Eye rubbing pleasure and pain

Sometimes my eyes get itchy, and I rub them. It starts off feeling great, almost like I’m on the path to an orgasm, and then it abruptly starts feeling like I’m rubbing them with steel wool. If I stop and resume rubbing (because they still itch), more steel wool. What’s the deal here? And a related question - can I damage my eyes by rubbing them? Can they pop?

IIRC, the conversation that I had with my optometrist went something like this:

My WAG is that when you start rubbing, you have sufficient lubrication from your natural tears that it feels good. Once you’ve rubbed them a little bit, the lubrication is gone and it starts to scratch.

Don’t rub your eyes. (Yeah, right)