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Pain for pleasure: How using nipple clamps, pinwheels and whips affect my orgasms

whip over red background
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

 

By Leo Aquino

When I was younger, I couldn’t understand for the life of me why people get off on getting tied up, whipped, bruised, slapped, and humiliated. Getting pleasure from pain and humiliation? It didn’t make sense to me at first. As I grew older, the lessons from the kink and BDSM community would prove timeless and abundant.

Scientific studies show that pain and pleasure are processed in the same area of the brain. The ventral tegmental area becomes electrified when we feel pleasure from instant gratification or long-term personal development — think orgasms (instant) or learning a new language (long-term). When this area lights up, dopamine is released throughout the body.

The true surprise: the ventral tegmental area also lights up when we feel physical or emotional pain (1). Twisting an ankle or being drenched in pig’s blood at prom like the movie Carrie can cause a big spike in dopamine levels, too. This is how we can come to associate reward with pain. When these dopamine levels intensify, our muscles twitch, release tension, and create new memories (2).

Pain can be healing

In kink and BDSM, all parties involved engage in the process of negotiation. Each person gets to set their boundaries and expectations, plus there’s room to talk in-depth about goals of emotional healing. These conversations about consent can be incredibly healing for people who have experienced sexual trauma.

Engaging in bondage scenes with people that you trust can help you safely recreate the negative experience and write a positive, pleasurable ending. This process is called sublimation, and it’s one of the biggest reasons that people engage in kink (3).

Personally, incorporating pain into self-play sessions has been really transformational. The orgasms speak for themselves, but I’ve also been able to feel a sense of freedom from the fear that used to hold me back in my everyday life. I decided to compare what my orgasms look like while using a pinwheel, a whip, and a pair of nipple clamps to see how pain affects my pleasure.

Pinwheel

A pinwheel can give scratching sensations that raise goosebumps all over the body. During partnered play, I love to be blindfolded while my lover surprises me with where they decide to drive the pinwheel across my body. When playing by myself, I keep my eyes closed to imitate that feeling.

Every stroke felt like Pop Rocks exploding in the part of my body where the pinwheel was grazing. First, I started with less sensitive areas like my legs and the skin above my knees. Then I moved onto the more sensitive parts, like the inside of my thighs and the ticklish FUPA over my belly, sending chills up and down my spine.

pinwheel on navel
Source: Lovense.com

 

As I was getting closer to orgasm, I traced that line where my leg meets my crotch with the pinwheel and held my legs open as an intense orgasm washed over my body. Phew, lord, that was incredible.

pinwheel orgasm

 

If you’re looking to start incorporating pain into your self-play sessions, I highly recommend using a pinwheel. Because it’s a smaller instrument, you have more control over where it goes on your body and how it feels. The payoff is huge when it comes to intensifying orgasms.

Nipple Clamps

I started this session by playing with my nipples. Since I was cold, it was easier than expected to get my nipples clamped. I use the adjustable type so that I can intensify the sensation as I go.

For foreplay, I scratch myself with my fingernails while the nipple clamps do their restrictive magic. Doing this helps intensify the hot sensation of pain across my body. I used some THC-infused lube to coat my fingertips as I played with my clamped nipples.

nipple clam on fake breast surrounded with flowers
Source: SunshineSexToys on Etsy

 

I had one really big orgasm at the end, which lasted about 20 seconds. I was able to tease myself and hold out, probably because the nipple clamps were on so tightly and I felt like I had more control of when I could get that orgasmic release.

nipple clamp orgasm

 

At the end of the session, I also noticed that my vaginal walls were clamped tightly around the vibrator even though my orgasm was long gone. It felt like my vaginal walls were tightening around the shaft in the same way the nipple clamp was tightened around my nipple.

Whip

I experienced trauma that involved leather, so it took me a few weeks to work up to the feeling of the whip brushing against my skin before even attempting to use it in a way that inflicts pain. Some old, unpleasant memories began to surface but I was able to breathe through them and stay present in my body.

I started the session on my back with the intention of getting comfortable enough to flip to doggy-style. I whipped my stomach very gently, then pulled my legs back and began to whip the back of my legs with the same amount of pressure. I felt this a huge rush of pleasure as I surrendered to my own touch.

whip orgasm

 

When I finally felt comfortable enough, I flipped over onto doggy-style, using a firm pillow to prop up The Lioness Vibrator so that I could penetrate myself. I used the whip more forcefully on my butt, which felt heavenly. The session ended with a 70-second orgasm that blew my mind.

It’s important to note that I built up to playing with a whip with the help of a therapist. While sublimation can be healing, it’s important to get the emotional support that you need.

What I learned

Yes, there are scientific explanations for what the body and the brain do during sex — but sometimes, these things don’t necessarily “make sense” or “add up.” At the end of the day, we can draw the conclusion that sex is powerful. It can open the door to all kinds of emotions, attachments, and memories.

Of all the three sessions, using a whip brought me the most intense pleasure, probably because of my own emotional associations to this instrument. I’d probably return to using nipple clamps the most out of all the three because I love delaying my orgasms and getting a bigger payoff. I love the ability to slow down and adjust the tightness of the clamps around my nipples.

pain orgasms compared

 

Luckily, I live alone and I’m able to leave things like whips and nipple clamps around without raising any eyebrows. A big bonus of keeping nipple clamps and pinwheels in your bedside drawer is that they’re small, compact tools that make a huge impact.

I feel privileged to have the emotional tools and sex toys to help me work through unpleasant memories. I’m glad that I set my judgments aside and allowed myself to enter this brave new world of pleasure.

Curious how pain effects your pleasure? Find out more about The Lioness here!

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