Did you know that BDSM, while it’s known to cause pain, can actually ease it as well? Chronic pain sufferers worldwide know a well-kept little secret - orgasm releases endorphins, which are natural pain reliever. Therefore, although pain may be a mood killer, it can make a headache or other body pain disappear.
On a similar note, fibromyalgia sufferers have found that BDSM practices, specifically flogging, helps alleviate symptoms and make them manageable. Flogging, or whipping, is a common sexual fetish based in BDSM, but it’s so popular and widely practiced that many enjoy flogging who don’t partake in other BDSM activities. Flogging occurs with various materials, from whips to canes and belts, on any part of the body, although usually focused on the backside, and you can add other adult toys. If you’re a first timer, test it out on fatty areas, especially the bum, before working your way up.
Fibro, as the neurological disorder is called for short, is caused from other chronic pain issues. Your brain starts to short circuit a bit when the pain becomes constant and overwhelming, and sends incorrect signals, sometimes making you feel pain even when there is none. In fibro, you feel pain that isn’t actually there. This might be a hard concept if you haven’t experienced it - isn’t pain a feeling? So if you feel it, it exists. Except, what we mean is there is no direct cause for the pain - I might have a sharp pain in my side but there is no source. It’s simply a lost pain signal that decides to go off, right there.
I’ve been a BDSM enthusiast for many years, and I’ve been a chronic pain sufferer for more than a decade. I’d long since been aware that sex relieved many pains over the years, but I never expected it to help my fibro, developed after many years with pain followed by a series of surgeries over the course of a year. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, only management. It arrives without cause and if you’re lucky, it goes away with no warning, but most deal with it for the rest of life. Management is fairly ineffective as well. Phantom pain can’t be touched by real painkillers. I’d tried the painkillers, I’d tried acupuncture, I’d tried exercise and diet. These are all things that managed the fibro but it still came and went, and I still suffered.
I’d noticed that pain was a different sensory experience in the middle of a fibro flare. A real headache had a different edge in the middle of a flare than it did when not in one. Fibro pain was a distraction from a stomach ache, and so on. I decided to try flogging with my husband to see if I could reverse that - turn flogging into the dominant pain so that it distracted from the flare.
It worked. I don’t have the data to suggest why (and I have looked for it), but flogging stopped by fibromyalgia for more than a month and lessened it as a whole, now making it controllable. I checked in with my doctor, whose theory is that the pain receptors were rewired again and returned closer to their natural state.
Some research revealed that other chronic pain sufferers had done the same experiments - distract from the bad pain and make it good. Some who had made the connection between endorphins, pain, and sex, had started using sex for pain management instead of pain for sex avoidance, as well.
If you’re a chronic pain sufferer, and you’d like to end the pain while enjoying yourself, I’ve got some sex toy recommendations for you:
Sensua Suede Whip is a toy that’s pleasing to look at on its own, but it’s also got a solid sting when used. The whip is made with suede tassels, soft enough to deliver a light pain up to bruise-worthy, all depending on the force of the user. It’s high quality and has an easy to hold handle, bringing pleasure of use to both partners.
Riding crops seem like an obvious go to, but most of us don’t have one on hand. The Fetish Fantasy Riding Crop is great for beginners, and can be used to tickle and tease or whip. It’s good for more advanced kinksters, but if you are especially nervous of flogging you may want to go with this first.
Electric shock, also known as electric therapy in a professional environment, has been known to help relieve chronic pains. While any hardcore therapy should be done with a doctor, an electric paddle is fun to test with. The ElectraStim Electra Paddle is on the smaller side, but has electrode rings to deliver shocks. When attached to the stimulator it can deliver small zaps to powerful shocks!
If you don’t often have a belt on handy (or prefer to keep the leather nice) you may want to look into the Sinful Looped Paddle. This paddle resembles a doubled leather belt, and will deliver some intense hits. It’s also going to be quite loud, so if noise is a big thing for you, you definitely want to try this out.
BDSM specifically seems to help a lot with some physical pain issues. Pain tolerance is increased during sex thanks to endorphins, but pain itself can be eradicated, or at least distracted from. In some cases it will serve as a complete brain reset. The interesting thing about BDSM and chronic pain in general is that the mix of excitement, hormones, and new forced pain allows a great distraction, and depending on your pain experience, it seems possible to recalibrate your brain - especially with fibromyalgia, in which there is a very clear series of no pain, pain, heavy pain, pain relief with obvious causes and time association. Have fun with your adult toys and experiments, turning pain into pleasure and reducing the pain you experience daily!
Article by Sara at JOUJOU