Different Drummer has offered to help me out with my gym routine, he's teaching me a new way of working out so I can build more muscle and become the hard-bodied pervert I've always wanted to be. Apparently, interval training is going to be my new best friend. And given that my thighs are extremely sore today after only our first meeting, I expect we shall become firm friends.
I thought it worth mentioning here because of the many similarities between the things I get out of a decent gym session and a BDSM session. I sometimes get the strange feeling that gyms are fetish clubs for the daytime. Special areas to get changed into special clothes. Coded language and lots of acronyms. Kit. Lots of kit. Machines, benches. Endorphins and adrenaline. The smell of sweat. An atmosphere focused on bodies, their contortions and the noise of people in pain, or in the quiet space of dealing with pain.
There's more to it than those superficial overlaps, many of which could be about any sort of sporty clique or physical hobby. For me, it's the similarity of my own mindset when doing either that really emphasises it. Working out appeals to my masochism but also on my internal drive for success. The focus of will on the body in order to achieve a goal through a process which is physically demanding and ultimately satisfying - making me feel strong, sexy and proud of myself. One of the things I really enjoy is feeling that I have risen to a challenge, been able to do something that was hard or painful. I like the knowledge that I am somehow better for having done it: I have come away with something new, an improvement, from having the experience. I get that from both BDSM and working out. The difference is that usually with the latter it's me doing it to myself by myself whereas with the former there is generally someone else around or at least involved if not actually present.
Having someone act as a trainer really brings out the parallels, naturally there are D/s overtones available in any teacher/pupil scenario yet I do feel that the pushing past physical barriers has a particular flavour that moves towards S&M. Being shown new equipment, how to use it, where to stand and what to do. Having someone talk you through movements and situations that are painful or difficult. Counting repetitions like counting strokes. There were other moments too, such as one point where it felt as if the muscles in my arm simply stopped working and he had to take the weight from me. I experienced the same rush of concern as if I had to call a stop to a pain or impact play session, and needed reassurance that I hadn't failed but instead just had a very normal response to unfamiliar exercise.
Which will hopefully become more familiar as my body adapts, in much the same way as it has adapted to other forces laid upon it in the past.
5 weeks ago