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Talk:Sadism and masochism

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This article has been created to factor out sadism, masochism, and sado-masochism in the abstract from the article on BDSM.

Contents

[edit] "Sexual pleasure"

Quoting: "Sadism is the infliction of pain and suffering on another person for reasons of sexual pleasure." ", consisting of sexual fantasies, urges or behaviour that involves being beaten [etc.]...in order to enhance or achieve sexual excitement"

That's not necessarily true. Sadomasochism, as far as I know, is not necessarily sexual at all. It involves an intimacy which is often sexual, but it is not defined as such. I haven't made this edit myself though, worring I may be missing something. Opinion from contributers? --Spikey 20:49, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Spikey - I came here to the talk page to point out the same thing: I see sadism and masochism in non-sexual terms often. Goodralph 13:08, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Speaking as a switch that has studied psychology and neuropharmacology, I would point out that there are several aspects of this article that I am fairly certain are incorrect, and that it is strictly speaking non-NPOV. First off, as others have pointed out, sadism and masochism are very frequently distinct from sexuality; only one of the people I know make any association between sexual pleasure and their sadistic and/or masochistic traits. Also, the two are not usually complementary, nor usually tied to dominance/submission, although this does not reveal itself by observation alone. Therein lies much of the problem with the article- it appears to relate to sadism and masochism from an external point of view, which has the same problems as one observes with the DSM, namely that it deals with the externally observable traits, not the internal mechanism. One can not always infer the latter from the former. In the interest of neutrality, I would note that I do practice sadism, masochism, dominance and submission both seperately and in combination, and cannot as such improve on the neutrality of the article unless someone who is not practicing would be interested in doing peer-review up front. In that case, leave a comment.

I have to say that when i came to this page looking for information on masochism, i was surprised to see so much about BDSM and so little about things like self-harm. Most of the time when i hear people talk about masochism it is in a completely non-sexual context. The definition of masochism dictionary.com gives is:

1. The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.
3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

As you can see, only one of the three is related to sexual pleasure, albeit the first one. the definition of sadism, simmilarly, only refers to sexual gratification in one of three definitions. In short, i think this article needs to either be extensively edited by someone who knows what they're talking about, and/or split somehow between the two seemingly separate types of masochism (and sadism). --Someones life 06:21, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I would agree that masochism covers receiving pleasure in general and not necessarily sexual pleasure. However, I do not agree that it ties in with self-harm. Seeking pleasure is rarely the intent in self-harm, so the first two definitions don't apply. It seems to me that the third definition is a more informal usage of the word ("Oh he's such a masochist" in response to someone doing something stupid or dangerous), and not something that an encyclopedia entry would focus on. I don't think it's accurate or useful to suggest self-harmers are masochists in this sense. There is already an article on self-harm, and I don't think that should be covered here (except perhaps to point out the differences). Mdwh 01:26, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Lowercase or capital "m"?

I hope I have this right (considering I typed the whole thing myself):

Brianjd 07:44, 2004 Dec 17 (UTC)

[edit] To be written

[edit] Sources

What are the sources of this article? All the section on "The biology of S&M" is supported by some research or it is the common sense of some users? This article is clearly POV. Unsourced controversial statements have to be qualified. --pippo2001 07:59, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Separate Articles for sadism and masochism

Could we perhaps create seperate articles for sadism and masochism? -Yes - but let's keep this one, to take a more interactive look than the seperate articles.

Reasons for split:
  • Allow for comments on non-sexual sadism as a forensic term
see http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Whatlinkshere/Sadistic&limit=500&from=0
  • Allow for comments on non-sexual masochism in real life situations (See Theodor Reik in Masochism in Modern Man.)
  • Allow for comments by Gilles Deleuze, who maintains that the nature of :sadism and masochism are very different--Jahsonic :17:37, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I think there still needs to be a main article covering S&M in a BDSM ::context - but there's no harm in creating separate articles for ::non-BDSM meanings, and possibly moving the "Sadism as a motivation for ::crime" section there (though, I'm curious what exactly you mean by ::"non-sexual masochism in real life situations"?) Mdwh 06:59, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Seratonin and Melatonin

The emotional effects of Seratonin and Melatonin are looking a bit wobbly under current research - revise? Note in main article?

