Masochism is Not a Disease


“For example, heavy masochists enjoy pain intensities  that most players cannot tolerate, such as canings or single-tailed whippings. Canings and intense whippings are performed by very experienced players and can leave welts, small cuts, and bruises, but these are generally considered acceptable as long as these marks can heal on their own. Some heavy masochists are proud of their markings following a scene.

Wait….That is abnormal?! I assumed all masochists felt this way.

“Therapists should be aware that dominant–submissive relationships, particularly those that are long term, may be characterized by levels of trust, intimacy, and sharing that  may be unmatched by many conventional relationships.”

*nods* This is my experience.

“Although it may be common to assume BDSM participants are psychosocially maladjusted, many have been found to be well-educated and well-adjusted”

“Probably the most important point is that sexual masochism appears to be more common among successful, individualistic people” (p. 120). According to Baumeister, such unconventional behaviors seem to be a way to temporarily escape from the Self. Indeed, we live in a fast-paced society with high stress and many demands, but also restrictions, on different aspects of our identities. Perhaps BDSM play is a safe way for many individuals to creatively escape, whether it be through means such as letting go of control (submission), experiencing pain or extreme sensation (focus on the body and/or natural endorphin rush), or temporarily become a different identity (fantasy/role play).”

Awesome, he doesn’t think that is a bad thing! I kept reading different theories of masochism and therapists kept mentioning escape for self as a bad, self-destructive reason.

“Again, the issue is not whether or not certain behaviors are morally okay, but whether or not certain behavioral patterns warrant inclusion as legitimate mental disorders based on solid empirical evidence and scientific inquiry. As has been pointed out, the evidence supporting BDSM as being objectively and necessarily pathological is lacking. To the contrary, the available evidence suggests BDSM participants generally are healthy, educated, well-adjusted and successful. However, it is unfortunate that many participants must remain silent about their lifestyles for fear that misperceptions, cultural and religious biases and judgments by others could lead to severe problems in social and occupational functioning.”

Who knows, maybe by the DSM-VII we won’t be considered mentally ill (for this reason 😉 ) I think I’m going to talk to my uncle about all this. I used to talk to him about my eating disorder when I was a kid. I want to talk to someone, really talk to someone, not just type my thoughts to people who don’t respond. I know I’ll talk to him about bisexuality because he is gay. Therefore, I know he will have no qualms about that. I may bring up the submissive/masochistic side to. After all, he knows me and should be able to judge if my motives are self-destructive or not.

Apparently DJ Williams is a Sociologist, not a Psychologist. I suppose I can forgive him!

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