As some of you who follow me on Fet may have noticed, I recently added two rib tattoos to the markings Santa has gifted me.
They really fucking hurt, by the way.
Interestingly enough, through my conversations with the tattoo artist and subsequent research on tattooing, I learned a lot about my own pain management that was new information. While I already knew some of this, learning the rest has been a great stepping stone to help me build a more effective pain management routine for days when Santa and I have heavy impact planned.
Some know this one already because I’ve mentioned it or because they have experienced it: pain can be more intense during certain portions of the menstrual cycle. For many it is during the actual menstruation while for others it is during ovulation. Those hormonal changes can make pain less easily tolerated. For those who may be unaware of this fluxuation, it can be a surprise when they suddenly have difficulty with an experience, not realizing the hormonal factor can be a huge variance.
Sleep matters. There are times an extended impact session (or other painful experience) can be about relaxing and focusing on an area of the body that is not experiencing pain. Those techniques are easier to employ when well rested. As for the focus one, the best way I know to describe it is an almost meditative focus on a comfortable body part. I will rub my two largest toes together on the foot with the permanent toe ring. It is a unique sensation and it can help to stop focusing on the part of my body that is hurting.
Stay hydrated. Hydrated skin tends to be more resilient, and isn’t as easily irritated. Things like needles or other tools can create redness and skin irritation, and hydrated skin will generally be able to tolerare those things for longer.
Eat a good meal. I have been guilty of forgetting to eat prior to a scene, and I know some people who don’t eat anything hearty beforehand because they are concerned about appearing bloated or full. It turns out that not eating is terrible for pain tolerance. We get endorphin kicks and adrenaline rushes when we dance with pain. Those chemicals use sugars in the blood as fuel. Without having a reserve, such as carbs or even eating fruit before a scene, the resulting body response can be feeling shaky or weak after handling pain, and subsequent pain will just fucking hurt, because the adrenaline has run out of food to eat. That will definitely cut a scene short.
Avoid alcohol. While, sure, there are impaired consent issues here, from a purely practical standpoint, alcohol can increase the body’s sensitivity to pain. It can also dampen mental acuity and make it more difficult to process the sensations being experienced without becoming overwhelmed or upset.
Use calming breathing techniques or breathing for meditation. Women have used breathing in childbirth to withstand pain, and similar techniques can help in kink experiences.
Relax, for goodness’ sake. How many times have we heard that tensing a muscle makes pain more intense? Work on isolation techniques such as the ones practiced in yoga. These can be excellent for helping stay in tune with one’s body and remind it to relax.
My routine has changed since I’ve learned all of this. Obviously, there are things I can’t change, such as my menstrual cycle. What I can do is choose whether or not to do impact during that time, or choose implements I know I can handle even then.
When I get up the morning we have plans, I eat cereal. I make sure to have a snack in the afternoon, and eat steak or other protein before we leave the house. I also pack an apple or some fruit to eat before our scene, to give me that extra bit of sugar for my body to eat up with endorphins. I also carry protein bars for a quick pick-me-up. I drink water all day, once we arrive, and afterwards, as well. I find that by using this routine, I don’t tend to crash afterwards or even really experience much in the way of drop.
Obviously, everyone is different in the way they handle pain. The thing that doesn’t change is the chemistry behind how our bodies work. The more we understand about ourselves, the better we can be at taking care of our bodies. The better care we take of them, the longer we will be able to participate in the kink activities we enjoy.