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ARTICLE ON SPANKING, BONDAGE AND S&M FEAT. PROFESSOR RICHARD WISEMAN

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Posted by abeodbart March 31, 2009 at 10:25 am

SPANKING is stressful at first, but it could bring consenting couples closer together. That’s the implication of two studies of hormonal changes associated with sadomasochistic (S&M) activities including spanking, bondage and flogging.

Brad Sagarin at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and colleagues measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 13 men and women at an S&M party in Arizona, before, during and after participating in activities. During S&M scenes, cortisol rose significantly in those receiving stimulation, but dropped back to normal within 40 minutes if the scene went well. There was no change in those inflicting the activity.

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK, adds that almost any shared activity is likely to promote interpersonal closeness. “It doesn’t have to be tying up your partner or placing clamps on their nipples, it could be something as simple as cooking a meal together or even doing the housework as a duo,” he says.

New Scientist (Thanks Katherine)

COMMENTS
March 31, 2009 at 10:31 am
BB says:

Ah Wiseman. The voice of reason. I bet the original list was longer. “It doesn’t have to be tying up your partner or placing clamps on their nipples or bending them over the breakfast bar and beating them with a copy of Heat magazine…”
Kinky one, that Wiseman.


March 31, 2009 at 10:57 am
Ian says:

Thanks for the offer of an alternative Mr Wiseman but if it’s a choice of cooking a meal with my other half or having some kinky fun with them then I’m with the latter every time! Just for the record, it sometimes does include food if that makes people feel any better ;o)


March 31, 2009 at 11:42 am
Greg says:

Nipple clamps & doing the housework together in a post – brilliant! Are the effects cumulative I wonder: would wearing nipple clamps while cooking with your partner double the benefit?


March 31, 2009 at 11:46 am
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Oh god S&M is terrible. On the other hand, housework also kind of sucks. Still, I would take washing the dishes over simulated abuse any day. Most days. Apart from when I’ve made scrambled eggs and forgot to soak the pan.


March 31, 2009 at 11:48 am
Katherine says:

SGC: You mean you’re still on scrambled and haven’t mastered poached yet? Tut tut.


March 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

I’m sorry, Katherine. I’m too anxious. I know I’ll mess it up, it’ll all collapse and turn to a sludge in the water and I will feel burning shame.


March 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Interesting…i cant find one descent article though about why someone would prefer sm above other (more relaxed) ways of getting the togetherness feeling…(no nothing personal, just curious :-) )…obviously stress has to do with it, but why?…


March 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm
jameshogg says:

Pain can be reverse suggestive sometimes. That also explains why some people have the need to harm themselves. Sometimes it can be attributed to the need for the brain to develop a sense of self, other times due to endorphin releases and the brain seeing that as the only source of pleasure.


March 31, 2009 at 1:37 pm
Amanda says:

Is this the first time the word ‘nipple’ has been posted on this blog? Welcome nipple, you’ve been too long on the sideline.


March 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm
AVNB says:

I like scrambled eggs in lots of different ways ;)


March 31, 2009 at 2:39 pm
AVNB says:

I like scrambled eggs in lots of different ways ;)

My friend Marc does too!


March 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Wouldn’t clamps on your nipples really, really hurt? I do not understand the things people do.


March 31, 2009 at 3:12 pm
Berber Anna says:

SGC: I guess that’s kind of the point, right? :oP

I can see the pain/pleasure thing, though. Pain does give you a weird sort of high, doesn’t it? At least some kinds of pain do (for me, an achy throat is just annoying, but epilating my legs results in a strange sort of happy ‘buzz’ afterward). Endorphins at work, I guess.


