Piercing pain or pleasure?
An article about why people enjoy pain and the different types of pain associated with enjoyment.
I have been piercing since 1998 so have seen pretty much all there is to see in this particular world of pain and pleasure. From 6 year old children having their ears pierced for the first time, to advocates with multiple piercings, there is a “something” a feeling we will all get when someone is about to stick a needle in you or insert a stud through your ear lobe.
Pain From Piercing?
The question I get asked several times every day is “does it hurt” When a person says this they cannot help it, it’s a natural reaction. So the guy with 20 piercings will say “does this one hurt” or “will this one hurt more that my last one” The answer of course is maybe, not that I always say this. My normal reaction is “you will survive” or “It’s not too bad” “maybe a bit more than your last one” etc.
Why is it we all get an adrenaline rush? Where does it come from ? and the biggest question of all is; Why is there a certain enjoyment, is it the pain or the adrenaline?
With the recent publication of 50 Shades of Grey we are beginning to ask "what's it all about ?" There is of course people who enjoy pain but what is the difference between say a sexual pain (for example being caned) or piercing pain? I think it’s the fact you know its going to happen and you have already prepared yourself mentally for the act. Have you ever stubbed your toe and gone 'fantastic, I love this sharp short lived excruciating feeling?'. No.
Another avenue we can explore is self harming, there are growing studies that say pain makes us feel better.
This is an interesting article called How pain can make you feel better.
This article studies "It is not hard to understand that pain can be interpreted as less severe when an individual is aware that it could have been much more painful,"
This makes big sense to me as 95% of all people having just been pierced say it was not as bad as they though it was going to be – ie they had prepared themselves emotionally for something far worse.
The Pleasure of Piercings
There are a few of my customers who without any doubt enjoy pain they are prepared for what they call an “uplifting experience”. They almost get addicted to it. I have had several customers over the years who physically relax and begin to smile when the needle is inserted. Almost like enjoying a fine wine or well made chocolate.
So what is the difference between say a sharp short painful experience such as piercing compared to a long suffering painful experience such as having a large tattoo ?? There is a whole other subculture of tattoo addicts who confess in enjoying the experience.
This article explores the flight or fright experience brought about by the sympathetic nervous system.
Body Integrity Identity Disorder
This Huffington Post article is about sexual pain and says “In fact, love, sex, pain and violence all stimulate the release of similar chemicals and hormones in the human body”
There is obviously a line between the enjoyment of pain that we know will heal, and self mutilation or destruction such as people who wish to have a perfectly good limb removed this is called Body integrity identity disorder.
Written By Richard Soper