Chronic Pain & Kink
The following information is from the hand-out I distribute while teaching my "Chronic Pain & Kink" class. I hope that the information within it can help others with chronic pain conditions live a more fulfilling life. If you would like to have me present the class to your local BDSM/Kink group, please send an email to Ignixia@yahoo.com
Click here for a printer friendly version of the hand-out
Chronic Pain & Kink
Presented by Ignixia
Co-Chair of NLA-Orlando
Owner of Adrenalize LLC. (www.AdrenalizeLeather.com)
What is “Chronic Pain?”
· Pain lasting longer than six months. Can be mild to excruciating, episodic or continuous, inconvenient to incapacitating.
o Kinds: Dull, achy, stabbing, shooting, burning
Injury / Physical TramaShingles
Serious infectionNerve damage / Neuropathy
Surgical incisionsPoor posture
Arthritis: Osteoarthritis / Rheumatoid ArthritisObesity
Headaches / MigrainesTendinitis
Multiple SclerosisCarpal Tunnel Syndrome
· Other symptoms that can come with pain:
- Withdrawal from activity / increased need to rest
- Weakened immune system
- Mood changes:
- Hopelessness -Fear
- Depression - Irritability
- Anxiety - Stress
What are some of the treatment types?
Please consult your doctor to figure out the best treatment for you. This is simply a list to show available options.
- Pain relievers: (non-narcotic) Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen
- Pain relievers: (narcotic) codeine, morphine, oxycodone, etc.
- Come in pills, patches, injections, implant pumps
- Risk of chemical dependence or addiction
- Antidepressants: Effexor & Cymbalta (FDA approved for Fibro)
- Anticonvulsants: Neurontin, Lyrica (both FDA approved for pain treatment, especially nerve pain)
- Muscle Relaxants: Soma, Flexeril, Tizanidine, etc.
- Alternative Remedies:
- Acupuncture / Acupressure
- Chiropractor / Osteopath
- Exercise: Low impact and stretching
- Physical Therapy
- Nerve Stimulation: TENS unit / e-stim (including internal e-stim)
Other things to think about with treatments:
-Wear a medical alert bracelet or use some other system for holding medical information on you that may be needed in case of an emergency. This lets first responders and medical staff know allergies, medication you’re using, and other information to treat you with the least amount of complications.
- Pharmacogenetic testing could help you figure out the best treatment method when dealing with medication
- Checks your genetics against different medications to see which works the best or doesn’t work at all as well as how effective each type is for you.
Other methods for living with Chronic Pain
- Chronic pain is more common than most experiencing it believe
- You aren’t alone!
- Look within your local community or online for support groups
- They can offer insight on things you may or may not have tried
- They are also great if you need someone to just listen
- Visit a Recovery meeting
- Recovery meetings offer insight on how to deal with a long term, life altering condition
- Great place to learn about living life for the day, rather than dwelling on past or future issues
- Judgment free space / anonymity
- There are Kink friendly Recovery groups as well (Recovery in the Lifestyle)
Change Your Vocabulary!
- Take “can” and “cannot” out of your vocabulary when it comes to perceived limitations of chronic pain - If things you aren’t physically able to do, don’t try to do them! Don’t think about them either. Thinking about limitations just causes more depression. Know the limitations, don’t dwell on them.
- Instead use “worth” or “not worth”
- I used to think that I “couldn’t” mow the lawn, or do most physical activities because it would cause me to hurt too much. Fact of the matter was that I was going to hurt regardless; it became a matter of whether the extra pain would be worth the activity or not.
- Choose activities you can achieve, especially those with visible or tangible results.
- Find hobbies with visible or tangible results both short term and long term
- Create a goal board with words, pictures, cutouts, etc. of real, tangible, goals that you have.
- Keep the goals realistic. If you set yourself up for failure, you’re just defeating yourself.
How do we add kink into the mix?
Don’t let the stereotypes that you see in porn influence your self-image.
- Dominants aren’t always able to be the solid rock of “uber-domliness”
- Submissives can’t always do every task you want them to
- IT IS OK!!
- Make care for self and / or partner part of the fantasy!
Submissive taking care of dominant in pain:
- Have medication schedule known and ready when needed
- Help with grooming / make it a service (lady’s maid or house boy type of situation)
- Provide services that can help ease pain:
- Hot wax
- Fire cupping
- Be there. Being present. (Emotional support)
- Be mindful of the type of care you are providing
- Caregiver (passive)
- Caretaker (aggressive)
As a dominant in pain:
- Don’t view the help as something you can’t do. “Not because I can’t, but because I have someone else to do it for me”
- Accept the help.
- Communicate your pain level to your submissive. They can’t help if they don’t know.
Submissives in pain:
- Assess yourself regularly
- Update dominant regularly when things change so they can make judgments accordingly
- Don’t say you are in more pain than you are for the sake of what mighthappen later
- Make a pain chart
- Don’t use just numbers. Assign values to those numbers.
(ie: 2 might be “you’re lucky I’m up and dressed”)
- Accept that you can’t do everything. Getting help is ok.
Dominant taking care of a submissive in pain:
- Assign tasks based on their pain level.
- Leave simple tasks for bad pain days so they always feel usefull
- Keep a list of tasks and what pain level they coincide with (work with partner to figure this out, don’t try to make it up on your own)
- Be firm in making sure the submissive doesn’t overdo themselves
- Stress the point that if they damage themselves, they can’t be of any use to you. They have to take care of themselves first.
- Make sure they keep up with their own health and well being
- Always keep researching your partner’s condition.
- There may be new treatments available.
- Be aware of side effects.
- Go with your partner to the doctor
- Having a partner there can make the doctor visit much easier to manage as well as give the doctor an outside view of your partner’s condition
- Look up government assistance programs
- Plan for the “what if!”
- Keep legal documents up to date
- Living will, health care proxy, etc.
Lastly: (if you are sexually active together) KEEP SEX INVOLVED!!
- Once sex goes out the window it can cause all kinds of other issues (depression, anxiety, etc.)
- Sex helps release chemicals that make you feel good and relieves pain
- Stress relief
- Sex is fun!
Quotes to help you get through the day:
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
- Robert Frost
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
"Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another."
- Napoleon Hill
"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."
- Robin Williams
"Don't pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."
- Bruce Lee
"One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart."
- Linda Poindexter
"Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself."
"No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying will change the future. Go easy on yourself."
- Uman Ibm al-Khattaab
-Explains spoon theory along with other blog entries for pain management
-Various articles by the WebMD folks about pain management
- American Chronic Pain Association
Florida - Chronic Pain & Kink
- Fetlife group for Florida kinksters living with chronic pain conditions
Ignixia is an international kink and alternative sexuality educator. The following blog entries range from educational information and resources from her classes to daily musings had on things occurring in the world.