Monday, January 2, 2012

My Favorite Mindfuck

As people who know a fair amount about me are aware, I trained dogs professionally for a short while. During this time I became very familiar with the principles of operant conditioning. For those less familiar, these are the principles seen in Pavlov's famous findings where dogs would salivate upon hearing a bell which was rung before feeding, even when no food was present.

When I lived in Chicago, I spent a full year living in a studio off of the red line - when I say "off of," I mean my window was less than 50 feet from the track. Because the building was nothing but studios and the walls were terribly thin, noise during play was always a fairly large concern. I had a friend who was into some rather brutal CBT and could not only easily push me to my "reasonable" limit and beyond, but still want more even with me there. I was hoping to try and experience as close to legitimate panic as possible while inescapably bound, but I'd get too noisy during this level of abuse.

Eventually, in order to mitigate possibly having my neighbors complain, I told him that any time the train passed by he could wail on me as harshly as he wanted since the rumble would mask my howls. "Could" quickly turned to "would," and it was set up so EVERY time the train passed he'd wail on my balls until I was screaming.

Now, back to Pavlov's dogs. Much as the anticipation of food made the dogs salivate, sure enough the far-off rumble of the train became somewhat of a trigger. Once he got me to the point where I'd panic, after a few repetitions all it took was hearing the train in the distance to make me break into a cold sweat and instinctively try to protect my balls.

Ever since moving out of the studio it always saddened me that I can't duplicate the scene again - somehow using some form of a random noise generator just doesn't seem as thrilling. The conditioned response ought to be identical, so anyone looking to duplicate it may have luck with a fade-in track of some sort on random in iTunes or similar.


  1. You're too young for a Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in recollection, but here goes. My favorite line from their graffiti wall went: "Does the name Pavolv ring any bells?"

    Interesting story.

  2. what a great idea for a scene though... a repeating loop CD, with a certain 30-60 cut of something appropriate ( I can think of a few tracks ) set into it randomly. Every time the particular track comes up, the bottom gets his nuts wailed on for the duration of the track :)....fuck with his head a bit by making the track just a little longer every place it's put into the loop by 3-5 seconds?
    Hey...for you it could even be a recording of the El LOL. You could do the same thing with electro linked to audio by choosing a track with a particularly painful frequency :) Thanks for the ideas!

  3. It's been a while but here's something my partner played with me at my suggestion.

    He gets frustrated with TV commercials and angrily flips from station to station to get away from them so I came of with a game that he loved.

    He got securely strapped down on a long bench that we used for a coffee table. He would beat my backside during the commercials. It relieved his frustration as well as my masochistic drive.