Monday, July 15, 2013

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for July 14

Our topic this week was why spankees develop tolerance. Here are your insights.

Reece Seever: While I'm sure there are psychological components, I think most of the adjustment must be physiological. When we first began experimenting with disciplinary spankings, the bruising could be very substantial. That rarely happens today, unless there has been a substantial amount of time in between spankings.

Mr. BB: Of course, tolerance levels are very individual and can change due to several factors. The most common one discussed is frequency. As a physical defense mechanism, the nerve endings will be less responsive with repeated or frequent spanking. A warm-up spanking can also alert the body's nervous dystem.

There is a worse case scenario also. Repeated and frequent use of a heavier or "thuddy" implement can cause a dead zone for nerve endings in a specific area. The body is highly responsive and it's also very resilient. When the spankings stop or become infrequent the body reverses its response and the nerve endings become more responsive again. In the worse case scenario mentioned above, it takes abstinence over a longer period of time for the body to repair full feeling to normal in a specific region.

There is also other factors for tolerance like a certain time of month or heightened or lessened emotional state. While it is vital for TiHs, submissives, etc. to communicate fully, it's also the responsibility of HoHs, Doms, Tops, etc. to communicate and always be aware of the physical and emotional factors of tolerance.

Kim's Kinky Korner: I believe it lies in the mind! The mindset of a woman is a mysterious animal. Our ability to handle pain from childbirth to spankings is amazing. My personal experience is the more humiliation that I feel, the easier it is to let go and flow through the pain. Women need that light at the end of journey. For example, in childbirth, it's the baby. It's thee same with punishment. If the offender feels that the offense was truly a choice they made and truly wants redemption, then the pain process will flow to the light!

Bob B: This is certainly an interesting topic and I was going to comment, but I do not think anyone could put it better than Mr. BB above.

C: I am by no means an expert, but I would presume it is similar to other muscle areas. When we first exercise our muscles ache and hurt, then after a few days our workouts are less painful. If we take a break the cycle repeats. I would presume spanking is the same. We have the same phenomenon with our hands and gardening.

S: My bottom gets spanked regularly and soundly by D. but the sensation is more exciting than traumatic. After he returns from business trips of a week or two, I am soon bared and bent over. The effect is very different, and I am soon yelping and wriggling as he ignites a fire in my rear.

Hermione: I think that it's physical. The bottom gets toughened up by regular spankings and it gradually adjusts. Over time, it can take harder and longer spankings and show less marking or bruising.

There is probably also a psychological reason for being able to take more pain. You simply get used to it, and know what to expect. It isn't the unknown that it once was, but a familiar routine. It still hurts, but you are better able to handle the pain.

morningstar: Over the last few years, I have gone from regular (very, very regular spankings) to few and very, very far between spankings. For example, when I finally arrived here with W, it had been months and months of no spankings. The first one was very uncomfortable - to the point that it didn't last long at all!

The next one a few days later was much more fun and exciting.

I do believe some of the more ouchy moments (after an absence) are due to physical as well as mental adjustments. The skin and muscle tone are softer (again) and need more tender treatment to build up to the once upon levels. Also, the mind needs to be reminded (in my case anyway) that this is indeed fun! It's not pain per se, but a wonderful release. Once the two parts are in alignment, it all flows rather nicely again

Our Bottoms Burn: I don't subscribe to the common belief that frequent spankings toughen up the skin in ALL humans. Some will mark with frequent attention. Others will not mark no matter how infrequent.

Jenny: Certainly, the small blood vessels can either improve their "tone" and produce less bruising over time, in the same way that calluses develop on feet after minor irritation or scar tissue develops temporarily. The damage to the skin is more of an irritation than true damage to the supporting structures of the skin, which would produce long-lasting scar tissue. Does this affect the pain level transmitted to nerves, too? I don't know much about how individual nerves adapt to repeated, intense physical stimulation. So there may be less bruising or swelling perhaps, but less nerve cell stimulation or transmission of impulses. I don't know.

As for the psychological aspects, people do become more psychologically adapted to different stimuli after repeated exposure. Think of how people adapt to getting repeated allergy injections, which are more upsetting in the first weeks than in later weeks. So certainly there is some psychological tolerance to the pain of a set of spanks. I once took a graduate course in perception, more because it fit my schedule than an interest in the subject. The course certainly changed my thinking about our experiences. There is a stimulus, and there is our perception of that stimulus. Many things can affect our perception of the same stimuli in different circumstances.

I know from my own experience that the same implement, delivered in what is meant to be a routine manner, can feel quite different on different days. Who knows what causes that - previous spankings or lack thereof, hormone levels, fatigue levels, even hunger levels.

So I expect that it's possible that the difference in pain level can be BOTH real and "imagined" (if by that you mean a lessened psychological perception of the stimuli). But from what I know about physiology, I currently lean a bit more towards changes in perception. I am hoping to read these comments and learn about the physical changes in the peripheral nerve cells from the other commenters.

I suppose the key is that, to the recipient, no two spankings are exactly alike.

Marie Pinkerton: I'm a spankee, and also suffer from chronic pain. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Chronic pain changes how you think about pain. You get "used" to having low-level pain all day, every day.

I think spanking is the same. You get spanked enough, and it's going to take more spanking before you start to feel the effects.

Laurel Grasso: I have often wondered about this same thing. I have experienced this over the years. I think that maybe it is a combination of both physical and psychological elements. However this is just my best guess!

Bonnie: As I said in the introduction, I don't know the answer. But my speculation is that both physiological and psychological factors play a role in tolerance levels. As Reece said, I used to bruise long ago and now I generally don't. That's a lot more body than mind. And yet, my mood can greatly affect my perception of pain from a spanking. That's more mind than body. Both are important, I think, and they interact in complex ways.

Thanks, everyone, for joining our conversation. See you next weekend!

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