Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Emotional Masochist

By this point, we have clearly established that I'm not much of a masochist. The phrase "Worlds wussiest masochist" comes to mind...

However, I can wear the title of emotional masochist rather well.

Now, "Emotional masochist" is one of those terms that you probably don't want to Google. Kind of like "Headache and fever" because by the end of page one, you will go from mild pain, to meningitis patient on her deathbed. Or in this case, from mostly stable, to incredibly self destructive and emotionally damaged.

So, I'm not debating definitions here, I am making my own. And no, I haven't quite decided what mine is in word form yet, but I have a whole post for you to figure it out right?

I realize that this is going to be a highly interpretable sentence, and that most interpretations will be terrible, but there might be a few of you who "get" it:
The emotional masochist is the person who shines and gets shit done when a loved one dies--because they can ride the high of being in emotional agony. And they are the one's who crash hardest when that high fades.

I do occasionally crave pain, because it gets me out of my head. There is a certain release in pain or in the pain/pleasure combination, that isn't really achieved with other physical sensations.

But what I really crave, what really turns me on and makes me melt, are the things I don't want. The things that make me cringe and blush, the things that make me want to run away and hide, the things that make me squirm and want to crawl away--the things that I find humiliating.

To me, that is emotional masochism.

Humiliation is about control--someone having enough control over you that you are willing to fall into any depths because they so desire it. It's about being stripped bare in ways far beyond the physical experiences we use to define ourselves. It's about going so far down that you can't see the top, and he is the only reality that truly exists.

Emotional masochism is surrender. Surrender to all that we try to keep hidden and find difficult to accept about ourselves.
The emotional masochist is the voice that whispers "Tie me to a chair and make me watch you fuck someone else, push me over the edge and watch me fall, grab me back up just before I crash and break into a million tiny pieces. Inspect me from head to toe, and push me just far enough beyond my limits that I crack. Then pick me up and put me back together in whatever new form pleases you."

Emotional masochism is wanting someone to crawl so deep into your mind that you are willing to bypass all of your own desires in order to achieve theirs. It is the sensation of fulfilling one's purpose simply by experiencing things that one explicitly does not want.

At this point, I think it is worth mentioning that one doesn't want to become a Google statistic. I do believe that emotional masochism can be a terribly unhealthy thing if it is not managed correctly.
In a way, it is also much easier to damage the emotionally masochistic than it is to take physical masochism too far--because the marks are not clearly visible to the naked eye.

The emotional masochist is willing to surrender to anything.
Owning an emotional masochist requires knowing when to stop, and how to put them back together. It is paying attention to the cracks and caring enough to avoid the things that will cause real, lasting, and irreparable harm.
Just because someone is willing to travel to the depths of hell, doesn't mean that you should actually take them there.


  1. Thank you. For one, I wasn't quite sure if I was the only one that used the term emotional masochist but thank you also for putting it into words. I am a masochist, I have no shame in admitting that but where I have a limit for physical pain, them emotional masochism has no limit. I will literally put myself through hell and ride that high. Like you said, it takes someone special to deal with a person like that and well, I've yet to find someone that can handle the train wreck I am. Again, thank you for putting this into words. <3

    1. OnTheRoadToRuin,
      You are quite welcome. Glad I could find the words--others often seem to do the same for me.

  2. In some ways I am but in other ways I am not an emotional masochist. It depends on the situation and who is defining the term. For the example of the death of a loved one, or other tragedies, no, I don't get all effective and efficient. I fall apart and get nothing out of the emotional agony.

    But for something like humiliation, being told off and being made to do naked jumping jacks in front of my friends, yeah, as embarrassing as that is, I totally get off on it too.

    My Master hasn't pushed me anywhere near the limits of my emotional masochism. I tremble to think where those would be.

    1. ksst,
      I think that those limits are somewhere we have to be very careful with--perhaps reaching them isn't always a desirable thing?

  3. Wow lil,

    When mouse saw the title she actually considered not reading it...but is very glad she did. When you wrote it was about being willing to surrender to anything...OMG that hit mouse...

    All you are and everything you could be is wrapped up in that moment of surrender.

    And above all else requires a very deft hand of very understanding Dom.


    1. mouse,
      I must say that, "All you are and everything you could be is wrapped up in that moment of surrender." is absolutely one of the most delicious and perfect sentences ever. Just lovely.

  4. Surprised you would not define youself as a masochist lil, not sure why but the surprise is there.

    This post made perfect sense. While one feels she is a physical pain masochist the emotional masichist side is so much stronger. There is nothing better than coming back from that place of total humiliation and feeling that stong loving connection on the other side. It's like He saw one at the lowest of low points and still cherises her. That is what it's all about.

    1. dancingbarez,
      I feel like I'm faking it if I claim the title masochist--because it might apply sometimes, but I'm just terrible at it lol.

      It really is very much about being cherished after being seen at one's worst.

  5. Beautifully put.

    Now i think its you thats in my head..."tie me to a chair and make me watch you fucking someone else"...omg lil i wrote those very words in my blog i think today or yesterday!

    I have struggled to define emotional masochism, but i think as has been said under the right guidence it can be so uplifting, surrendering in an emotional way is far more intense but yet more rewarding.


    1. tori,
      thank you!

      Okay lol--that sentence about watching him fuck someone else while being tied to a chair is a perfect expression of emotional masochism for me, and is something we have had many conversations about; however, your post was written before I finished this one.
      And I thought about changing "Chair" to "Bed" so that you didn't think I was talking about you, but then my brain got all caught up in the logistics of fucking someone while somebody else was tied to the bed...

      I think emotional masochism is one of those things that can take you to really horrid, or really incredible places--all dependent on the people and circumstances.

      Isn't the more intense often more rewarding?

    2. lil, this post fitted in so well with what thoughts have been going around in my head, and i do think we tend to think alike in respect of humiliation and that whole 'doing things we dont like but it excites us because its about the control' etc

      but gosh yes being tied to a chair and watching'it is that appeal of not sure about liking it, but liking the thought of not liking it! ...please tell me you understand that lol

      Yes i would definitley agree the more intense the more rewarding.

      Now a question for

      Do you feel more vunerable when exposed to emotional masochism but even though at those times you might do, the overall outcome is this feeling of empowerment at 'letting go'?

    3. tori,
      totally understood the part that probably shouldn't have made much sense lol.
      Not sure I completely get the question though...Gonna have to finish my coffee and think about it a bit.

    4. lol reading it back i can see why.

      I was thinking that even in these moments of emotional masochism (which i think is very much interwoven with humiliation) afterwards, when 'recovered'..for want of a better word it perhaps makes you feel stronger?, a sense of achievement at 'letting go' and embracing it.

      Not even sure that makes sense!


  6. Wow, I have never thought of myself as an emotionell masochist but now I am reconsidering that thought.

    Thank you for putting it out there.

    1. Anna May,
      I think it's one of those things kind of like Dominance and submission--everyone has a little bit of each in them, it's just about varying degrees and how much we explore them.

  7. lil,
    i've read blogs from people who identify themselves as emotional masochists and i've never been able to wrap my head around it before. A lot of things i can read and see the person's POV, see the attraction or the way it works for them, even if it wouldn't at all for me. This i never could, not how i'v seen it portrayed anyhow. What you've described here, i can see, i can imagine and even see the pieces in our life.

    1. gg,
      I think it really is about how one defines these things and sees them from a personal perspective. When I Googled the term I thought, omg, I'm not that damaged, and misery really has no attraction for me!

      I think that perhaps to be human is simply to be many little pieces all woven together and those pieces come in different shapes and sizes for all of us...Not entirely sure that makes sense...


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