This is a guest post from Calliope.

I've always thought of myself as a complete wuss when it comes to pain. My typical response to anything that hurts has always been of the “hide in my room and cry until it goes away” variety. Of course, “looking pitiful until someone takes mercy on me” has also been a most appropriate and acceptable reaction.

So it stands to reason that when I first started exploring the lifestyle, my fascination with all things painful was greatly tempered with uncertainty. The idea of being flogged *sounded* like fun but so does taking a shitload of drugs and going on a trip to Never Never Land. Not everything that sounds enjoyable actually is enjoyable (or a good idea). But despite my caution and no matter how strong my fear, the fascination… the pull to be someone’s (for lack of a better term) “punching bag” was far stronger than any hesitancy on my part.

Imagine my shock and confusion (lo, and excitement too) when the flogger struck my back that first time and… it didn’t hurt. Well, to say it didn’t hurt isn’t exactly accurate. It did hurt, just not quite in the way I expected. Not in the “run around and scream obscenities until it stops” type of way (like it did when I dropped a heavy, metal pipe on my foot and broke a toe). No, it hurt in a more pleasurable way. My go-to response, when asked to describe being flogged, has always been that it’s like a massage: it feels so damn good, it’s extremely relaxing, and even the pain of “getting out” the “deeper knots” releases endorphins that make you feel all warm and pleasant, inside and out.

Okay, so maybe not everyone would describe an experience with a flogger in that manner, but that’s okay. You know why? Because it’s simply a matter of a difference in interpretation. It didn’t mean that I was a masochist; it just meant that I felt the sensations differently than someone else. Why I was so resistant to the idea of being labeled a masochist, I don’t know, but I was (and still am sometimes). Maybe it all goes back to the way I’ve always seen myself as a weak, helpless being. A wuss.

Eventually, as time (and the beatings) flew by – as I found myself responding more and more to all different sorts of pain – I had to reassess my point of view. Masochist I was (maybe), but pain slut I was not. I had no desire to have my flesh flayed open, I didn’t want to suffer any serious bodily injury, and even bruises and marks, though I wore them proudly, didn’t really turn me on. Surely those were the things a pain slut desired, wanted… needed. And perhaps, all this time that I’ve spent questioning has been a result of definition confusion. Masochist, though a somewhat intimidating term, sounds mild and mousy compared to the frightening connotations that comes to mind when hearing someone called a pain slut. I’m still not entirely sure where one term ends and the other begins, where they overlap, what they both mean.

I do know, and can now openly admit to, this: I love pain. I love the feel of a flogger pushing my body forward with the strength of its blow. I love the sting of a whip flicking across my skin (and the sound… oh, the sound of a whip cracking! it’s nearly enough to send me into subspace, without a single finger (or implement of torture) being laid upon me). The hard crack of a hand against my ass, the stars behind my eyes after a particular paddle comes into contact with my thighs, the deep sensation that accompanies nails digging into my arm. I love all of it, and I crave it, need it. Even the things I hate, I love (because of the hate? in spite of it?). Pain has become my drug of choice, and like with any addict, I go through symptoms of withdrawal when it’s too long between beatings.

What does that make me? I still do not desire any lasting damage, though if I don’t mark at all from a beating, I am sorely disappointed. I still do not desire open wounds, though scratches and minor cuts from a knife or whip are the greatest of accomplishments. I walk away from every beating (*every* beating) at least a little bit turned on. I want to push myself harder, further, to see just how much more I can take. And when it’s all done, when my body is exhausted and aching and sore, I’m already thinking about – looking forward to – my next session.

So am I a slut for pain? Yes, I guess in a way I am.

calliope is a 34-year-old sub (and newly discovered pain slut) living in the great north of Minnesota. She's an avid writer, with an inclination toward fan fiction. You can contact her on Fetlife (calliope1976) or via email (calliope1976@gmail.com).