[edit] Sadomasochism inherent in Western culture

Many theorists, particularly feminist theories, have suggested that sadomasochism is an inherent part of modern Western culture. - who are these theorists? /Skagedal 13:37, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Does anyone have any better pictures for the lead image?

The "flogging demonstration at the folsom streetfire" image seems lacking in a number of ways - it provides very limited illustration of the sexual appeal of such activities, e.g. the person standing in the background drinking a cup of coffee is definitely detracting.

Does anyone have any better images which could be used (public domain/fair use/owned by the provider etc.)?


I do, I will update when I can :) --65.98.21.69 21:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

[edit] Suggestions for a major rewrite to a terrible article

This article is simply terrible and should be flagged for a major rewrite. Some pointers if I don't get around to it (I promise I'll try):

The text makes no mention at all of modern empirical research, especially the landmark 1977 study by Andreas Spengler that started the movement away from Freudian-type speculation to data that can be validated. Weinberg's work is a must-have, too. The changes to DSM-IV that this work has led to are only touched briefly; it would be nice, for example, if the article pointed out that the diagnostic criteria have been changed to a degree that most so-called sadomasochists are formally not classified as sadists and masochists any more (see the B-criteria). Since empirical research basically found none of the personality traits that Freud and Krafft-Ebing assumed, the question is why this article needs so much of the old school at all.

Put simply, research didn't stop in 1950.

Deleuze was a philosopher and should be deleted entirely or isolated in a separate section far away from the scientists. If he is to be included, Foucault -- himself a sadomasochist -- must be mentioned as well because of his ideas on what psychiatry's "real" function is. You then end up having to include Rousseau, another (though unhappy) sadomasochist, and then it just never ends. I suggest just pointing out that philosophers have used the Freudian ideas on SM as a basis for speculation. That basis is now gone, anyway, and so Deleuze is not too relevant any more.

Feminist theory on SM is far more mature than presented here and should be isolated in a separate section, too, if not a separate article. Helene Deutsch's concept of women's "natural masochism" is the linchpin for most traditional feminist criticism of sadomasochism; if you include the Freudian side in that much detail, though, you need Caplan's arguments on why it is a load of crap. Now that said empirical evidence has shown that the Freudian "males are sadists, females are masochists" is simply not true, feminist groups like NOW have given up their opposition to SM, so we might want to dump this part as well or let the BDSM entry take care of it.

If you are going to include the gender question, you have to point out why it took until 1985 (Breslow) for scientists to catch up to the fact that there are actually female sadomasochists who are not professionals, and why Spengler didn't think of including them in his study, as thorough as he was. Researchers don't like to talk about this, because it makes them look like fools who seriously need to get out and get a life, but there you go. With feminist theory, you are forced to deal with lesbian sadomasochists, who have their own ideas.

As was pointed out further up, the endorphine link looks shaky now, and the part about SM being learned by conditioning either needs an very impressive source or has to go, as sadomasochism is usually in fact given an example of a paraphilia that is not conditioned, just like homosexuality.

The photo is clearly not of sadism and masochism, but of BDSM. I suggest digging out something from De Sade.

Though the idea of putting BDSM in a different article is defendable, there should something in here that points out that sadomasochists, again like homosexuals, tend to create complex subcultures (Litman 1972 is the first source for this AFAIK) and are not loners like Freud and Krafft-Ebing assumed. This, again, was hammered in by Spengler and changed the whole view of sadomasochism which up until then was seen as something that affected individuals. We're back to that modern research thing again, I'm afraid.

