Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Opponent-Process: Pleasure from Pain

The idea of explaining a woman's desire for a spanking using the Opponent-Process Theory of pain and pleasure makes TTWD much more understandable. I've long thought that Opponent-Process might explain why someone would ask for a painful experience like this, but having read more about the application of the theory to other situations I am even more impressed with the elegance and simplicity of the explanation. It just fits everything so well.

Part of what amazes me is that the theory applies both to women who simply like to be spanked for erotic purposes (e.g., Bonnie) as well as those practicing "Domestic Discipline" (Clint and Chelsea) and those who might be somewhere in between (Sara). I know the "pure Dd" group will disagree, but Dd is simply a way to convince a man who is not a natural spanko to spank his wife or girlfriend. I first understood this when a man I was dating asked me to spank him for discipline. I was willing to do it - as a favor - but it would not turn me on. I see an "HOH" that way. He gets no thrill from spanking, but he wants to do this for his wife or girlfriend. The idea of spanking her for discipline makes the activity acceptable to him. The couple simply have a more well-developed backstory than most of us. That's fine. I like the idea of a little discipline, too, but I don't need to justify my enjoyment of a spanking as a way to have a "clean slate" after a disagreement. A spanking never solved much of anything, so if there were real problems to disagree about, spanking would just drive the issues underground. (I have seen posts from women who seem to be stuck in this downward spiral. If I find one, I will post. I try to forget these sad stories.) I will concede that some women need a little spanking every now and then to remember to treat their husbands or boyfriends with respect. I know a few I could nominate. And I could have used one yesterday! Lol.

I'm sure some will dismiss the Opponent-Process explanation as "just a theory", but note that Todd Becker writes, "Solomon’s theory [Opponent-Process] has been verified experimentally with animals and humans, and reflects a sophisticated understanding of the physiology of the nervous system." You will have to refer to his very well-written blog entry for more detail. I could not do a better job. Kudos! The bottom line is that the theory works for so many behaviors and sensations.

I expect some push-back on this theory, as many people prefer mystery to an explanation. Seeing a spanking as a way to bring out endorphins in response to pain is not a radically new idea, either, but the theory is much more. It is fleshed out and comprehensive. Study Figures 4-7 on Becker's webpage. Disagree if you will, but all I ask is that you use a logical approach.

[As I may have noted elsewhere, I use "man" as the one with the paddle and "woman" as the one with the red bottom because that is how my life is organized. Sorry, but if your spankee is a man, you'll just have to do a find on "woman" and replace it with "man", "man" with "woman", and so on! I prefer not to use HoH because I can't stand to pronounce it "H-o-H" or to use the terms Dom and Sub, as that just doesn't feel like my life. To each his own.]

1 comment:

  1. I can see his theory: " the stressfulness or unpleasantness of the stimulus [such as painful spanking] is reduced with repetition, while the ”withdrawal” becomes more pleasant [such as the euphoria] and lasts longer " in many bdsm experiences. Thanks for the explanation and links.