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People playing with pain normally desire to create enough to trigger the release of these chemicals with their anesthetic, euphoric, and trance-like qualities. The pain game is precarious because the pain/pleasure threshold is not constant and can be unintentionally crossed over, bringing an end to one’s hard earned sexual euphoria. Gene Bylinsky, in his book Mood Control, explains: On the surface, the effects of stress, fear, and arousal on pain perception look paradoxical. Moderate anxiety increases the response to pain, whereas high levels of anxiety, including terror or fear, decrease the response to pain. But in terms of survival such a response makes a great deal of sense. Perception of pain depends on environmental situations and on the state of arousal at a particular moment. As one scientist explains it, “Thus, being hit in the mouth by a mugger, in a perhaps life-or-death situation, may cause little or no immediate pain, while the slightest touch by a dentist of a patient’s tooth may readily elicit wincing” (Mood Control, by Gene Bylinsky, p. 35).

An additional aspect of pain is that it can trigger a reaction from the autonomic nervous system causing an increased rate of breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure; all of which can enhance sexual sensitivity or experience.

Modern society views pain as an affliction and does everything possible to inhibit its effects. We may someday have a better understanding of its biochemical properties and pain may prove to have more therapeutic value for our ability to recuperate from emotional trauma than we realize. Most of the twelve-step programs, and many psychologists, advise people to recognize psychological pain, feel it, and cope with it rather than suppressing it with chemicals before a natural resolution has been reached.

Some people consciously hold onto emotional pain after the dissolution of a relationship, sometimes for years. The pain appears to be the only thing remaining of their love affair and they are unwilling to completely let go of it, turning instead into romantic masochists.

CAUTION: Pain produced from activities that harm the body can cause serious health problems. If blood is involved it would also be considered unsafe sex.

(Refer also to AUTOMASOCHISM, CICATRIZATION, FLAGELLATION. MASOCHISM, ORGASMS, PARAPHILIAS, SADISM, TORTURE and TOUCH)

ALLORGASMIA Allorgasmia refers to those people unable to orgasm without fantasizing about a more desirable partner than the one with whom they are having sex. The condition in heterosexual females or gay men is called alloandrism and in heterosexual men or lesbians is known as allogynia.

(See also ADULTERY, FANTASY, FANTASY PLAY and SEX MAGICK)

AMAUROPHILIA (Lygerastia—arousal only in darkness) Amaurophilia (Amaurosis: blindness; philia: attachment to) refers to those who are aroused by a sex partner who is unable to see them and does not apply to two blind partners. Amaurophilia usually manifests itself by an inhibition of sight with either one or both sex partners using a blindfold or having sex in total darkness. This may be caused by reasons such as religious guilt about nudity and sex, low self-esteem, or feelings of inadequacy.

Other amaurophiles may have become conditioned to respond sexually only when a partner is asleep or has his or her eyes closed. They may have had childhood experiences of sex with siblings who were either sleeping or feigning sleep. Necrophiles also may be aroused by their partners keeping their eyes closed, but would further require a lack of movement.

There is also a natural physical condition that causes people discomfort when attempting sex under bright lights. This discomfort can be great enough to interfere with some people’s sexual performance.

An advantage of darkness is that tactile stimulation can reach the greatest sensitivity when all other senses are inhibited, particularly sight.

(See also BLINDFOLDING, FETISHES, PARAPHILIAS, SENSORY COMPENSATION and SOMNOPHILIA)

AMPUTEES See ACROTOMOPHILIA and APOTEMNOPHILIA

ANACLITISM Anaclitism is the act of achieving adult sexual arousal by activities or objects one was exposed to as an infant. These may include breast sucking, enemas, toilet training (urophilia and coprophilia), soiled clothing (mysophilia), bondage (womb confinement), spankings, humiliation, biting, nudity or exhibitionism, circumcision, submission, being bathed, nurtured, throwing temper tantrums, wearing infant apparel, having the penis slapped for masturbation, or playing with dolls.

Similar activities were ritualized by the ancient Greeks, who believed that is was necessary for any man who had fallen fatally ill to undergo a rebirth upon recovering. He was passed through a woman’s lap, washed as a newborn, dressed in infant’s clothing, and nursed.

Fetish objects can be very arousing when introduced into sex play. Most often these items include rubber pants, rubber aprons, shoes, fur, and stuffed animals. Partners usually know which items they find erotic. The fetish value of some objects originates during the period before a baby sees well. These are tactile and the person may only respond to them by touch. An example of this was the woman who noticed a sense of nurturing when a dental hygienist or nurse leaned over her, brushing her uniform against her skin. The mere sight of uniforms had no effect; the stimulus had to be tactile. A history of the woman revealed that she had been born two months premature and had spent the first months of her life being cared for by nurses in uniform. (Personal communication.)

Some people interested in this type of sex play have formed adult baby clubs that provide contacts, photos, and paraphernalia for others who want to experiment with this form of erotic play.

CAUTION: Anaclitism in which a partner is exposed to body secretions is not considered safe sex.

(See also BONDAGE, EXHIBITIONISM, FETISHES, HUMILIATION, INFANTILISM, KLISMAPHILIA, LACTAPHILIA and UROPHILIA)

ANAL SEX (Sodomy, Buggery, Coitus analis, Arsometry, Anocratism, Anomeatia—female partner, Androsodomy and Catamite—mate partner) The male prostate, similar to the female G-spot, can have an orgasmic response to pressure or manipulation. The prostate is about two inches up the front wall of the rectum and is shaped like a small firm disc.