A banana with metal chains around it with  sadomasochism across in letters

Sadomasochism refers to the dynamic of someone who wants to hurt for pleasure and someone who likes to get hurt for pleasure.

Sadomasochism has a questionable reputation in the public eye. A sadist is usually portrayed as a low-empathy dom stereotype and the masochist is either a vulnerable submissive or completely feral. Their relationship is often toxic as the masochist acts utterly unaware of the sadist’s red flags.

Is this the true nature of Sadomasochists? No, at least not when it pertains to the BDSM community. There are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to consensual sadomasochism, and many of them are dangerous or just outright wrong. This leaves us with the question of what is it?

What is a Masochist?

If the sting from hot wax or the burn of a whip turns you on, there’s a chance you may be a masochist. A masochist, to put it simply, is someone who derives pleasure from pain. 

The type of pain enjoyed will differ from person to person, whether physical or mental. The degree of pain intensity wanted is also unique to each masochist. Much like many things, it’s on a spectrum. One thing that we can be certain about, however, is that a sexual masochist gets a rise out of being hurt. 

On the surface, this concept may seem confusing, but if you dive a bit deeper, it makes a whole lot of sense. Many people describe the effects of sexual masochism as “relieving” or “freeing,” and they may be on to something.

If we were to look at science, we know that physically, when a body experiences pain, especially intense pain, it releases endorphins to try to elevate the effects on the body. The release of these endorphins makes the person feel uplifted and euphoric.

Psychologically, the release of these endorphins can help relieve mental stress and unclarity, as well as promote mindfulness. 

Furthermore, it can bring people a sense of accomplishment from testing their limits. This feeling can affect their overall well-being positively, leading to better moods and outlooks on life.

Masochism has also been theorized as an effective way to cope with past trauma. For those who may have been victims of abuse, masochism provides them a way to take power back in a situation. This is because they are now choosing the pain that is inflicted on them, which in turn can give them a sense of control they felt they never had. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some masochists want nothing more than to give up control. They allow their partner or dom to take free rein of their sensations, and this giving up of power can bring them emotional and mental freedom. 

The sadomasochism partner dynamic can strengthen the bonds between those involved because of the trust and bonding that happens when someone is in a vulnerable state. It’s up to the (pain) giver in that situation to make sure they are respecting boundaries and considering safety. 

What is a Sadist? 

The “pain” giver in a masochist’s life is usually but not always a Sadist. A sexual sadist is someone who derives pleasure from inflicting either physical or mental pain on their willing partner. See where this is going when it comes to dynamics?

A sadist, much like any other BDSM concept, varies in their wants to inflict pain and how they express it. Just because you get pleasure out of someone’s pain doesn’t mean you don’t have limits. I mean, come on, we’re not savages…well, not all of us. 

Sadism, much like Masochism, has a wide range of benefits when practiced healthily. A proper sexual sadist understands the importance of boundaries and safety when it comes to their partner. They should take all measures to respect their partner and play within their rules. 

Practicing consensual sadism can give the user emotional relief by giving them a sense of control over things, from their partner’s bodies to their reactions. It’s a euphoric power to have over someone, and it can be healing, especially for those who feel they lack control over their waking lives. 

There are also less selfish benefits to sexual sadism, such as giving your masochistic partner relief and helping them achieve their own pain goals. This, in turn, also fosters a deeper, more intimate bond between those involved, helping to strengthen the relationship.

Final Thoughts 

If you noticed, I didn’t mention specific types such as Dom or Sub when referring to Sadomasochists. That was on purpose. There’s a common misconception that Sadist = Dom and Masochist = sub, and though that is customary, it doesn’t represent all Sadists and Masochists.

The world of Sadomasochism is diverse, and everybody in it falls on some end of the twisted spectrum, and the only way to find out is to talk to them. 

Masochists and Sadists are like Yin and Yang. As long as a sadist has a willing masochist and a masochist a sadist, the world stays in harmony. Without one, the other can exist, but what fun is that?