Pain has been conceptualized as a malign experience always to be reduced or eliminated. Yet many cultures and traditions hold the pursuit or acceptance of pain as central to a virtuous existence. And, functionally, there are compelling reasons why pain is essential and helpful. ‘Pain as pleasure’ explains that despite pain sought explicitly as pleasure being viewed by some as immoral, perverse, or indicative of mental illness, philosophers since Plato have not only acknowledged its existence, but also attested to its being a fundamental quality of humanity. It concludes that emotions, or affective states, are centrally important in determining the meaning of pain and how it is experienced.