“BDSM, at least the sensation-heavy kind I do, is a practicum in distinguishing between good pain and bad. To an outsider, it looks absurd when someone who is getting their back savaged with a bullwhip stops the scene because they have a cramp in their foot – but the much-desired welts from the whip are a spiritual channel between loving friends, whereas the cramp is unintentional and meaningless, and is moreover a distraction from the party in the back.”

“A congenital overbite that was grinding my back teeth into stubs led to the loss of six teeth to prepare me for major jaw surgery. (With the previous loss of my wisdom teeth, and the subsequent loss of two molars that were causing problems, I’m now down to twenty teeth, same as your five-year-old niece. Make of that what you will.) I spent two years wearing braces and two months with my teeth wired shut, but at the end I had a nice even bite and an actual chin, which was not something I’d had until that point. 

“Now, of course, I have several of them.”