Fetish Friday is back! I know you were angsting. Yesterday my girl Sarah from SarahOnTheGo wrote about some interesting fetishes, and I realized how much I missed ranting about the mysterious world of the fetish.
So today, I am focusing on algolagnia—the pain fetish. Someone with a pain fetish gets off on suffering from pain, often but not always directed at the genitals. This is different from your run of the mill masochism, because algolagniacs aren’t merely getting off on the idea of dominating or being dominated but on the actual FEELING of pain—the nerve impulses. Algolagnia is an uncontrollable physical phenomenon where the brain reads feelings of pain as feelings of pleasure. Algolagnia is physical, where masochism is psychological. Plus, masochism doesn’t always include pain at all—humiliation and domination/submission are masochisms primal ingredients.
But what causes algolagnia? Is it a physical reaction rooted in the psyche? Is it really mental? A learned Pavlovian response? Some scientists think no. Recent studies have shown that algolagniacs may actually have errors in their DNA. Modern researchers using MRI and computer models of neuron firing patterns show that most algolagniacs experience pain differently from others.
It is rumored that those who enjoy sexual pain are also hypersexual, and algolagnia was once considered a psychological disorder. BUT so was homosexuality, and we see how times have changed!