Since the Maruqis DeSade first wrote about violent sexual practices in Justine, there has been a great debate about Sadists and their role in our sexuality. There is a wealth of papers on this subject, and this list is by no means exhaustive, but here are five myths we hold about sadists:
1. All forms of sadism are created equal. The type that we deal with the most are sexual sadists, and most practice their preferences in a controlled environments, but sadists are anyone that derives pleasure from the pain of others. In addition, there is a spectrum for now much pain gives the sadist pleasure. Be wary of anyone who seems new to indulging this part of their sexuality, and, as always, outside of a mutual consent situation, any pain inflicted on an unwilling participant is abuse and should be reported.
2. Sadists are crazy. This one has been debated for some years, with the psych journals listing sadism as something to be treated and “cured”. Many sadists are giving and caring outside of the sexual scene where they inflict pain, and are stable individuals. Sadists who practice their kink in a safe and consensual manner are no more ‘crazy’ than someone who accepts pain for pleasure.
“Some find it hard to reconcile sadism with the concept of ‘normal’ psychological functioning, but our findings show that sadistic tendencies among otherwise well-adjusted people must be acknowledged,” says Buckels. “These people aren’t necessarily serial killers or sexual deviants but they gain some emotional benefit in causing or simply observing others’ suffering.” http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/everyday-sadists-take-pleasure-in-others-pain.html
3. Sadists like to hurt people. Well…yes and no. Sadists can derive pleasure from giving a light spanking and other light forms of pain-giving. They can also derive pleasure from more extreme methods of pain. Sadists will look for partners who match their needs, but do not assume all sadists want to see their chosen partner cry/bleed/ scream.
[D]ynamic reciprocity lies at the heart of S/M and it structures all of its philosophy and actions . . . such reciprocity couldn’t exist without mutual concern and respect. And it is these three fundamental tenets of the S/M Scene – reciprocity, concern and respect – which make the stereotyped public perception of such activities so erroneous. Polhemus & Randall, 1994: 113-14
4. Sadism is harmless. Yes, most times it is, but remember that many forms of deviant sexuality are still illegal in the United States and elsewhere. In addition, the body must be treated carefully when put under stress. Make sure the person who is inflicting the pain is aware of safewords, has first aid nearby, and communicates with you their level of comfort throughout the scene.
5. Sadists are rare. Not true. In fact, S&M is the most common way “vanilla” couples spice up their sex life. Sadists come from all walks of life and have various needs in their sadistic practice, but outside they are just as regular as everyone else.