The fiction section needs to go except for De Sade and Sacher-M, because those works were the basis for a lot of early beliefs (if you are going to include fiction, at least start at the beginning with the Kama Sutra). Reading fiction about SM for pleasure is just about as BDSM as you can get without actually touching a rope. Even the books by sadomasochists about themselves (Maria Marcus in Denmark, Geissler in Germany, Vanessa Duries in France, etc) belong in BDSM.

"Sadism" and "masochism" are increasingly being used for the "real" clinical cases, and everything else is "sadomasochism", or as classified here, BDSM, which makes this a difficult entry to write. My suggestion would be to make this entry medical and history of research only, to be very strict about that, and to move all the other stuff to BDSM.

If I can find the time, I'll try to do just that.

--Scot W. Stevenson 08:05, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Okay, here's the rewrite based on the above notes.

--Scot W. Stevenson 03:09, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with your distinction between S&M and BDSM - BDSM covers far more than just sadomasochism (as explained in the article - bondage, discipline, dominance, submission). So saying "The photo is clearly not of sadism and masochism, but of BDSM." doesn't make sense - sadomasochism is a subset of BDSM, so logically the photo is of both.
Perhaps there is an argument for having two separate articles for sadomasochism for BDSM related and non-BDSM related (as is the case with some other BDSM articles)? I don't think that S&M should be only covered in BDSM - I may revive the content that was here into a new article. Mdwh 04:22, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
My line is not by content, but by "mental disorder" vs. "sexual preference", which is why I kept as much of the BDSM stuff out here. The idea is that this is the more technical, medical article (which, of course, has to touch on the way the view has changed from "they're all sick" to "very few of them are sick"), and that the other stuff goes in BDSM. I'm staying out of the BDSM article, so I wouldn't know what belongs there or not. Three articles I would think is excessive. --Scot W. Stevenson 10:30, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
It wouldn't be three articles, just two - S&M in a BDSM context, and in a technical medical sense. The BDSM article is a general article on more than just S&M (I mean, if we count that as three, then there are actually far more than that, if you look in the BDSM Category). I will see if there is any info in the older version of this article not already mentioned in BDSM, and put it in the new article if so Mdwh 22:10, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] "Psychiatric disorder"

BULLSHIT

Psychologists/psychiatrists used to classify homosexuality as a "psychiatric disorder" too. --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 23:26, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your high-level input. It is this sort of one-word argument that really helps Wikipedia.
If you had actually read the text instead of just vandalizing it, you might have realized that the question of "psychiatric disorder" is exactly what it is about, or rather, why only special cases are classified that way any more, and that these cases are being called into question, too. If you are upset by the current state of affairs, I suggest you take it up with the American Psychiatric Association instead of running wild here; the article you tried to delete tells you where you can do just that. Until DSM is changed again (I think the next major revision is planned for 2011), Wikipedia needs an article that describes S&M as it seen by psychiatrists, not as you personally might want them to see it.
Perhaps you might want to take a look at the article for BDSM.
--Scot W. Stevenson 08:44, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You may be American: Most of the world ISN'T. "The American Psychiatric Association" is completely irrelevant outside of the US. --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 08:52, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
This is actually pretty funny, because if you had read the text, you would probably get enough clues to realize that I very much don't seem like an American, name aside. But that is beside the point. Germany for example uses DSM-IV as a guideline, as does most of the world, even though they make their own changes. Which is why, as stated in the new (verifiable) version of the text, there is an international drive to have these things changed.
Now. Even if it were so that DSM-IV wasn't important to the rest of the world, ICD-10 is, because it is run by the WHO, and surprise, ICD-10 currently follows DSM-IV very closely. Which is why it is pretty important to have an article in Wikipedia that talks about what the current official (!) state of affairs is, and how we got there, and what people think about that, and which direction this is all going in. The rest of the stuff -- the non-technical, non-psychiatric, non-historical stuff all goes in BDSM.
For some reason -- your nick, maybe? -- I get the feeling you are pushing an agenda here without taking the time to figure out that this is not the place, as nobody is attacking BDSM here. This is about stuffy books and dead white men creating diagnoses from their desks, if you want to see it that way. I will be very happy to take the question of which version is more appropriate with the wider Wikipedia community; given the old one had exactly one reference, I'm not too concerned.
Now excuse me, in my time zone, I have to figure out where I'll be having lunch today. I'll give you some time to actually read what the new version says, and then I'll be reverting it again.
--Scot W. Stevenson 09:08, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I see somebody else agrees with a constructive approach, but you have reverted with little more than abusive language again. In the mean time, I have taken the liberty to examine your talk page, and noticed that you have been blocked repeatedly for vandalism. Obviously, we are wasting our time discussing the content with you.
One last time -- please read the article. Like it or not, this is the state of current psychiatric thinking, and pretending it isn't so doesn't help anybody. I'll be reverting to the new version again later, and if still you have nothing better to offer than more abuse like "bullshit", "nobody gives a shit", and "rubbish", I'll be taking the matter up with the powers that be, asking them to block you from this page (again). There is a difference between constuctive critism, which I would be grateful for, and what you are doing.
--Scot W. Stevenson 14:38, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I've never been "blocked from this page" nor is there any valid reason for me to be so. Please stop trying to slander me. --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 14:52, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, you are right. You were not blocked from this page; the blocking was done because of other contexts. --Scot W. Stevenson 18:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

