The BDSM Lifestyle — A Punishing Look at Sadism and Masochism

The BDSM Lifestyle — A Punishing Look at Sadism and Masochism

This post is also available in: Nederlands English (Engels)

BDSM Lifestyle

BDSM…four letters lusciously getting more attention lately. So what exactly does this acronym mean?

We’re going to tell you what BDSM couples in the lifestyle predominantly think—particularly about the realms of sadism and masochism—but before delving into the wit and wisdom of those ‘in the know,’ here’s the Webster’s Dictionary’s definition:

Masochism: “A term that refers to various forms of play including bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism.”

For this post, we’ll focus on sadism and masochism, or S/M or S&M as it’s often called.

What is Sadism?

Individuals who enjoy the act of inflicting pain onto others are known as sadists. Essentially, being sadistic—either sexually or otherwise—is how such individuals obtain heightened levels of pleasure.

Fun Fact: The term sadism came into use due to the erotic writings of Marquis de Sade, a writer and French nobleman who had extreme deviances and sexual preferences for brutality.

What is Masochism?

Masochism can also be sexual in nature or not, and it refers to individuals who derive pleasure through pain. This suffering may be inflicted upon them by another person—often a sadist—or it may be self-inflicted. These pain lovers are called masochists, and it’s not uncommon for them to also be sadists, as well.

Fun Fact: Writer Sacher Masoch’s novel Venus in Fur and many others feature this sexual predisposition, and the word ‘masochism’ was derived from his name.

So Where Does Sadomasochism Come Into Play?

As a portmanteau of the words sadism and masochism, sadomasochism literally describes one who gets off by both receiving and giving pain. In most cases, sadomasochistic behaviors are almost always sexual in nature.

Sadists and masochists employ an array of ‘tools’ in their BDSM lifestyle play such as:

  • Biting
  • Handcuffs
  • Bondage
  • Spanking/Flogging
  • Verbal Humiliation
  • Clothespins

While all this may sound overwhelming, many BDSM couples and even newcomers find that combining power, sex and pain can actually translate into a healthy part of their relationships.

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The BDSM Lifestyle — A Punishing Look at Sadism and Masochism

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