Joe Shuster (1950s), co-creator of Superman, from Nights of Horror
A male dominant whipping a woman submissive while another woman watches (Paris, 1930)

Sadomasochism (əm/ MASS-ə-kiz-əm)[1] is the giving or receiving of pleasure from acts involving the receipt or infliction of pain or humiliation. Practitioners of sadomasochism may seek sexual gratification from their acts. While the terms sadist and masochist refer respectively to one who enjoys giving and receiving pain, practitioners of sadomasochism may switch between activity and passivity.

The word sadomasochism is a portmanteau of the words sadism (əm/)[1] and masochism. The abbreviation S&M is often used for Sadomasochism (or Sadism & Masochism), although practitioners themselves normally remove the ampersand and use the acronym S-M or SM or S/M when written throughout the literature. Sadomasochism is not considered a clinical paraphilia unless such practices lead to clinically significant distress or impairment for a diagnosis.[2] Similarly, sexual sadism within the context of mutual consent, generally known under the heading BDSM, is distinguished from non-consensual acts of sexual violence or aggression.[3]

Definition and etymology

Portrait of Marquis de Sade by Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo (1761)

The term sadomasochism is used in a variety of different ways. It can refer to cruel individuals or those who brought misfortunes onto themselves and psychiatrists define it as pathological. However, recent research suggests that sadomasochism is mostly simply a sexual interest, and not a pathological symptom of past abuse, or a sexual problem, and that people with sadomasochistic sexual interest are in general neither damaged nor dangerous.[4]

The two words incorporated into this compound, "sadism" and "masochism", were originally derived from the names of two authors. The term "Sadism" has its origin in the name of the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), who not only practiced sexual sadism, but also wrote novels about these practices, of which the best known is Justine. "Masochism" is named after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, who wrote novels expressing his masochistic fantasies.[5] These terms were first selected for identifying human behavioural phenomena and for the classification of psychological illnesses or deviant behaviour. The German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing introduced the terms "Sadism" and "Masochism"' into medical terminology in his work Neue Forschungen auf dem Gebiet der Psychopathia sexualis ("New research in the area of Psychopathology of Sex") in 1890.[6]

In 1905, Sigmund Freud described sadism and masochism in his Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie ("Three papers on Sexual Theory") as stemming from aberrant psychological development from early childhood. He also laid the groundwork for the widely accepted medical perspective on the subject in the following decades. This led to the first compound usage of the terminology in Sado-Masochism (Loureiroian "Sado-Masochismus") by the Viennese Psychoanalyst Isidor Isaak Sadger in his work Über den sado-masochistischen Komplex ("Regarding the sadomasochistic complex") in 1913.[7]

In the later 20th century, BDSM activists have protested against these ideas, because, they argue, they are based on the philosophies of the two psychiatrists, Freud and Krafft-Ebing, whose theories were built on the assumption of psychopathology and their observations of psychiatric patients. The DSM nomenclature referring to sexual psychopathology has been criticized as lacking scientific veracity,[8] and advocates of sadomasochism[who?] have sought to separate themselves from psychiatric theory by the adoption of the term BDSM instead of the common psychological abbreviation, "S&M".[citation needed] However, the term BDSM also includes B&D (bondage and discipline), D/s (dominance and submission), and S&M (sadism and masochism).[citation needed] The terms bondage and discipline usually refer to the use of either physical or psychological restraint or punishment, and sometimes involves sexual role playing, including the use of costumes.[citation needed]

Autosadism is inflicting of pain or humiliation on oneself. The photo shows pornographic actress Felicia Fox pouring hot wax over herself in front of an audience (USA, 2005). Her nipples and genitals are also clamped.

In contrast to frameworks seeking to explain sadomasochism through psychological, psychoanalytic, medical or forensic approaches, which seek to categorize behavior and desires, and find a root cause, Romana Byrne suggests that such practices can be seen as examples of "aesthetic sexuality", in which a founding physiological or psychological impulse is irrelevant. Rather, according to Byrne, sadism and masochism may be practiced through choice and deliberation, driven by certain aesthetic goals tied to style, pleasure, and identity, which in certain circumstances, she claims can be compared with the creation of art.[9]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Sadomazoxizm
български: Садомазохизъм
bosanski: Sadomazohizam
brezhoneg: Sadomazoc'hegezh
español: Sadomasoquismo
Esperanto: Sadomasoĥismo
한국어: 가피학증
hrvatski: Sadomazohizam
Bahasa Indonesia: Sadomasokisme
italiano: Sadomasochismo
latviešu: Sadomazohisms
მარგალური: სადომაზოხიზმი
Nederlands: Sadomasochisme
日本語: SM (性風俗)
português: Sadomasoquismo
русский: Садомазохизм
Simple English: Sadomasochism
slovenčina: Sadomasochizmus
српски / srpski: Садомазохизам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Sadomazohizam
svenska: Sadomasochism
Türkçe: Sadomazoşizm
українська: Садомазохізм
中文: 虐恋