rachel leedom.png

A Guide to Healthy & Safe Pain Play

Okay, here we go again! For those who don't know, this post was removed off Instagram for "encouraging self-injury and self-harm". Understandable, but a very sad example to me at the lack of care to thoroughly read a post before removing it, and the current perspective of many people out there who's instant reaction is pain is bad. self-harm is bad. masochism or choosing pain is bad.

Not all people who self-harm do so as masochists, not by a long shot. But for those who do, we are left feeling alone and confused about our perspective and conflicting feelings. Society has given an amount of acceptance to pain through a sexual lens. But what about those not in a partnership or who aren't sexual masochists? Or maybe that fits perfectly sometimes, but that's not always the mood/mindset or reason behind us turning to physical pain.

The BDSM community has a great amount of resources nowadays on how to build trust, clear communication, become risk-aware, firm consent, safety protocols, after-care... all of these pillars are VITALLY important when it comes to building a healthy, fun, emotionally and physically safe BDSM dynamic or partnership. But if the same care and dedication was applied within the relationship with only ourselves, would the same rules not apply?

Would the same reverence, care, safety and loving acceptance not work wonders on the bleeding, ashamed hearts of many self-harmers - those who DO resonate with masochism on a physical level. If our self-harm comes purely from an emotionally masochistic perspective and this is an act of punishment that one does not enjoy at all, then that is a whole different conversation.

That's why discernment and deep self-awareness are so important. That's why I've built this brand around "conscious" masochism... because we need to be honest with ourselves around where our masochism is a part of our genuine truth, and where its an unhealed part of ourselves that could be acknowledged, supported and then released and peacefully lived without.

That unique puzzle looks different for us all. One persons reasons are not the next persons reasons. But once we bring our masochistic tendencies into the light of our conscious awareness, we can start to shift and sort through the rubble and find out what actually feels good, right and true, and then learn ways to play with that part of us safely and mindfully.