While reading a post on Facebook about the James books, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, I realized that most people don't understand the S/M sexual scene and why a woman would allow herself to be beaten. They don't get that there is more to S/M than that and often there are no beatings, unless you're into whips and leather and the like. It's really about the erotic thrill of power and who has it in such a relationship.
To cut to the chase, the power is in the submissive. The submissive says yes or no and can stop the action with a safe word. That is power. And, as the Marquis de Sade wrote, pain and pleasure are different vibrations of the same nerves. In the right situation with the right person, there is pleasure in the pain. There is also no damage as long as both people involved don't lose control or go into a very dark place where damage is the key.
There is something exciting and innately erotic in giving oneself over to the pleasure of pain and the anticipation can be exquisite. I know. I've traveled this road before. At first, I was reluctant and arrogant and certain that I was not such a weak person. I found it takes a very strong person to give themselves over to another's power and give up control. Then I found out that giving up control made me powerful because I still had control. It's confusing, I know, but it's a power trip, and it must be with the right person or it's just play.
I found that being the dominant was as erotic as being the submissive and that I liked switching the roles, but only with the one man in my life who took me places I'd never been before and will probably never go again. It's a sweet memory that still has the power to thrill and arouse me. That's likely too much information, but there is something to be said for traveling down other paths to see what there is to see -- and experience. It's not for everyone, but it is an exciting journey, one I'm glad I took.
It's never smart to pooh-pooh something unless you know more about it. I know wherein my limits lie and what I am and am not willing to do. When my relationship ended, I looked for someone to fill the void and failed. That one relationship changed me (for the better, I think) and no one could ever take his place. I'm sure he found the same thing, although men tend to be more willing to compromise on such issues than women -- or rather that this woman was unwilling to compromise and fill the position with just anyone.
Take a look at the shadows and examine what you find. You may or may not like what you find, but at least you will be more informed and can speak from a less uneducated place.
That is all. Disperse.