Pain and sex
When a body is in a state of arousal, pain actually doesn’t seem to hurt as much. According to research published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, the sense of pain actually decreases when someone is experiencing it at the same time as positive emotions. So, if a person is having consensual sex with a trusted partner, the satisfying feelings can blunt pain resulting during rough sex.
Engaging in sadomasochism has potential psychological benefits, as well. Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that partners who safely used pain during erotic play reported a heightened sense of bonding and emotional trust.
For some people, sadomasochism can also be an effective way to relieve stress. A study published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality says rough play during sex is an effective form of escapism. Researchers found that many people who practice BDSM (which stands for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism) said their style of sex life helped them de-stress.
BDSM certainly isn’t for everyone, and we don’t suggest you try anything with which you’re uncomfortable. However, for anyone who has scratched their heads as to why someone would want to feel two contrasting sensations, research suggests it can be rewarding for those who are willing to try it safely. The key is to try it with a consenting partner whom you trust.