Reader Mailbag: Subs with Low Pain Tolerance

    School’s back in session, and Instructor Adler is back on my beloved overhead projector.  I think I ought to give it a name.  

     At least I don’t have to make new transparencies, or even notes, though I have tweaked the syllabus in order to improve the quality of my instruction.

     Since I am feeling professorial and am, in fact, wearing a tweed blazer with suede elbow patches even as I write this, I will impart pearls of wisdom (and you know I’m being sarcastic, right?).

      “I am a male submissive with very low pain tolerance and I am concerned that for this reason I will never be able to serve a domme.  Would my intense dislike of pain disqualify me from serving you?” 

      Yes.  A personal sub who would not suffer for me would be useless to me.  

      But, different strokes for different folks.  There are tops out there who are not sadistic and who would be happy to control you or use you for a purpose other than suffering.  I’m not sure what corner of the internet you would find them, though, because I’ve never looked for them.  The reason I identify primarily as a sadomasochist, rather than a switch or domme or D/s person, is because my private sexuality is experienced through pain, suffering, and violence, be it physical or psychological.  That is why I sometimes refer to it as the practice of oppression.  I don’t fuck around.  

      I also  call it sadomasochism because I believe the term is historically and psychologically accurate, and because it has fallen out of favor in the BDSM “community.”  A lot of people in the community think it is threatening, or alienating, or derogatory.  Well, news flash: look where you are.   I’m not going to use euphemisms in an effort to sanitize what I do.  I own it.  It gives me joy and gratification and it is a craft and an obsession, but I know what it is, and it’s not pretty. 

      But getting back to you, anonymous submissive male on the internet: you could serve a woman in other ways.  I’m not sure what you’re good for, or good at, because you didn’t give me that information.  

      Get onto Fetlife and start digging.  And I should take my own advice on that one and reactivate my account, but I find the very notion exhausting.  

     Finally: do you have any real experience?  Because I find that often when a sub says he has low pain tolerance, what he really means is that he has low fear tolerance, and even the idea of pain–in its abstract form–is what terrifies him.  I also associate this with lacking confidence in himself and his ability to endure pain and get through it or overcome it.  Perhaps you are afraid of pain because you think you will fail.  

      If that’s the case, not just that you hate physical sensation, then you need to work on it, because I can promise you this much: nobody wants a wussy sub.  The most sissified cross dresser serving High Tea in a bonnet is going balls-out, so I don’t mean wussy that way.  I mean wussy as in weak in fortitude and courage.  Wussy subs and Tops with confidence issues are useless.  You can’t do anything with them until they get a grip.  

       You can find a domme who won’t want to hurt you, but you’re going to be enduring something for her, whether its doing all her errands while she ignores you and you’re bored, or giving her all of your money, or blowing another one of her slaves, or whatever the hell it is that these mysterious non-violent women do with their subs.  She’s going to want to push you, and you have to be ready for that.  That’s power exchange.  You have to give her something.  

      Finally: I will not invalidate your understanding of yourself and your pain tolerance, but if you’re new at this, be open to giving some of the physical activities a shot.  Pain has many varieties and subtle variations, almost like different keys on a piano.  Also, some of the “torture” you see in BDSM videos really doesn’t hurt much at all, it just looks scary as hell.  So don’t be a ‘Fraidy Cat.  

      And a change in mindset might help you, too.  Pain is not necessarily bad.  Like suffering, it can be transformative.  Enduring it for another person is a profoundly intimate experience. Emotionally, there’s nothing like it that I have ever experienced.  Nothing else even comes close.   Maybe love does, but I don’t know a lot about that.  

       And with that, I’m going to go take a beating and endure a bunch of bureaucratic horseshit at the personnel office.  They fucked up my direct deposit and I’ve got to get it straightened out.

      Good luck.  Play hard.  Stay safe. 

      P.S.  You can serve a domina whenever you like if you are willing or able to see a pro.  Try it and if you have a bad first experience, shop around.

     P.P.S.  You know, some of my readers are submissive guys.  Let’s outsource this.  Do any of you have anything to share with this dude?  Know where he can find a no-pain Domme?  Give him some hope that he won’t be stuck in the Lonelyhearts Sub Club.  Hell, give ME some hope that I won’t be stuck in the Lonelyhearts Sub Club! 

        Advo made it out.  Maybe he can smuggle a word to us from the outside world. 

5 thoughts on “Reader Mailbag: Subs with Low Pain Tolerance”

  1. Hi Margo and anonymous sub guy.

    Well the only real advice I can give is know what you what out of the session or realationship. Dommes/Doms hate subs who don’t know what they want. It is frustrating for them. And this is a little counterintuitive, but dommes want to give you what you want, that is one of the ways they have power over you.

    As for the pain issue. Find an experienced Domme. Explain to her your low tolerance. Beleive me if she is at all good she will find other ways to push you. And that is when S&M gets to be real fun. When the domme starts to push you to places you didn’t know you wanted to go and pain may just be one of those places.

    Hope this helps.


  2. Dear Miss Margo,

    One thing to consider on the question of low pain threshold is training. I don’t mean pushing boundaries but the calculated, consistent sexualization of an activity by the dominant. I’ll give two examples from my experience.

    I was seeing a domme pretty regularly, twice a month. At the end of each session she’d stand over me while I got myself off. A few seconds before I came, she’d bend down and pinch my nipples – hard. I didn’t like this, since I thought it was a distraction and diminished the pleasure of my orgasm. Being very submissive, I never said anything. What I realized later was that she was deliberately establishing an association between nipple pain and sexual pleasure. She succeeded. I still get very aroused from nipple pain, and the association was strongest with her hands and touch. I’m not sure how long it took. I saw her for a long time. But after a while her twisting, pinching, and pulling my nipples made me delirious.

    Later, the same domme wanted to get me into whipping. I liked pain, but more intimate tortures – nipple and CBT, where the domme was facing me or towering over me while I was tied to a table. Whipping pain did nothing for me. It all seemed impersonal. She started with very light whippings – floggers mostly. She would strike me a few times, then walk around to face me, stand inches from me, stare into my eyes, and play with my nipples. She gradually, over months, moved to harder implements – crops, paddles, whips. Eventually, I craved whippings – and I find them very erotic. So I went from being able to take only light pain in a whipping to being able to take being whipped until I bled (on at least a few occasions).

    So, finding a domme willing to work with a sub is very important. She has to know how to do this type of conditioning. When something becomes eroticized, I become, not just accepting of it, but passionate about it. I want to try new implements. I want her to hit me harder, and longer. After I became so willing to be whipped, the teasing was reduced. It was no longer necessary. She liked whipping me, not teasing me.


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