juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Many many years ago, when I was still a child, I encountered a piece of fiction—I believe it was an animated film, potentially part of a made-for-TV miniseries based on fairy tales, but all my attempts to track down it or any detail about it have proved fruitless—in which a character, who may or may not have been a some sort mermaid, stepped on a tentacle-like plant. It was sharp, or spiked, or in some other way injured her foot and poisoned her. The story's plot was an attempt by her companions to find a cure for the poison while the female character was trapped in a coma, nearing death.

Many of those details are irrelevant. Was is relevant is this: When that character stepped on that plant, I felt it. A sharp, stabbing sympathy pain on the sole of my foot—in the center, just above the heel, where the inner side of the instep draws a line of tender, vulnerable muscle down the foot. Ever since then, painful images, descriptions, or thoughts have been able to trigger that same sympathy pain. It doesn't always happen. It doesn't matter what sort of pain or injury is described. When the response is trigged I feel a stinging, stabbing, slightly cold pain in the sole of my foot, like a woman stepping on a pointed tendril, a tentacle, which penetrates her flesh, just barely flexes inside of her, which stings her, poisons her—all in the moment just before she realizes where she's put her foot.

What interests me though is that—as I discovered tonight—the reverse also works. I was sitting here, after spending too long online again, curled up with my feet pressed to the chair seat, my soles are cramped and sore from it, twinging with discomfort. Meanwhile I was looking at violent imagery for which I tend to have a remarkably high tolerance but on this rare occasion it was getting to me, disarming and disturbing me, paining me—because I was already in pain. I felt the effect of the emotion, and that helped trigger the emotion.

This is no breakthrough in how my, or any, brain works, but I hadn't thought about it before and it was fascinating to see in action.

I've been thinking a fair bit about pain lately—specifically about pain as an intentional intensifier. I have another storybit brewing for Ghost and Aaron (who are not forgotten!) about Ghost's reactions to pain during intercourse. I stumbled upon a drawing of a man touching an open wound on his partner's back and it was in my mind remarkable—so much so that it's had me in search of more equally images of intimacy via pain/violence/wounds (and here we loop around to the event that sparked this post). And the cold weather has my back muscles tighter than usual—which causes unwanted, undesirable pain, but also makes it very intense when Devon stretches my back—more intimacy via pain, because I would let no one else do that to my body.

None of this is new to me—I discovered BDSM far too long ago for that to be the case—but it's been fresh on my mind. I should write that Ghost and Aaron fic bit to put all these thoughts to a constructive purpose, and imagine I shall soon. But for now the thoughts of it swirl: the relationship between emotion, reaction, and pain; pain as an intensifier for social interaction, pain as an intensifier for physical reaction; pain as intimacy, sexual or otherwise. Thinky-thoughts, thinky-thoughts.

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juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
juushika

July 2017

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