Copied from a defunct blog. Worth a read even for the experienced.
The Science Behind Spanking
Why spankings are enjoyable!
Afraid to receive a spanking?
Afraid of the pain of a spanking?
Or, are you a spankee or spanker who wants to get the most out of spankings?
Here are the scientific reasons behind spankings. The reason you may ENJOY a spanking.
I will discuss the hormones & nerves involved & how to deviously tie them together into an extraordinary experience.
by Southern Gentleman
Having a low pain tolerance doesn't mean you can't play. A properly administered spanking will cause the body to physiologically accept & enjoy a spanking.
You don't "enjoy" pain, or "look forward" to pain? The way to counter this is to not mentally judge or put labels on the pain. Do not go into a memory or project anything into the future. You have to get into exactly what you are feeling now, in the moment. Slow down your breathing and just experience the energy of whatever you’re feeling. Don’t label the feeling, don’t judge it as good or bad, become just an observer. Go into it with your mind and try to locate exactly where the sensation originates and where it ends, what shape it is, if it moves or is static. Play with it a little bit.
One of the main problems that people experience when they feel pain is that they complain about it. They complain to others, and they complain internally to themselves. “Oh man this hurts, I can’t believe this.” The issue with this is that we create this vicious cycle of emotion where we get more and more upset – to sustain this – the mind amplifies the pain experience. This amplification restricts your ability to get pleasure from it.
To get a bit more advanced, once you become aware of what you are feeling, without labeling or judging recognize that whatever you are feeling is an energy inside your body. From physics and spirituality we know that everything is energy. Just allow yourself to appreciate the energy, appreciate, accept, and even love that this energy exists again without label or judgment. Then, give yourself some love and approval simply for appreciating the energy. This will bring you into a very peaceful and present state of mind.
Increase pain tolerance
2. physical strength & conditioning
3. positive thoughts
4. positive emotions
5. minimizing stress
So, be well rested before a session, & think positively about it.
Breathe-remember to breathe!! Without it, you die. Seriously, breathe slowly & deeply.
Relax. Once you are breathing deeply, muscle relaxation may come naturally. Let your entire body go limp. Let the muscles of your face slacken. No matter how much it hurts, resist the urge to flail about or clench your fists. Just try to let go of all feeling in your body and remain focused only on breathing. Relax your buttocks & don't tense up. Tensing up can result in muscle bruising which can be painful for many days.
Understand that pain is a mechanism that is meant to protect us from damaging our bodies and to keep us away from dangerous situations. When it really comes down to it, it's not the body part that hurts, it's your brain convincing you that it hurts. It's the brain's way of warning you not to repeat the action that caused you the pain in the first place.
Pain can be a good thing, as so many BDSM folks already know. Once the pain begins, the endorphins rush into the bloodstream
Endorphins, other chemicals and the Pudendal Nerve
The endorphin high is caused by a bunch of natural, morphine-like chemicals the body pumps into your brain to reduce your sensitivity to pain (thus raising your pain threshold.) The fact that the body seems to release these endorphins in measured 'loads' is a key to understanding how to 'play' (see last part)
The researchers say a spanking releases endorphins, the body's natural 'happy chemicals', and that leads to feelings of euphoria, a reduction of appetite, the release of sex hormones and an enhancement of the immune response, and they have a similar effect on pain as drugs such as morphine and codeine.
The endorphin 'loads' as they are available in the body are released in their entirety, and after a 'load' is released, it takes the body about ten minutes to generate the chemicals for another one.
Endorphins are released during a spanking but that is not the most important factor. The feedback loop that connects spanking and the spinal cord via the Pudendal Nerve is the main physiological reason why human beings enjoy being spanked.
The Pudendal Nerve and perineal nerves, which are also the major nerve supply of the clitoris(in females) and penis(in males), as well as the lower portions of the scrotum(in males), and the lower labia (in females) – it connects erotic stimulation of the male or female genitals to/from the same area in the spinal cord for feedback & preprocessing before those signals are sent up to the brain. The sensations received during a spanking are handled the same way as those received during orgasms or sex.
