Sadomasochism is more common than one might first think. Anywhere from 5-35% of us have engaged in some form of it in our lifetimes. Far from being something to be feared or ashamed of, studies have shown that practitioners can have improved mental health! A Reuters study found that BDSM-friendly participants were more open, more aware of and sensitive to rejection, more secure in their relationships, and had better overall well-being. Sign me up!
However, like with all things, problems can arise when people are not on the same page. For some of us, the idea of intentionally hurting someone we love is something to be avoided at all costs. But what if the person you love is masochistic and is asking you for some pain? How can you love someone and then go deliberately hurt them? Today’s column comes courtesy of a reader that is struggling with dishing out the pain their partner craves. How does one get nasty?
“My partner is a masochist and they want me to hurt them. The only problem is that I LOVE them. I’m not capable of giving them the pain they are asking for. What do I do?! I don’t want to disappoint them but I can’t hurt them.”–Not A Sadist To You
If it helps any, you are far from alone in this particular predicament NASTY. If we love someone, the idea of deliberately inflicting pain on them makes no sense. It can even fill US with pain! Why would we physically harm someone we loved? For many of us, deliberately causing pain goes against everything we’ve been taught our entire lives. How do you reconcile your cultural conditioning and own desires with their masochistic desires?
Congratulations On Good Communication
First off, a huge kudos to your partner for having the courage and vulnerability to be honest with you! That’s big. And a huge kudos to you for not shaming or freaking out on your partner for their honesty. So far, so good. It only becomes complex when the requested activity isn’t one you are interested in doing. In all honesty, it is almost impossible to find someone that we are completely compatible with in every way. While you and your partner can have very similar interests, they are not going to be identical.
We should never do things that we do not truly want to do just to please a partner—this is how resentment grows and festers. Consent and clear communication are the foundations of a healthy relationship. Your partner clearly communicated to you what they want. If you aren’t capable of doing it, that’s okay! We are under no obligation to do something because it’s what our partner wants. Never forget that.
Maybe They Can Get Their Masochistic Play Somewhere Else?
If you truly want your partner to have these experiences but can’t bring yourself to bruise, one option is to open up the relationship when it comes to masochistic play. Giving them the option to get those urges met elsewhere can be one way of resolving this situation. This isn’t a solution that works for everyone and some people are not comfortable with opening up a relationship. Only the two of you will be able to know if this is a solution that will work for you.
Perhaps opening up your relationship is not something you want to do—not everybody wants to outsource the things they can’t do to others. A helpful tool that I often use is reframing your narrative. While you might not personally be comfortable with deliberately hurting someone you love, a reframed narrative would look like this: “I am doing this thing that they really enjoy. Their enjoyment is so much it also gives me enjoyment. I love seeing the person I love have fun.” Thinking of your actions as a gift can make them easier to do.
You are Under No Obligation To Fill Their Masochistic Needs
If you find yourself unwilling to outsource play you cannot do and unable to do the play requested, the third option is not to do the play. You are under no obligation to do something if you truly don’t want to do it. Taking option three means that your partner now has to decide how important getting masochistic play is for them. No matter what option you take, it sounds like the two of you are already engaging in some good communication. Keep it up and best of luck NASTY!
Keep it Kinky My Friends,
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