The relationship between pain and pleasure in human sexuality is as profound as it is complex. It is a polarity that lives in each of us and deserves our curiosity. Sadly, it is not unusual for us to close down to situations that we fear will bring pain and discomfort. Replacing our tendency of avoidance with a capacity for wonder when it comes to our pain associations with sex is eye opening and has the potential to release an untapped capacity for pleasure.
The Connection Between Sexual Pain and Pleasure | HuffPost Life
One of the most revolutionary theories of Sigmund Freud is the Pleasure Principle. While it encompasses both pain and pleasure, it is most typically referred to as the Pleasure Principle. Every decision you make is guided by, if not determined by, the principle of pain and pleasure. The actions you take, the course of direction each day, habits you have developed are all derived from the principle of pain and pleasure. Even the simplest, everyday tasks are directed by your need to avoid pain and to gain pleasure. So you brush your teeth everyday and probably get your teeth cleaned once or twice a year. Your fear of near future pain makes you decide to take these actions.
Pleasure is mediated by well-developed mesocorticolimbic circuitry, and serves adaptive functions. In affective disorders anhedonia lack of pleasure or dysphoria negative affect can result from breakdowns of that hedonic system. Human neuroimaging studies indicate that surprisingly similar circuitry is activated by quite diverse pleasures, suggesting a common neural currency shared by all. Wanting for rewards is generated by a large and distributed brain system.