Falling on my bottom... the idea has a certain appeal, in a 'pin-up art' sexy loss-of-dignity kind of way, but the reality in most cases is less fun.

    A not entirely unrelated (and I think quite strange) kink that I have (and that has been a secret right up until now) is to fall (accidentally on purpose) or be made to sit in a puddle or on snow. The thought of having a cold, wet bottom, with cold, wet clothes - a big dark patch on the seat of my jeans - really appeals to me. Such lovely, abject humiliation and discomfort, mmm! And also liberation, of course (albeit a strange kind): freedom from the usual constraints of propriety. I think wetting oneself (something else I would like to try) is a similar sort of thing.

    My elbow is all better now, thank you TFD x

  12. Apologies for all the parentheses, btw: I'm bad enough for them at the best of times, but I don't think I'm quite all there today. Some sort of cold so I feel a bit bleh. Definitely unfun!

  13. As it happens,I woke up in hospital recently after being knocked down by a car. I had injuries to my head, leg and arm , but was still fantasizing about being spanked and caned. The two types of pain seem a bit like the two types of evil; brute ignorance and Luciferian intelligence, the latter acting to stimulate by endorphins whereas the former dulls the wits.
    Glad You're feeling better. When i banged my elbow on the road, i pushed a nerve out of place and its taking ages to come back.
    Love Your writing. All the best

  14. Aw. I'm really sorry about your accident. I hope you get all better soon.

    Glad to hear that your kinky imagination was intact! And thank you for your interesting thoughts on kinky vs. non-kinky pain. I think you have something there.

    Hugs xxx