Masochists are everywhere—not just in Fifty Shades of Grey. They are marathon runners, chili pepper eaters, Polar Bear Club members, MMA fighters, and ballerinas. Why people put their bodies in these situations is the main question in Hurts So Good. However, the book also explains how pain works and gives an idea of how chronic pain suffers can reduce the intensity of the pain they feel.
The book swings between various masochistic scenes (including an intense tongue forking) to extremely detailed scientific explanations of what is happening within the participant’s brain. But what pain a person experiences is subjective. Two people that go through the same event will more likely than not experience different levels of pain. Why? Each person’s brain uses its history of injury to determine the level of its response (pain intensity). The author is great at using metaphors to increase the reader’s understanding of very complicated processes.
As long as you are not triggered by BDSM scenes, pain, or swearing, you can learn a lot about the human body by reading Hurts So Good. It is amazing how efficient the brain can be. It is also eye-opening how many different types of masochistic behaviors are condoned, and even revered, by society. 5 stars!
Thanks to Perseus Books, PublicAffairs, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.