It is not the pain from exercise that is good for you- that’s just your muscles complaining that they’ve been worked out. Now it may be a good sign for your health, but the pain is *not* what is good for you, the exercise is. BDSM fetishizes pain itself, says pain is good, can be good. Pain is not good for you, even if it is a sign of having exercised well, it in itself does you no good. It is the body’s warning. And it goes without saying (or should!) that exercise pain is itself a different feeling to pain from injury.My only answer is something very personal. I don't pretend this is science, or even that I or my opinions on this are all that usual.
I know BDSMers use the term ‘pain play’. That doesn’t mean I accept the phrase as valid. I don’t. Pain is not play.
I've been through hell and back. Chronic pain is a daily occurrence in my life. I'm scarred and torn and put back together.
And what happened when all that occurred? Dissociation. Psychic death to spare myself the agony. Numbness. Pulling away from everything, and incapacity to feel.
Nerves are working or they aren't. What do they do when they work? Signal pain or signal pleasure.
Pain and pleasure are a package deal. Pain and pleasure are what you get when you choose to live.
Some people seem to think the choice in life is between pleasure and pain. It's some great battle, demons arrayed on one side, howling and charred, and angels rising sun-kissed on the other, wings glistening.
And when Patriarchy falls or when trauma releases its hold, Pain will die and life will be soft and pure for always.
I don't see it that way. I know how to kill pain, and the same off switch that kills pain kills pleasure.
When I chose the long process of healing rather than staying numb or suicide, I chose it all. I chose pain and pleasure as a package deal.
I chose to live, and choosing to live meant choosing to feel.
There is no magic land where life is free of suffering. Refusing to allow it to ever have positive significance is fine if it helps you, but that doesn't make it go away.
Pain and pleasure together have a name.
It's not a difficult name. It's not a strange name. It's not even a multisyllabic name. It's a nice and short little name that feels good in the mouth and on the lips and tongue.
That name is life.