Through reinforcement we a built to seek pleasure and avoid pain but this isn’t always the case, in fact, pain is becoming more popular. It is not just during BDSM where we experience that ‘good’ pain, people can gain this through intense work-outs, spicy foods, tattoos and piercings.
Enjoying pain has become popular enough to be advertised within society, for example, on the TV show ‘Man V Food’ you see the host enjoying the spicy food challenges (to a point). Also, there are now hundreds of extreme workout programmes people can join and purchase and of course, the 50 shades series has opened the worlds eyes to BDSM.
So why do we like the pain? Going back to our biological roots, when our nervous system experiences pain our CNS (central nervous system) releases a series of endorphins, ordered by the hippocampus. These endorphins block pain pathways which can increase feelings of euphoria.
We can cope with the pain from such activities as, unlike the pain from an incident like breaking your arm, you experience ‘benign masochism’. Benign machoism allows you to distinguish that the pain you are experiencing won’t actually cause serious harm.
So, if you fancy experiencing pain for pleasure just make sure you are doing it safely to keep it enjoyable.