The Fine Line

Lately, I have been exploring the intersection of pain and pleasure. Not feeling well brings pain that I try to experience as pleasure by telling myself that I am perfect, whole and complete. I love myself, just the way I am – even if I am in pain. But it is not that easy. Saying I accept the pain, doesn’t make it go away. When my whole body aches, it is difficult to pretend that it doesn’t. When I have no energy, it is hard to do anything.

When I am in Yoga class, the pain is excruciating.

On the other hand, when I am making love, there is no pain. Pleasure takes over my body in a way that escapes me when I am standing or sitting or even trying to go to sleep. My pain is often worse when I am lying still attempting to relax. But it doesn’t hurt when I am having energetic sex. Why? My guess is that when my lover and I are being sexual, I am out of my mind and out of my body as well. I drift to a place of pure pleasure. It is like floating on a sea of tranquility and I want to stay there forever. I want to move there permanently and never come back to this body that is causing me so much trouble, and certainly I don’t want to go back to my negative mind, which blames me for all of the discomfort as if “I” didn’t think the right thoughts or say the right words.

It is hard being uncomfortable in my body after working for so many years on loving myself and accepting everything as perfect. Affirming that everything is in divine order,    perfectly unfolding just as it is, doesn’t work anymore The pain is NOT perfect, it hurts, and then some days, unexpectedly, it goes away. I am OK for a while, I get a few things accomplished, and then it returns again. I try to rest but that doesn’t work when my body is uncomfortable.

And then the opportunity to make love comes again, and suddenly nothing hurts. I am in bliss when I am being stroked and caressed, kissed and nuzzled (I could get more graphic here, but my love life is not the point of this blog). The point is: where does the pain go? When it is not with me, does it haunt someone else? Can pain be shared like  pleasure? Why does it seem to own me when it steals my days and/or nights? Do we own our pain? Can we control it? Is everyone’s pain the same?

I don’t know the answer to these questions; I only know my own experiences of pain and of pleasure. I’d love to hear your comments. What is your experience of pain? Of pleasure? Do you also have a fine line that can be easily crossed simply by stopping your thoughts and moving from one idea to another. Is the relief of pain really simple?

If it is, then why is it so hard to shift sometimes and not others? And why does it return so easily? I don’t want to be in pain. I want to be in pleasure and stay there all of the time. But then, how do I get anything else done?

2 thoughts on “The Fine Line

  1. Hi Suzann,

    I found your thoughts about pain very interesting. So yeah, it sounds like if sex works, then go for it. However, as I think you alluded to in your closing line, there are other things we have to get done, fortunately or unfortunately.
    I’m wondering if you don’t feel the pain during sex because of the endorphins, occytocin, or other hormones produced during lovemaking. Perhaps they are overriding the pain or simply changing your body chemistry in some way.
    I also wonder if perhaps the connection you feel with your lover helps alleviate the pain as well. I think there is a relationship between pain and isolation. I imagine that during lovemaking you feel deeply connected and loved.
    To be honest, I’ve been blessed to have very little chronic physical pain in my life. That said, I have found that aerobic exercise (I love bicycling), swimming, and Pilates have helped ease the aches and pains I’ve developed as I age (61y.o.). I’ve found some yoga to be painful and so tend to lean toward the gentler classes. Western yoga teachers seem to forget about the importance of the breathing and not stretching beyond comfort. I personally love Feldenkrais, which is very gentle.
    I know that folks in the BDSM community probably find an important link between pain and pleasure. I agree with you when you said ‘The pain is NOT perfect, it hurts,’ I don’t like pain at all.
    When I think about pleasure I immediately go to memories of swimming in the ocean with wild dolphins. Other times include napping in the sun, having my body stroked slowly all over with no expectation of anything more, and listening to beautiful music. Dancing wildly for three hours to live music during our General Strike here in Oakland gave me immense pleasure.
    Anyway thanks for your thought provoking piece. Gives me much to ponder.


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