How do you reconcile being a masochist with being an enormous wuss? Because I am, well, a medium-sized wuss. In everyday life, tiny little nicks and bumps send me into rather theatrical "ow"s and wound-nursing, and it can be hard to turn that off in a BDSM context. I like pain more than an ordinary person, but I always worry that I can't tolerate more.
My everyday pain tolerance has definitely gotten better over the last few years. I blame work for that; you get a few bruises working in emergency situations, and neither cops nor firefighters nor the patient wants to hear you complain. (Particularly as a woman, I was always very self-conscious about complaining, because if you show weakness the tough guys will go "it figures" and then you're sunk, you're the damn girl burdening everyone because she broke a pretty little nail.) And at least for me, expressing less pain meant I experienced less pain.
When I got my new job, I had to get multiple vaccinations, and I'm afraid of needles. The nurse brought out a tray of enormous syringes and I think I turned a little pale, but I told myself that I wasn't going to embarrass myself by whining and I kept a straight face through the injections. They barely hurt at all.
I'm not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg of complaining and feeling pain, I don't think a broken leg would be painless if I remembered not to yell, but these experiences did teach me that I have control over how I process pain. If I give in to telling myself "this hurts so bad, I don't like it, poor me," I will lose that control. At which point I'm no fun at all to beat up. No top can control me if I'm not willing to put in the effort to control myself.
So my next self-challenge as a masochist is to get beaten and not say "ow." And not even think "ow." I believe that the power to turn difficult pleasure-and-pain into easy simple pleasure really lies with me. The person who's inflicting the pain can certainly help me with that, but where the transformation really occurs is in my head, and that's up to me.
I worry a lot about how I can be a better bottom, and while task one is probably still "learn to freakin' communicate, seriously Miss Mumbles, figure out exactly what you want and how to say it before you take your pants off," I think an excellent task two is "take responsibility for your own masochism." Right now I crave more pain than I can really tolerate, and reducing my craving would be a total buzzkill so I'm going to work on understanding and expanding my own tolerance.
Yeah, I could just get beaten up less hard, but where the hell is the fun in that?