This is “in part” a reprint of an article that appeared in Psychology Today, September/October 1999 by Marianne Apostolides.

The Pleasure of the Pain: Why some people need S&M

cloth pins on cunt - sadomasochism

Image by Derek Bowden

Bind my ankles with your white cotton rope so I cannot walk. Bind my wrists so I cannot push you away. Place me on the bed and wrap your rope tighter around my skin so it grips my flesh. Now I know that struggle is useless, that I must lie here and submit to your mouth and tongue and teeth, your hands and words and whims. I exist only as your object. Exposed.

Of every 10 people who read these words, one or more has experimented with sadomasochism (S&M), which is most popular among educated, middle-and-upper-middle-class men and women, according to psychologists and ethnographers who have studied the phenomenon. Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D., of the institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, has researched S&M to learn the motivation behind it–to understand why in the world people would ask to be bound, whipped and flogged. The reasons are as surprising as they are varied.

What’s new is that such desires are increasingly being considered normal, even healthy, as experts begin to recognize their psychological value. S&M, they are beginning to understand, offers a release of sexual and emotional energy that people cannot get from traditional sex.

 

“The satisfaction gained from S&M is something far more than sex,” explains Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., a social psychologist at Case Western Reserve University “It can be a total emotional release.” ……….