This extra stimulation creates purely a physical response. The pudendal nerve is being stimulated, more blood is coming to the area, therefore the genitals will become engorged. The spanking is interpreted as pleasure. This contrast between pain and pleasure confuse the brain releasing adrenaline. Adrenaline is released from the adrenal gland it causes an increase in heart rate, also dilating blood vessels and air passages. This allows for an increased volume of blood to be pumped around the body further engorging the sexual organs increasing sensitivity even more.
The art of spanking
Being spanked makes the pleasure all the more enjoyable. Spanking only becomes uncomfortable when the pain dealt is greater than the pleasure of the recipient. This is where it is important for the SPANKER to be fully in tune with the SPANKEE. This is what separates a True Dom from a wannabe dom slapping someone's butt. You have to listen & feel their breathing, & listen to every moan & yelp. This is the true art of spanking.
Although everyone into the BDSM scene has heard of endorphins, actually very, very few people really understand what they are, how they work, what the "high" is all about and how one can correctly induce the body to produce them. This short primer will answer those questions, and serve as a guide for anyone topping another so that they may successfully send their bottom into a very deep endorphin stupor! (Also known as leaving them in a big puddle of quivering ecstasy!)
The endorphin high is caused by a bunch of natural, morphine-like chemicals the body pumps into your brain to reduce your sensitivity to pain (thus raising your pain threshold.) The fact that the body seems to release these endorphins in measured 'loads' is a key to understanding how to 'play' the body to produce these 'loads' and 'release' them into the body and brain region when the 'load' is ready. One has to keep in mind that another chemical – adrenaline – is also produced by the body in reaction to pain, and its behavior should be understood also. This is covered later more thoroughly in the section at the end on aftercare – which is a VERY essential element in guaranteeing the success of the effort, as you will see.
The endorphin 'loads' as they are available in the body are released in their entirety, and after a 'load' is released, it takes the body about ten minutes to generate the chemicals for another one. After the body has been induced to release (or 'inject') a 'load' into the system, you must then continue stimulating the body for at least ten minutes in some manner before the body will be ready to release another one. This stimulation can be just about anything – sensation play, light paddling or flogging, light caning, etc. – and it does not have to be intense or even nearly match the intensity of stimulation that had caused the release of the last 'load.'
Once prepared, an increase in stimulation over a five minute span up to a measured 'climax' will trigger the body to release the freshly prepared 'load' (based upon the submissive's current pain threshold,"measured" to push them over a new edge.)
Development of a spanking session
So, armed with this information, what does a session look like from the top's and bottom's point of view? This should break it down for you.
When a scene first starts, there are no endorphins in the submissive, and even fairly light torment is very stingy, ouchy, and, well, painful! (This is a good reason to start out spanking over panties or with some protection from your bare hand)There is an endorphin reserve already in place that is awaiting release into one's body in case of an emergency, and after just a few minutes of even relatively mild stimulation building to a mild climax, this reserve 'load' is released, and suddenly the pain threshold clearly rises and the subject can easily tolerate what earlier may have been pushing their limits, making them jump around and squirm, for instance. This new, more pain tolerant state is Level One. There is no altered state of consciousness yet – but there is an increased pain threshold.
Once this has happened, for the top it's basically just about treading water for ten minutes and doing anything that provides relatively light but constant stimulation to induce the bottom's body to prepare/create their next 'load' for release. (This is a good time to get rid of those panties) This is a good time for sensation play, or light spanking, flogging or whipping – and since the only requirement is that it remain fairly constant stimulation, it is a chance for the top to relax for a bit, since the stimulation can be very mild and be easy and be relaxing to apply during this time.
(Now is the time to start stimulating the pudendal nerve. A properly delivered spank will vibrate and stimulate the pudendal nerve which heightens sexual arousal. Spank the lower buttocks in an upward fashion. Do not use the flesh as a target. Like karate, aim past the flesh. Try to transmit the energy deep into the buttocks. A few solid spanks will vibrate the nerves & start to inflame the surrounding tissue.)
Once the ten minutes have passed, a build in intensity over a subsequent five minute period will excite the body to a peak, and a sudden 10–15 seconds or so of intense stimulation just beyond the person's current pain threshold limit will trigger the body to eject its freshly made, current load into the bloodstream. (Bringing your sub to orgasm & delivering hard well-placed spanks during her orgasm will confuse her mind with pain & pleasure at the same time. It will increase the adrenaline load once again increasing blood flow & therefore pleasure. Hence, she is learning to ENJOY PAIN) Now the bottom will be at Level Two – with still no perceivable altered state of consciousness (beyond panting in relief that you, the top, have ceased with the intense bit!), but there is a considerable and noticeable leap in pain threshold now.
