Warning: This column describes activity that some may
find offensive. Please do not read it if you are bothered
by the application of electroshock or the intrusion of
skin by needles.
The title of this column says what it is about. What it
doesn't tell the reader is that this is just as much a
study in perception as it is in technique.
I have used a violet wand on occasion. Once or twice I've
used a tans unit to apply a shock to sensitive parts of
a guy's body. I've done temporary piercing once or twice
to slaves who were at my service and disposal. None of
those activities are really erotic turn ons for me. Frankly,
I have only limited experience with either mode of torture/pain/pleasure
Those who know me will attest to the fact that I seldom
pass up the opportunity to get a bit of experience, to
learn more about myself, my tolerances, and various methods
of stimulation. I therefore used this scene as an opportunity
to learn about myself.
I went with the flow. I didn't really have much choice,
as the session was ordered for me and submitting to the
orders seemed like the best and only way through the session.
Resistance would provide no solution and probably complicate
I reported last Wednesday as instructed. I have to give
them credit as to the layout of the scene. The room was
sterile, quiet, and non-obtrusive. It was hard to find.
There wasn't anything fancy about it. The bed I was to
lay on was simple and utilitarian. The electroshock generator
next to it was impressive, full of buttons and knobs.
It even had a video screen of some sort for watching the
victim's (my!) reaction. Some one had spared no expense
to achieve his goals.
He was dressed like a doctor. After all, this was a medical
scene and he obviously wanted to have an air of professionalism.
He introduced himself and was friendly enough, but didn+t
volunteer anything personal, intimate, or sexual. For
my part, I kept a "wait and see" attitude. There
wasn't much else to do, especially since I wanted to get
the full benefit of what was going to happen.
The "doctor" asked me if I understood what was
happening and did I know anything about the nervous system's
reaction to electricity. I told him that I did. Still,
throughout the session, he was quick to tell me what he
was doing and to prepare me for the impending sensations.
He was obviously trying to make me feel relaxed. I knew
I could trust him and that there wouldn't be any permanent
My previous experiences, as observer (I've seen these
scenes before), as top, and as bottom (a rare event!)
had sufficiently prepared me. I knew that most of the
difficulty in this kind of activity was in the anticipation.
Like the dread of a dentist, the actual experience is
never as bad as one can imagine.
Really, fear is a more powerful pain inducer than most
actions. Go through the motions of striking a naked, bound
slave on the genitals without actually touching him or
her and you will get just as sudden and violent a reaction
as if you had pounded the hell out of him or her. Granted
that the effect doesn't last as long but it does prove
that dread is mean master.
A great deal of the angst experienced in SM is mental.
How we intellectually perceive and deal with any specific
event determines to a great extent how we feel about it.
I recently had the good fortune to tour a museum of recovered
sunken treasure. The gold doubloons, bars, and silver
ingots were worth millions. There were hundreds of recovered
artifacts and pieces of jewelry, devotional items such
as crosses and medallions, household goods, ship's gear.
As I viewed the remains of the Spanish galleon, it was
obvious that I could focus on the wealth or on the lost
lives of the men, women , and children who had drowned
as the world's greatest sea treasure sunk to the bottom
of the Gulf of Mexico. That is the flexibility of our
mind: to change feelings and perceptions, albeit sometimes
with difficulty, but still, at will, to see them differently.
But I was talking about the electroshocks. Truth is, of
course, that things are never as bad as they seem. The
worse we can imagine never happens. We can tolerate a
great deal more than we think we can, if we only garner
the strength of our wills and minds to do so.
He began his procedure, attaching small electrode-ended
wires to my wrist and neck. Then he picked up a small
plastic and metal instrument with two inch-long prongs
sticking out of one end. "You'll feel this",
he said, as he shocked my right arm. It stung and my arm
jerked in a spastic reaction.
Quietly and deliberately, he did his "thing".
Without emotion, without hesitation, without malice or
spite, he applied the pain inducing electricity, keeping
me under his control with his voice and his steadfast,
no-nonsense demeanor. Again and again his hi-tech instrument
He inserted needle tipped wires here and there and put
that pulse-generating machine on my arm, hands, and shoulders.
He knew what he was doing. The pain was tolerable.
I certainly felt the tips of metal invade me. He inserted
them quickly and expertly. They didn't even draw blood,
though he was careful to prevent infection by using an
antiseptic and wearing surgical gloves. My mind able to
get past it all. The session was over in a relative short
period of time.
Now if you've disregarded the warning in the first paragraph
and have read thus far, what are your perceptions? your
feelings? Does the hint of sadism excite you? Is the scene
repulsive? Incredible? Insane? Would you like to try it?
Would you like to do it to someone? or have it done to
you? Would you like to buy a video of it? Or is such an
idea so outlandish, so abhorrent as to be disgusting?
Should such "play" be outlawed? Is it too kinky?
too brutal? too stupid?
It's a matter of perception, isn't it?. Like previous
electric and piercing scenes, there wasn't a sexual component
to the event. If you know my writing style at all, you've
probably even seen the truth behind my story. This is
no account of leather men at play. It is a vague but accurate
description of a half hour I spent in a local hospital
having my left arm tested for possible nerve damage. (The
prognosis is very good, so don+t fret on that account.
And I did not hurt it while having sex!)
I'm sorry if you were looking for some voyeuristic and
arousing description of torture and brutality. That's
not part of the doctor's repertoire. I was "ordered
to report" by my physician, and the man with the
machine was a medical doctor himself. I told this story
to make a point.
I wrote that I was interested in a new mode of "torture/pain/pleasure"
administration. Notice the juxtaposition of those three
words. The electricity and the needles are neutral. In
themselves they are neither good nor evil. Yet they can
be instruments of incredible torture, reasonable and sometimes
necessary pain, or even pleasure. How different would
this scenario had been if it were a concentration camp
instead of a hospital, or a private basement playroom
in a leather person+s home?
I often mention the phenomena of "altered states".
Parallel with them of course are altered perceptions:
the ability to see beyond or through what may or may not
appear to our senses. Only when we can recognize the filters
that flood our lives, that color our knowing, will we
find ways to see beyond our limited sight and thereby
gain true insight.
I still don't know much about electrify and piercing.
That's why I leave such things to the experts. But I will
open myself to learn and to grow, for behind every cloud
is that lining, and not every kick in the ass is in the
1993 by Jack Rinella. This material may not be copied in
any manner. For permission to reproduce this essay, contact
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