Erotic Pain and Pleasure

Sunday, 30th March,

Heffron Hall, 36 Burton Street, Darlinghurst


Cost: $40, Members and Low Income $20 

Sign Up (pre-booking required)


"For me erotic whipping is an act and expression of love." So says the Butoh artist Delta R'ai. Without wanting to suggest that Delta simply expresses the whole truth of it, he gives to reflect on an important thought. When practiced skillfully, SM can stimulate positive connections between people, give physical and psychological pleasure as well as feelings of well-being and happiness. This is paradoxical. Sometimes it doesn't look like this is what is happening. It may be only possible to notice afterwards.


There are more or less artful ways to process pain as well as to give it. For it to be erotically exciting, pain very often must be mixed with pleasure. A person's mind also must be engaged. In administrating pain, there are questions of tempo, rhythm, space, techniques of restraint and denial to make your partner want more. There is unpredictability and surprise. The 'bottom', the one receiving, must learn to use the breath. (Indeed, so must the 'top').


The aim of most SM play is to reach a limit to challenge oneself and the other, but not to go so far as to cause permanent physical damage or undue resentment, anger, or excessive guilt or shame. The more subtle 'esoteric' aspects of SM play have to do with the 'moving of energy' (Janet Hardy) and the coming into altered states,  where one is no longer in the realm of pleasure or pain, but in another space entirely.


In this two hour playshop, we will experiment with softer to more intense forms of stimulation (your limits respected). We will give some consideration to the neurology of sadism and masochism, and also philosophical readings such as Sigmund Freud's famous paper "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" and Gilles Deleuze's reading of Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs.


The more you know about your own body and that of your partners, the less you must obey simple 'textbook' rules and the more risks you can take. Scandalous as it may sound to some, SM is really a form of artistic improvisation.


Even if you regularly practice SM as a 'top' or 'bottom' or both, there will be  something for you to learn. If you are interested in putting your toe into this field, or adding it to the repetoire of your sexual skills, this playshop will provide a gentle and reflective environment to watch, try and ask questions.


This workshop is led by Peter Banki, Ph.D and Natalia Je: a couple who are in a committed relationship.



Courtland Sutton Womens Jersey