Following this, again, ten minutes of mild, easy stimulation to provoke the body into generating the next load as quickly as possible. Keep this well below the pain threshold you've now created, with just a little intense whack, etc. every so often, about a minute apart. This will keep the adrenaline build up to a minimum, for reasons explained later on. Take it easy, tops, relax, rest that arm and wrist a bit! (Now is the time to bring her to orgasm again. Break out your paddle for the next part) Then, this relaxing ten minutes is followed with five minutes of building the intensity again to well above the previous level, as the bottom's pain threshold is pretty high already now and they can take a lot more before the body interprets this as being 'in crisis' and thus triggers the endorphins' release. (Be careful not to go too hard make sure you direct the energy through her. When you spank her bottom, aim for her vagina)(you are trying to stimulate more than her bottom. You are trying to stimulate her whole pelvic area. Direct your energy through her) Finished off with 10–15 seconds (up to a minute) of a real intense, over the edge push, and the body will inject that next load.
(To proceed, you need to be really in tune with your sub!!! If you are not sensitive to your sub's needs & body, you can do damage)
Now at Level Three, (you may introduce the belt, flogger, or crop) Take advantage of the scare tactics. Re: slowly remove your belt making a show of it. Place the belt where your sub can see it. Use that fear to get another shot of adrenaline going. The bottom will definitely feel a little bit 'woozy' — exhibiting a "mildly drugged" state. Their eyelids should become heavier seeming, and they will fall into a more relaxed condition than before, with more low moans and groans, and with their inhibitions becoming more relaxed. Again, applying ten minutes of any relatively mild stimulation (don't have to work hard, tops!), followed by a five minute build to a 10–15 second intense climax now that is WELL beyond the previous one, will result in the next endorphin "load" being released to push the bottom into a very nice Level Four headspace.
At this Level Four state, there will be a very definite altered state of consciousness in evidence, and the bottom will feel clearly drugged and will be very compliant and submissive now. This is countered, however, by the largest charges of adrenaline they have received so far (from the intense climax just used to push them over this "edge"), so they are still quite communicative and their reaction time is still quick (even hypersensitive – a small whack with a paddle, cane or whip can now generate a huge amount of twitching or jerking of the subject's body with certain bottoms.) Now, during the ten minute 'treading water' period for the top, the moans and groans will be longer and deeper, the body often limp in its restraints, and the reactions to the occasional harder 'strikes' will be obvious and even somewhat amplified. This is the tops finest time – they can still relax and obviously not be exerting themselves very hard, yet produce fine moans of ecstasy from their bottom with hardly any provocation! The pain threshold is high, even if the reaction time is increased due to the adrenaline, so harder occasional strikes are welcomed, and the reactions are certainly encouraging!
After this ten minute "endorphin replenishment" period, (break out the cane or whip if you have one. or use a good solid paddle) now it is important to be very sensitive to the limit levels crossed earlier, as you begin that five minute build in intensity that will end in the most intense limit pushing you might do with the bottom for this session (if you are stopping at level five). The bottom will have a very high pain threshold at this time, but also will be fairly groggy (in spite of the adrenaline-fueled reaction times) and less able to communicate their safe word – in fact, will now be so compliant that it is very UNLIKELY that they would use it even if they should do so! So, push this "grand finale" with finesse and sensitivity to what is going on with your bottom! (If you are not in tune with your sub, then by all means do not keep going. you are not beating her, you are still spanking, just with more intensity) At the other end of the 10–30 second climactic build in intensity – in a wonderful blast – this latest endorphin load will push the bottom into Level Five: a state of supreme ecstasy, docility, and the ability to take just about anything you could throw at them. They will become very limp and relaxed very suddenly – and be very clearly in an altered state of consciousness now.
Be Aware of safety!
