A dozen candles light up an otherwise darkened bedroom. The wrists and ankles of a naked man are bound to the four corners of the bed. A leather hood mask ⎯ with a zipper ⎯ covers his face. The helpless man doesn’t thrash or scream, but lies there with extreme content.
After a moment, a long legged woman ⎯ dressed in tall leather boots, black stockings, and a red burlesque style corset ⎯ strolls into the room. The woman heads for the closet and throws open the doors ⎯ unveiling a plethora of different whips, chains, gag balls and paddles.
She grabs one of the whips and walks over to the man. The man, hearing her footsteps, begins to squirm with anticipation. The woman grins devilishly as she proceeds to whip the man across his chest and stomach.
The man thrashes around as his stomach reddens ⎯ even bleeds. His screams of arousal and pleasure pierce through the leather mask. The woman unzips the man’s mouth hole, asking him if he’s through? The man responds, “Not even close.”
The woman smiles again, this time grabbing one of the candles and hovering it above the man’s chest. She tilts it sideways, as the scolding hot wax hits his flesh. The man thrashes around again, this time more violently. His screams echo throughout the room, as his skin begins to bubble.
Most people tend to describe sadomasochism as a subculture of individuals who express a fetish for whips and chains.
Sadomasochism is about power and control, said Michael J. Formica, a psychologist from Columbia University. In every relationship, there’s a minimizer and maximizer. The minimizer tends to be more subdued within the context of the relationship, while the maximizer tends to be more evocative.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM, is used by mental professionals to diagnose specific mental disorders.
The sexual pleasure and excitement derived from receiving pain and humiliation, often leaves the individual experiencing significant impairment or distress, while functioning in social or occupational situations.
Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted theory explaining the origin of sadomasochism. However, there are some theories that attempt to explain the presence of sexual paraphilia.
One theory is based on the fact that paraphilias originate because inappropriate sexual fantasies are suppressed. Because they are not acted upon initially, the intense urge to carry out the fantasies amplifies once they are finally acted upon, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
Another theory suggests that people seek out sadomasochistic behavior as a way to escape. The individuals involved are able to act out their fantasies and become new and different people.
Although masochistic sexual fantasies often begin in childhood, the onset doesn’t usually occur until early adulthood. According to the American Psychiatric Association, once the actual masochistic behaviors begin, they will usually continue on a chronic course, especially if no treatment is involved.
Behavior therapy is often used to treat paraphilias. This may include management and conditioning of arousal patterns and masturbation. Therapies involving social skills training are also utilized.
Medications are used to reduce fantasies, especially on the people who exhibit severely dangerous masochistic behaviors.
Even though sadomasochism is not considered rare or unusual among consenting adults in the United States, doctors strongly recommend using caution when carrying out these sexual fantasies.