oncebittenI always hate admitting that I am a masochist.  But certain events in my daily life make me unable to avoid concluding that I love pain.  This weekend I noticed that the lack of steady pain in my life is making me zany.

Yesterday, my friends and I were in the garden at the house pruning some spikey undergrowth.   My friends’ thumbs are just barely chartreuse, and so there were no gardening gloves around for us to use.  I didn’t mind; in fact, I could barely feel anything on my hands.  My friend must have asked me at least a half dozen times–and perhaps a dozen–how I could manage to pull back the bush and the stickers without benefit of the suede driving mitt she had scavenged from a closet.

I dunno how I did it; it wasn’t difficult.  My hands were scratch free after the afternoon’s exertions, but when I went inside the house later, I felt a little tingling on my legs.  Oh, I thought, perhaps those plants WERE scratchy.  I looked down and saw blood trickling down my left calf, but my chief reaction was an inner smile.  I love the marks of pain on me, even if those marks are not inflicted by a lover.  They make me feel tough.  I was never much of a tomboy or a jock, and the cuts and bruises I accumulate from adventures–outdoors or in–are the closest I get to feeling like my body accomplishes things.

There’s more to my masochism than a feeling of achievement, though, or even a high pain threshold.  Actually, there’s a lot more to it.  I feel like I could write posts and posts on it.

Today what I want to say is–last night I bit my lips raw, without noticing what I was doing, just, I think, because the scratches on my legs reminded me that I was itching for pain.  I noticed my lips today while drinking some hot coffee, and I was thinking about the pain, and how I process it, and thinking that when masochists tell vanilla folks, “It doesn’t feel like pain”, that that’s a lie.  It does feel like pain.  But it doesn’t feel bad.  And all I could think of, because of my burning lip, was the way that spicy food hurts your mouth–and about how very much more I like spicy food than I like bland food.

I’m feeling stumped about how to get pain without doing something kind of yucky or self-destructive.  I think that realizing that I want the sensation is actually a good thing, a good realization.

This post has no ending.

Picture from the very cool and cooly-named tumblog Every 7 Seconds.