I just cannot appreciate self-harming

Decades ago I knew a teenage girl who would self harm.

Damn. Yet another lovely human I lost touch with. I wonder whatever happened to her and how her life went and whether she found peace and harmony.

Anyway. Yes, she would self harm by repeatedly rubbing a sharp stone across her arm, normally somewhere near her elbow. The abrasion would cause reasonably superficial bleeding and immediately she would feel an almost orgasmic sense of relief. She once described it as a “letting out” of something which had build-up inside her. Almost like letting out something that had gotten inside that shouldn’t have been there, a foreign body.

In order to facilitate her self harming, she would carry this small stone around in the back pocket of her jeans. This was very important. If she had temporarily misplaced the stone she would panic. Just having it with her made her feel calmer.

There were many reasons from her childhood and a succession of bad experiences (probably including meeting me!) that had turned her into this self-harmer.

I did notice that the results of her self harming would be mainly hidden from the view of the casual observer.

Now, what she did to herself was very mild and nowhere near as extreme as this:

But, I have noticed a common theme. The harming occurs in areas that are mainly clothed or hidden from general view. The girl in the picture has left the area around her belly button free from harm. Thus she can wear clothes that allow this area of her body to show whilst continuing to hide the extreme self-harming episodes.

Also, looking closer you can see that the injuries themselves, whilst collectively producing what looks like an alarming quantity of blood, are again actually quite superficial.

I suppose because I’ve never experienced it, I find it hard to understand the need to self-harm. In contrast I can fully understand the need to harm other people. I would be an evil man should I ever ‘go postal’. But, my body is my temple (Erm?). I would feel no relief or satisfaction from cutting myself or making bits of me bleed.

People involved in the bdsm scene enjoy being dominated and humiliated or using pain as an erotic stimulus, and there are girls that would enjoy being ‘tortured’ by having the injuries pictured inflicted upon them by their ‘master’ or ‘mistress’. Equally there are ‘doms’ who would enjoy inflicting them.

What is interesting about the power of this photo is the reaction different people give. A lot of people, notably men and lesbians, find it highly erotic. A couple of girls in their early twenties thought it was ‘cool’ and ‘kinda horny’. A few (male and female, and generally older) find it ‘scientifically’ curious (“Is it real? It’s not real, surely?”), and slightly more find it ‘shocking’ or ‘disgusting’.

How do you react when looking at the photo? What does it make you feel? What thoughts go through your mind?


  1. Honestly I feel offended that in no way does this article suggest that for some people, self-harm is a coping mechanism. Sure, you’re inviting people to comment but I find it difficult to comprehend why you would talk about BDSM and people finding this kind of thing ‘horny’ just a couple of paragraphs down from talking about somebody you once knew that used to self-harm.

    There is a difference between self-harming because one needs to in order to feel normal or at peace and self-harming because one finds it erotic. To talk about the bloodied picture in the article as if it is something sexual and to use quotes from people who find it ‘cool’ is highly offensive and demonstrates your ignorance of the topic.

    Perhaps next time you could ask people who have actually had issues about self-harm rather than focusing on ‘men and lesbians’ who look upon self-harm as something to fap over.

    To answer your question, I feel like I want to know who the girl in the photograph is and whether she is okay. I want to know how many people that this image has triggered to self-harm and whether or not they are okay. I also want to know whether the person that you know who used to self-harm knows that you have used their private issues in a blog that compares something highly sensitive and complex to a sexual kink.

    As for the title? Nobody asked you to “appreciate” self-harming, asshole.


    1. I completely agree with you. As a sufferer, I DO NOT do this because it’s sexy or horny. Frankly that is a downright sick view of the situation. I do it to cope, I do it to survive. If I couldn’t do this and let myself express and release the horrible thoughts going through my head, i’d be suicidal. Most people that self harm do it to cope, and those who self harm and take pictures whilst still bleeding have some serious, deep rooted issues. Yes, I have photographed my scars, but only to show a friend what had happened.

      You should be careful with your article, as it’s offensive and disgusting! You are a sick minded, self centred and insensitive man.


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