This was a recent post on cereus_sphinx's livejournal. I asked for permission to crosspost it here, so here it is:
OK : Warning this is going to be a really rough draft. But I've been thinking about this for years and I'm finally getting to the point where I can sorta-write about it. I know - I come up with big Ideas, but it can take months/years to say them - it makes for sucky conversation. And the latest post on SM-F triggered this. Because I see one attitude in rape and the other in BDSM I guess.
One of the things that bugs me is the way stoicism gets put up on some pedestal and masochism gets dragged through the dirt.
Stoicism - going into a bad situation DESPITE the fact that you hate it for the benefit of others.
Masochism: going into a bad, dangerous, scary, difficult situation BECAUSE it's something you can enjoy or get something out of that might benefit other people.
It seems that the first one makes you a hero, the second one makes you a creep.
I can't afford to be stoic, it's like my mortal enemy. I see myself stuck in a bad situation that I don't want to be in, frozen because I should just be self sacrificing and put up with it. Going Numb. I see myself turning away from enjoyable things (that others might even appreciate me doing) because I might enjoy them and that would be sick.
Or dancing through flames, unharmed. A plant rooted in bare rock, my face turned towards the unmitigated sun, the monsoon deluge.
(Or in Dune, transforming the Water from poison into the stuff of visions ;) )
Numbness and pain, or joy.
My experience with SM and Hypersensitivity/Aspergers actually are mutually beneficial because they both show how to enjoy myself even if it means doing something different than other people find enjoyable. I can put a soft limit on sustained social interaction and noisy places (and cold :( ). I can fully enjoy 100+ temperatures. My body can perform miracles, It Comes First. No matter if what it wants is not what it's supposed to.