In the world of animals, pain serves an equivocal role. Parental nips and swipes are common tools in upbringing. And socially, pain is sometimes used to maintain hierarchies of dominance. But this animal use of pain seems somewhat restrained, at least in contrast with the human situation. Here the capacity for pain is often used to systematically exploit and oppress at intensities often far beyond those seen in the behaviour of our nearest primate relatives. At the same time, at least in western culture, pain is rarely used for pleasure. Is it little wonder that all pain is viewed as intrinsically evil? Or that the pain-pleasure of leatherspace has been labelled torture?