Physical and Mental Techniques for Processing Pain

We spend a lot of time talking about pain and pleasure in the BDSM community. It’s a very individual thing, and we all have our own preferred levels, and our different responses to pain during a session.

Athletes often have their own way of processing challenges to sustain themselves till the final line, and in a similar way, processing pain for our Master/Dom is more than just a matter of relaxing into it. It may involve breathing, muscle contraction, focus on an object in your mind, or focus on the connection with your Dom/Master.


Breathing is perhaps the most common technique in processing pain. It comes almost instinctively. You can see how a little kid articulates a long “ouchhhh” and starts breathing deeply in and out when they encounter pain.

Yoga and meditation often emphasis the importance of paying attention to breathing to help your body and soul to relax. To incorporate breathing into dealing with BDSM pain is to pay close attention to pain. Your Dom/Master is in charge of rhythm and force, and as a sub/slave you have no control over the intensity and frequency of the pain, so by focusing on your pain, you are also paying attention to your Dom/Master.

Breathing out helps you to breath out the pain, followed by a sense of relaxation. Breathing in again sustains your energy. The skill is in understanding when to breath in and out. Instead of letting your body do the breathing naturally, you control your breathing in accordance with the rhythm of pain.

Each to their own approach. i personally tend to breath in, and hold my breath until i need to process the pain, and then i breath out to help me digest the pain. Personally, i hold in one breath, and use the air to breath out for a few strokes. This helps me to not breath too quickly and become dizzy.


This sometimes works if the pain is rhythmic. Contracting muscles makes that part of your body harder, and by doing this before the impact hits you may find you have more room to digest the pain. What i personally do is slowly relax my muscles along with breathing to better digest the pain as it disperses, spreads and is absorbed by my body.

Sometime, when it gets intense, allowing your muscles to go mad and tremble and shake is a way to disperse the energy of your body and absorb the pain.


Some people like to imagine colours as pain hits their body. They see colours hitting their body and the colour reacting with their body. It might be a bright yellow striking on a dark green wall, or brick red cutting into a dark vacuum, it is entirely depending on the space that you immersed in. The reason this can work is that it gives you something to focus on while it gets more and more painful. It doesn’t have to be colours. It could be the eyes of your Dom/Master, or that symbol of your collar tag, a photo that give you strength, anything. Focus on the object allows your mind to have something to hold on to and may make the sensation of pain seem more abstract.


A powerful way to process BDSM and pain can be to focus on TPE (Total Power Exchange) and use pain to strengthen the relationship you are in. What attracted you to commit to your Master? What made you kneel and beg to be owned? Pain can act as a reminder to reignite that moment. It can be a reminder of who is in control, and this can strengthen the D/s dynamic between you and your Master. As the power draws away from you to your Master, it is also being exchanged the same way as when you first knelt, and were collared by your Master.


You may have other ways of processing and digesting pain, and sometimes you may find yourself having to employ different approaches at the same time during that impact session. Sometimes you can find yourself using different methods to respond to different parts of your body or different types of pain inflicted by your Master. How you process your pain is entirely unique to you. The main thing is to not panic when you encounter pain. There are various ways to turn pain into pleasure. Understand your response to pain and learn ways to process it, and it may open the door to new, and possibly transcendent, experiences.

Feature image reblogged from James Reads tumblr


• SandM Guardian – Pleasure Not Panic, The Art of Welcoming Pain
• Deviance & Desire – Turning Pain Into Pleasure
• Submissive Guides – Processing Pain in Play: Learning a Processing Technique

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