THE TURN-ON OF PAIN
“People in this type of relationship describe it at times as an orientation the way other people might say they’re gay or lesbian in that they need certain threats or actions of pain or restrictions to make them feel turned on erotically. Many people do not want or give pain but rather another type of sensation that can cause the partners to get a type of ‘high’ that other people might get finishing an Iron Man.
“This makes sense when you examine the brain during orgasm. Pleasure centres light up brightly during orgasm, while other centres shut down,” according to neurologist Michael Portner, author of The Orgasmic Mind. He states that achieving orgasm is a “complex conspiracy of sexual and psychological signals – and the eventual silencing of critical brain areas”.
“In men,” Portner writes, “the brain’s centre of vigilance shuts down, but in females various areas of the brain involved in controlling thoughts and emotions become silent.”
BDSM – or polyamory, swinging or fetishes for that matter – are merely choices practised by millions upon millions of people across the world who are doctors, teachers, parents or architects, and who all have their own sexual orientation but who do face prejudice because of their lifestyle choices. These people aren’t some strange minority, but are an active part of everyday, so-called “normative” life. Research shows that as many as 25% of the popula- tion indulge, in some way or another, in an aspect of BDSM.
Another way to view the event is to look as what is happening to sales of 50 Shades merchandise. From the UK comes news that advance sales of sex toys produced bearing the brand licence has gone through the roof. The Daily Mail reports that a third of the entire stock of 50 Shades sex toys – intended to last until Christmas – sold out on the first day of trading at Britain’s biggest online sex toy retailer, Lovehoney.co.uk, which has an exclusive licence.
Topping the popular toys list are the Inner Goddess Silver Balls – which the UK sex toy retailer says are selling nearly twice as fast than any other item. Lovehoney states that the “Inner Goddess Silver Balls (kegel balls) are ideal for those in need of a new toning challenge with added satisfaction. Designed for those who have used kegel exercisers before and now need a new challenge, these pleasure balls offer a combined weight of 221g to maximise the effects of your toning and vaginal rejuvenation.”
The rigid, metal balls are silver in appearance, l inked by string and are attached to a finger loop. They retail for £24.99 in the UK, and locally these are priced at R393, which is a R200 premium on the cost of normal kegel or ben wa balls.
The feathered tickler, which looks a lot like a domestic duster, goes for R199.50 – at Pick n Pay an Addis Chick Ostrich Feather Duster retails for R59.99, and