This is the point most people end the scene and remove the bottom to cloak them in a blanket and begin the all-important aftercare ... and unless you know your bottom extremely well, this is where the session should end. However, for those in that category of knowing their bottom's limits and abilities quite well, the rules and timing are the same as with the earlier segments. Now, your 'mild' stimulation could be fairly intense if you wanted it to be, and the bottom will become extremely submissive – and receptive – and accepting of any amount of stimulation you could lay on them. This is a dangerous condition, because there is NO WAY a person will utter a safe word in this condition – they can barely talk at all! So, it is best to keep the stimulation relatively intense but not too (Note: the stronger intensity applied now will hold up the adrenaline levels, and the combination with the elevated endorphins levels creates a condition of intense excitement and of simultaneously intense ecstatic relaxation for the bottom, so they'll be into receiving whatever is being doled out. More on adrenaline in a minute, though!) Again, finish off after the ten minutes with a building in intensity to one beyond that reached earlier, with a 10–15 second extreme point, and the next 'load' will be released. So, now we have brought the bottom to a very amazing Level Six! (But, again, this should only be attempted with a bottom whose limits and abilities are already very well known! The top is working without the benefit of safe words being utterable, in most cases by this time, so care must be exercised this whole while.)
With all the adrenaline now in the body – as well as the complete release of inhibitions from the heavy dosing of endorphins now in their brain – behavior of the bottom can become unpredictable at this point, and you should be prepared to restrain against some wild thrashing and arm flailing that could take place (at least be out of harm's way!) The person/bottom is going to be in such an intensely altered state of consciousness now that their reactions could possibly be of an extremely primitive nature, and they may be capable of only 'animal-like' noises and reactions, and no or very little recognizable speech. So, watch out! Following this reasoning, approach the subject as you would a wild animal – very gently, talking soothingly and gesturing in a calming manner. Be prepared for sudden wild jerking, or seeming attempts to 'get away.' And don't take it personally! At Level Six, this person is totally ga-ga! Be assured, they are enjoying every millisecond of this experience! And a very long period of dreaminess is now in store for them – if their aftercare is handled properly!
The importance of Aftercare
So, why do I go on and on about the aftercare? The work of putting endorphins into the subject's body is finished, right? Well, yes, but you have also succeeded in putting very, very large amounts of adrenaline into their system, and Adrenalin is tricky stuff. Even at Level Four, aftercare is important now because of they way adrenaline burns off – it burns off very quickly – compared to endorphins, which burn off very slowly. At Level Five or Level Six, there is enough adrenaline in the body that it will take 10 to 20 minutes for it to burn off (even up to half an hour!), and during this time, the bottom very likely will experience a number of adrenaline 'crashes' (similar in a way to coffee jags), and some of these can be very intense — and even quite frightening! They will need to be kept warm and be held and comforted AT LEAST throughout this period of adrenaline burn-off. My feeling is that if you don't care enough for the bottom to enjoy cuddling and caressing with them for up to half an hour, you probably shouldn't be taking them to any Level Six endorphin/adrenaline levels! (Or even perhaps to a Level Four!)
This adrenaline "crash" experience for the bottom is something many, many tops are unaware of, and they have no concept of the amount of harm they could be doing to someone's psychological state by not performing adequate, loving, fondling and comforting aftercare during this time. All the bottom needs now is to be held and to hold you (or whoever you assign to perform aftercare) back – in order to be comforted by your presence, and to be allowed to make you become the entire focus of their awareness. No stroking, or massage, or other stimulus is needed or even desirable at this time. What is important is to keep in verbal contact with the bottom (not requiring words as responses, merely nods), instructing them every little while to relax. The Adrenalin will have them in a very agitated state – high heartbeat and breathing levels, etc. – and this situation is completely counter to the endorphin experience.Sure, they have a ton of endorphins in their system, but the Adrenalin is presently holding them off from experiencing the full effect of them. The top's guidance is extremely important at this time to help them relax through the Adrenalin burn-off period.
The important thing to realize is that, if not actually 'talked down' out of the Adrenalin agitation, the person could easily never allow themselves to relax enough to even feel the massive content of endorphins that currently exist in their system! (Maybe you've all seen the bottom who, after 45 minutes to an hour of intense stimulation to the point of near-total collapse on the cross or bench, is released and – after a mere couple of minutes – is just mingling around and talking and mixing with people as if nothing ever happened. These people are floating on a self-sustained Adrenalin buzz. This not only is likely to be unhealthy, but these bottoms are cheating themselves out of a long, long stretch of total endorphin-induced ecstasy!)
