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Talky Tina

Ice, spicy food and other alternatives

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The other topic was posted in 2011 and there's only a couple comments. Thought I'd start something new. Hope that's alright.


So, a couple things I've learned. I used to harm. A lot. It's been maybe just about two years now. Some things that helped was that first... I'm into a bit of alternative lifestyle stuff. Flogging, bondage BDSM sort of stuff. And it kind of opened up a new way of looking at self harm or other sort of stuff. In a kind of... An active instead of reactive experience.

I tried getting my partner to hurt me when I wanted to self harm. And it wasn't so great. But holding an ice cube was helpful. It felt sharp which feels similar to burning for me.


Eating spicy... and SPICY food. Things like a ghost pepper or super tasty spicy sauces are super helpful too. The ice cub I can just drop. The spicy food stays with me for a while. And can really help me hold onto an experience. It also helps me avoid restriction.


I don't like eating. And when I do I typically purge. Purging spicy food is unpleasant. Purging itself isn't fun. But... purge something that has ghost pepper... and.. it brings a new definition to pain. It's also quite un-sustainable.


Now... I'd urge people to be mindful stepping into this stuff. Intentional and don't dive into it. Anything above can go dark and maladaptive. But.. I think that this stuff is a step towards risk reduction.

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Thanks for sharing your ideas, Tina. It's alright to have started a new thread.

However, i wanted to point out that the methods you describe definitely  fall in to "harm reduction" rather than non-harm based alternatives. They are not risk free.

For example, purging can result in a ruptured esophagus, which is a truly life threatening medical emergency.

Using BDSM to satisfy self harm urges by giving that control to someone else doesn't meet the "safe sane consensual" or "risk aware" guidelines for engagement and sets you up for both an unsatisfactory as well as potentially very emotionally and physically dangerous play session.

And even our friend ice can cause skin damage (cold burns/frost bite) if used too much.

substituting one form of pain for another doesn't address the underlying issues that help us learn new skills to stop punishing ourselves. It also continues the cycle of needing more intense and more frequent ways of making pain, which can create, in and of itself, an addiction to our own endogenous pain killers that our bodies produce.

because CrazyBoards is a pro-recovery site, I can't encourage a thread for harm reduction strategies. However, I did restart the "today I wanted to self harm but instead I..." thread that we lost recently. Hopefully people will start tacking on no harming ways to manage urges there.

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Gosh. I... I didn't write it well.


I never wanted to come across as advocating for purging. I was trying to say that eating spicy food helped me stop purging. Which is a good thing.


Also, the term safe, sane, and consensual is a bit... I'unno. I don't like it. I'm not sane, I don't know that there's a safe way to do face slapping or other stuff I enjoy. There's a safe-er way to do it. And certainly consent is important. I prefer as you put it. Risk Reduction.


I just... I'unno. I was trying to come up with less harmful things to do. Which, I think eating the occasional jalapeno (pronounced Ja-La-pen-oh) is better than the occasional other things.


Over all I think you're right though Wooster.

EDIT EDIT *construction noises* EDIT EDIT

uffda... I reread what you posted. Cool. Happy to see that you're down with risk aware language. .


I'm curious though... Risk reduction as a practice is discouraged within crazy boards?

Edited by Talky Tina

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I totally understand the spicy food making purging even more unpleasant. I've done it in the past and have regretted it so much. Never did it again. 

I use rubbing alcohol to keep me from self-harming because rubbing alcohol is something I've always used on the area/wound before and after self-harming so I've associated rubbing alcohol with self-harming. So, many times I just rub alcohol over the area to mimic the experiencing minus the cutting. 

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Until someone is ready to stop, harm reduction is a helpful strategy. 

However, as a pro-recovery site we want to encourage people to develop non-harming strategies.

There are a plethora of sites out there about ways to self harm. 

We want to promote and encourage non-harming alternatives while also acknowledging that harm reduction has a place until people are ready and able to stop.

what we don't want is a giant thread of possibly less harmful strategies that are still harm causing, because what is less risky for you might be more risky for me.

this is also keeping in line with the general self harm board philosophy of not giving graphic descriptions with specific methods of self harm.

i really appreciate your questions as an opportunity to make a good distinction between harm reduction and non-harming strategies.

does that make sense?

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