March 31, 2009 at 3:17 pm
Ms G says:

Ah, finally interesting topics ……. keep following this path !
Just kidding …. although .. it is one of my interests .. but mainly in the mind . not in reality .. although being dominated can be done without bondage/sm … I mean, letting your most feminine psyche come out which you will never do when not having sex …. it’s the natural interaction male/female. Some guys become real MEN when having sex and are more combined people when not having sex …

SM/spanking etc … it’s not my thing, but those who are into it, would not do it when it would not give them a good feeling. They can explain quite well theirselves I guess. No measuring of levels necessary.
I’ve heard them explain very properly, as most of us I guess.

I can understand why a certain level of pain can arrouse some people. In certain states I experience the same. Some people might always be on that state and therefor needing to be dominated to get to the part in which arrousement/orgasms can be triggered. As we all known by own experience .. it will not always work .. we don’t get an orgasm all the time. You learn to recognize the why and when and such. It’s not always the body that wants sex so to speak .. it needs to follow at times as it is WE who want it .. no matter what the body says ..

Fantasies and reality .. lots fantasize about SM and such .. but would not never do it (to them it would not even feel good), whereas some (lots?) of us do. Personality, character, differences .. etc.


March 31, 2009 at 3:39 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Dominance is downright horrible even if it doesn’t involve beatings. In fact, mentally dominating other people is worse in some ways, IMO.
I also get a buzz from working muscles to the point of pain, but that’s totally different. There are two types of things that happen involving you (general you).
1. Things that you do. Working yourself to the point of exhaustion, taking a dangerous jump, juggling, being a professional wrestler, whatever. Some of these things cause pain and danger. However, they are things being done by you.
2. Things that are done to you. Someone else hitting you or dominating you are things that are done to you and your control and volition are totally limited. Not so good.
Things you do = awesome even if painful. Things done to you = bad. Different types of pain!
Anyway, muscle pain isn’t sudden and sharp, BDSM sounds sudden and sharp.


March 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm
BB says:

SGC, I think some of the point of being dominated in S&M is that you consent to it, then you let the other person take away your control, and you give yourself over to them in a very intimate way.
Having painful things done to you against your consent would of course be terrifying, but allowing it to happen but not controlling how it will happen is a whole other ballgame, especially if it’s by someone you love. I don’t think it’s really about the pain at all.

I’ve never done anything like it but I can imagine pretty well the attraction of becoming completely submissive and trusting another person enough to have complete control over you for a few moments. Or having someone trust me enough to control them.
Hm.

BTW I keep thinking S&M means sausage and mash. I’m hungry.


March 31, 2009 at 4:00 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Even with consent it becomes something being done to you that’s kind of painful and in many cases restrictive. Giving away control andsafety, having it taken – all ends the same way. I don’t object to what goes on between consenting adults, of course, it’s their choice, but I still think people are fundamentally crazy in the head-brain.


March 31, 2009 at 4:48 pm
Berber Anna says:

SGC: Actually, from what I’ve read on blogs of people I know who are into this, the submissive person is more in control than the dominant person (well, except in 24/7 lifestyle BDSM — something I must admit I don’t quite understand). The dominant person will act as a leader, instigator etc., but the submissive person is usually free to stop whatever is going on at any time. Also, to prevent the submissive person from allowing something unpleasant because they’re into their role too deeply, the dominant person (or a third participant) will often ask the submissive person whether they’re all right several times during a ‘scene’ (by use of a code, such as green/yellow/red, like traffic lights).
So control and safety are never truly out of the submissive person’s hands, which makes it very different from non-consensual acts.

Still not something I’d be into, I think, but I can see where they’re coming from.

Another interesting observation, to me, is that many sexually submissive people are actually quite dominant in everyday life. Maybe it’s their way to let go, to not have to be 100% in control for a while?


March 31, 2009 at 5:09 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

I don’t know. I can see the dominant person claiming that the submissive can stop things at any time, and the submissive maybe even confirming that, but what other pressure are they using? They have the other person in a vulnerable position. Is that person really going to feel able to back things down? Will they feel they’re letting the dominant one down, or that since they’re “in charge” they are doing the wrong thing by saying no, or if they are not hardcore enough they’re a problem? If they are asked if they are alright are they really just going to grit their teeth and say yes? I can imagine this kind of thing really messing with people. I could be totally wrong, but can you see my point?
I like this Richard Wiseman chap. I think he has the right idea and maybe people should just get together to make a nice curry instead of raising their hands to each other.


