Consensual Sadomasochistic Sex (BDSM): The Roots, the Risks, and the Distinctions Between BDSM and Violence
- 6.2k Downloads
When practiced consensually, sadomasochistic sex is being increasingly accepted as an alternative sexuality. Here I suggest the possible evolutionary roots of the preferences, draw distinctions between violent, abusive and “healthy” practitioners’ partnership, provide clear behavioural markers of the respective situations, and underline some specific problems connected to this sexual preference. Some of the problems are well-known in the community of its practitioners, although they have not yet been described in medical nor scientific sources.
KeywordsConsensual sadomasochistic sex BDSM Violence Domestic violence Abuse Sexual disorders Psychiatry Sadomasochism Sadism Masochism Sex Dominance Submission Submissiveness Bondage Intimate partner violence Evolutionary biology Psychology Social hierarchy Hierarchy Minority Sexual practices Paraphilia ICD DSM-5
Help with English corrections provided by Martina Kolackova, Msc, from the Charles University in Prague; Martin Konvicka, PhD, from the University of South Bohemia; and Matthew Sweney, PhD, is highly appreciated. This study was supported by grant P407/12/P616 from the Czech Science Foundation (GACR).
Compliance with Ethics Guidelines
Conflict of Interest
Eva Jozifkova declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 1.•• Revise F65. ICD revision available at White Paper. http://wwwrevisef65org/icd_whitepaper html. Accessed June 2013. The purpose of Revise F65 committee (a subsidiary of LLH, the Norwegian LGBT Association with a mandate from the international lesbian and gay movement [ILGA 1999], the European leather club confederation [ECMC 2000], and the federal German SM organization [BVSM e.V. 2004]) is to remove fetishism, transvestism, and sadomasochism as psychiatric diagnoses from the ICD (International Classification of Diseases). Revise F65 1) informed BDSMers and the general public about revision processes and 2) prepared White Paper for WHO (World Health Organization) to remove the diagnoses.
- 2.•• American Psychiatric Association. Paraphilic disorders DSM-5 fact sheet. Available at http://www.psychiatryorg/dsm5. Accessed June 2013. This webpage provides a fact sheet of the DSM-5 changes.
- 3.•• Moran M. DSM to distinguish paraphilias from paraphilic disorders. Psychiatric News. 2013;48:261. Moran explains why to distinguish paraphilias from paraphilic disorders.Google Scholar
- 5.Richters J, de Visser R, Grulich A, Rissel C. Demographic and psychosocial features of participants in BDSM sex: data from a national survey. J Sex Res. 2008;45:98–9.Google Scholar
- 15.Henkin WA, Holiday S. Consensual sadomasochism. Los Angeles: Deadalus Publishing Company; 2003.Google Scholar
- 16.Wright S. Second national survey of violence & discrimination against sexual minorities. Available at https://ncsfreedomorg/images/stories/pdfs/BDSM_Survey/2008_bdsm_survey_analysis_final pdf. Accessed June 2013.
- 17.•• Bezreh T, Weinberg TS, Eedgar T. BDSM disclosure and stigma management: identifying opportunities for sex education. American J of Sex Ed. 2012;7:37–61. Bezreh and colelagues analyzed risk factors involved with BDSM disclosure. They described risks of the dislosure and suggest ideas for education and stigma management.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 21.Jozifkova E. BDSM, SM, D/s v otazkach a odpovedich 2008. Available at http://www.en-knet/questions/. Accessed June 2013.
- 28.Buss DM, Shackelford TK. Attractive women want it all: good genes, economic investment, parenting proclivities, and emotional commitment. Evol Psychol-US. 2008;6:134–46.Google Scholar
- 33.Dominey WJ. Alternative mating tactics and evolutionarily stable strategies. Am Zool. 1984;24:385–96.Google Scholar
- 35.Newmahr S. Playing on the sadomasochism, risk, and intimacy. Edge: Indiana University Press; 2012.Google Scholar
- 38.•• Revise F65. SM versus abuse. Available at http://www.revisef65org/violence html. Accessed June 2013. Revise F65 compiled this “SM versus violence“web page. Because of Revise F65, “the biggest difference between a violent sadist and an SM master is that the former destroys the self-confidence”.
- 39.Nordling N, Sandnabba NK, Santilla PV. The prevalence and effects on self-reported childhood sexula abuse among sadomasochistically oriented males and females. J Child Sex Abus. 2000;9.Google Scholar
- 44.Goldberg LR. A broad-bandwidth, public domain, personality inventory measuring the lower-level facets of several five-factor models. In: Mervielde I, Deary I, De Fruyt F, Tilburg OF, editors. Personality psychology in Europe. Tilburg University Press; 1999:7–28.Google Scholar
- 46.Women's aid. Domestic violence: frequently asked quiestionsfactsheet 2009. Available at http://www.womensaidorguk/. Accessed June 2013.
- 47.Wikipedia. Dominance and submission. Safety. Available at http://enwikipediaorg/wiki/Domination_%26_submission_%28BDSM%29. Accessed June 2013.
- 48.Rohr HP: Narcismus - vnitrni zalar. Praha: Portal s.r.o.; 2001. From original Narzißmus. Das innere Gefängnis., Germany, Patmos Verlag GmbHCo&KG.co, Narzißmus. Das innere Gefängnis Patmos Verlag GmbHCo&KG.co, 1999. Translated to English: Narcisim. Escaping from the Inner Prison. Germany: Pamtos; 2012.Google Scholar
- 49.Carrington K, Phillips J. Domestic violence in Australia an overview of the issues. Available at http://www.aphgovau/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/archive/Domviolence. Accessed June 2013.
- 50.National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Power and control wheel. Available at http://www.ncdsvorg/images/Power_and_Control_wheel_NCDSVpdf. Accessed June 2013.
- 53.Wikipedia. Cycle of abuse. Available at http://enwikipediaorg/wiki/Cycle_of_abuse#cite_ref-Walker_1-1. Accessed June 2013.
- 62.Wikipedia. Risk-aware consensual kink. Available at http://enwikipediaorg/wiki/Risk-aware_consensual_kink. Accessed June 2013.