Step-By-Step Aftercare Instructions
So, while gently holding the bottom and letting them hold you back, coo softly and comfort them, and tell them to go ahead and to let themselves relax. You will feel them do so as they comply with your wishes, as they are quite docile and compliant to receiving instructions at this point. But they will also slowly tense up again from the Adrenalin. Keep reminding them to relax, telling them to give themselves permission to relax totally. As they begin to succeed at doing this after a while, some will encounter a frightening feeling, which some describe feeling as if 'falling off a cliff,' and they will tense up a great deal from fright in that event. Or, they might encounter a feeling of intense 'blackness' (as the endorphins get a chance to relax even their optic nerve) and they will freak out and pull back from relaxing again.
If they report such experiences (or even before they do) tell them not to fear that, but to let it go and pass through it – telling them to relax through the sensation of falling or blackness with the understanding that this is quite normal and is a common experience. Once they do that, having learned to "relax through it", they will be "in it" after that point, and will begin to relax very deeply, very often seeing colors and beautiful technicolor visions and dreamlike landscapes, spaces and places. How sweet!
Once this happens (which, again, will take at least 10 minutes — and up to a half hour for some, depending on the amount of Adrenalin that they must burn off), then your bottom needs only a little more loving attention, and can then be left bundled in a blanket somewhere on their own to float in a happy bubble, very possibly for hours!
Tops should be mindful of the fact that if they had intended to have sexual play with their bottom, they should probably fit that in around level three or four, for after hitting level five, their bottom may be too floaty to be able to concentrate for long on what they are doing. Then again, that can sometimes result in extremely passionate and inhibition-free indulgence, resulting in heights of ecstasy and orgasm never before experienced. But, if your bottom drifts out on you or loses their erection, don't say I didn't warn you! There's no telling which way they will go at level 5 or 6!
There is another factor that can produce an altered state of consciousness FAR FAR beyond even that of the most extreme endorphin experience. This is experienced by submissives whose intense focus upon their Master or Mistress (their Dominant) – and upon pleasing them – eventually leads to a hallucinogenic kind of altered state known commonly in the BDSM community as "flying," having an almost mythological aura surrounding the word by now, though for very good reasons! It is probably the most profound experience one can have as a submissive. It involves a state of intense devotion towards the dominant (who is not just a mere "top" at this point!) that borders upon religious worship, with complete trust and a total commitment to please and satisfy them thoroughly. Through the attainment of a complete selflessness and focus on the dominant, a transformation takes place that is very, very deep, almost trance-like.It can become so profound as to produce an extended, hallucinogenic state that is very wonderful and blissful. Many have reported even seeing visions under the spell of this "flying" effect. All have attested to the profound sense of peace and bliss they have experienced while even near the "edge" of this state.
This "flying" state can be attained by some with very little endorphin content in their system (some say even with none, but I'm quite certain most folks have attained at least a level Three or Level Four endorphin high in order to trigger the total release of inhibitions which this psychological state seems to require, at least generally speaking.) With practice, the release into this "flying" submissive-space should come easier and easier, eventually with even a mere suggestion being able to trigger the effect for some with very little or even no endorphin content being in the picture. COMBINED with the level 5 or 6 endorphin headspace, there likely can be no deeper state of ecstasy possible for the bottom — short of total enlightenment! Until such an experience of full enlightenment can be accomplished, perhaps the attainment of this interim bliss is quite acceptable, and certainly should be considered an attractive and enjoyable state to be in! The secret ingredients are intense focus; a commitment to please the dominant utterly; and complete and total devotion! These ingredients – with some endorphins in the mix – should produce a quite satisfying effect for both the submissive and the dominant!
(Disclaimer — I did not believe it would be this popular. As with everything on F/L it is for your enjoyment only. The information was gleaned from 6 years of Biology studies in college, internet searches & personal experiences. Use it at your own risk. Each persons experience will differ, so communication is key.
I am not a medical doctor, though this information, where applicable, has been checked with a doctor and two nurses who are in the scene. I assume no responsibility for people who try to use this information or for the effects which may arise from the application of the information above. As resulting from my personal knowledge, research and experiences, I can, however, assure you that this information is completely accurate to act as a guide for those exploring these effects as part of their own BDSM explorations)