March 31, 2009 at 5:45 pm
Katherine says:

Prof Wiseman would indeed be an excellent choice of dinner companion. He always comes across as very interesting, very interested and a most personable guy too. I can imagine lots of good conversation over the curry.


March 31, 2009 at 6:02 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Well, it looks like he writes good books. I’m going to go and buy Quirkology after work and possibly make a curry. It’s the same thing, and no beating or mental domination is involved. Glad that’s sorted.


March 31, 2009 at 6:35 pm
anonymous today in case my parents are reading says:

@ ScreamingGreenConure

I can understand your concerns but it really doesn’t work like that because it’s only fun if it’s in a trusting relationship. And as a general rule, it’s usually the masochist who suggests stuff to play at to their partner (there seems to be many more masochists looking for broad minded partners than there are sadists looking to dominate someone). As to control when the masochist is vulnerable, if the “top” messes up and gets the pain levels wrong, there is as much guilt and worry as if you accidentally knocked your partner over with the car. And as much trepidation about ever trying that particular activity again, no matter how much the masochist might ask!

Of course there will always be exceptions, but my experience is that it’s not something you even suggest until you are very sure of who you’re with and their character – and the hardest thing is to get “normal” people to agree to be try being mean to you for a while ;-)


March 31, 2009 at 10:41 pm
Rebecca says:

So people who enjoy S&M….enjoy S&M?

Who’d have thought? :)


April 1, 2009 at 12:25 am
Aaris says:

I think I have to agree with Berber Anna. I’m really agressive and Dominant in public, or in everyday life, but when the time comes im not usually the dominant one. I’m not sure about all this whipping stuff sounds kinda kinky. I knew this one guy that had a girlfriend who was into the spanking, and he always had like bruises on him. Nipple clamps… I guess theres a time for everything. I’m the kind of person that would try anything once.


April 1, 2009 at 1:34 am
Alice says:

Great. Thanks SGC and Katherine. I *really* needed my yearning for that poached egg knowledge to get categorised under “S&M”. grrrrrr. Now it somehow stings just that little bit more.

Curries can be pretty dangerous. I once read this story about how a couple of streets were evacuated because a restaurant was experimenting with a killer hot recipe, and the resulting cloud of evil curry gas made people wheeze and cry in the surrounding streets. They thought it was a terrorist attack.
Incidentally if you get chilli in your eye, try holding an (open) bottle of malt vinegar underneath it. The fumes are supposed to neutralise the chilli. This wise old Chinese woman showed it me; it seems to work, but I don’t know why.

My favourite latently-romantic activity is doing those Jackson/Livingstone choose-your-own-adventure books with someone. It’s actually a bit like S&M because you have to trust each other completely before you can admit to being such utter nerds.


April 1, 2009 at 1:57 am
ScreamingGreenConure says:

I did in fact buy this Quirkology book and make curry, both are pretty awesome, actually.
Okay, on topic, I have a couple more criticisms. Firstly, the article says that stress hormones and testosterone increased during the “stimulation.” Sure, they dropped down once the beatings were over (they will continue until morale improves) – but doesn’t that mean that they were stressed out? One researcher mentioned in the article apparently said that the hormones might help women cope, or might be stress, but if it’s all ok in the first place why would they need a boost to cope? If washing the dishes gives the same closeness without the stress, isn’t that better?
I get what you are saying about trusting relationships, I really do, but I worry for people who trust their partner to hurt them. I want to give them a hug.


March 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

Never really seen the appeal of S&M. I dont really get how anyone could enjoy it. Each to their own I suppose…


November 12, 2011 at 12:00 am
respectable but naked says:

Now this is just adding fuel to the fire…


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