This thread has been solved by moving the medical information to its own article, Sadism and masochism as medical terms. --Scot W. Stevenson 13:14, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Medical aspects

(Sector heading was: "How to proceed". Changed as issue solved)

I think it's reasonable to document the medical viewpoint of S&M - that's doesn't mean that Wikipedia is claiming that S&M should be a disorder (indeed, the article points out that consensual S&M is no longer considered a disorder anyway). However, the original article should not be deleted. I disagree with Scot W. Stevenson that BDSM is sufficient, since that is a general article for all aspects of BDSM, not specifically S&M (eg, we have a separate article on Domination and submission (BDSM)). So, should the content be merged into a single article, or do we have two separate articles (and if so, which one remains here)? (This is also being discussed in BDSM.) Also, I don't think it's helpful to make accusations of vandalism, especially when Mistress Selina Kyle was reverting content which had previously been deleted. Mdwh 19:19, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for being constructive. For the record, violating the Three revert rule is considered vandalism. By Wikipedia rules, her account should be suspended by now. Next time somebody asks you why Wikipedia has problems, remember today's example: The rules are not enforced, and destructive people like Mistress Selina act with impunity.
Anyway. If I understand you correctly, your argument is that BDSM should be a main, general article, and that "Sadism and masochism", "Bondage", "Dominance and submission" should be reserved for a more detailed discussions about those individual aspects of BDSM. This seems strange to me -- I hate to say this, but the rest of the world thinks of the medical conditions first and people having fun second -- and this structure is in no way clear from the way the articles are currently written. However, this would be one way to structure the whole field.
If this is the general consensus (I haven't been following the discussion in BDSM), it would make sense to put the medical view in a separate text, say "Sadomasochism in Medicine" or such (suggestions are welcome), and linking it from BDSM and "Sadism and Masochism". I don't think the articles would merge very well at all -- the old version of "Sadism and Masochism" clearly doesn't know what it wants to be about, the medical side or the BDSM side, and tries to be both at once, badly. Moving the medical stuff out should help that text, too, though I still think it should be taken out and shot.
Let me know (here) what you guys over at BDSM decide on, and if the majority agrees with the above scenario, I'll rewrite the new version of this text to fit in said subcategory. If not, we have a problem. After having invested this much time, I'm not going to just walk away from this.
(Mistress Selina, please take note of what just happened here: Mdwh didn't just call my text "bullshit" or "rubbish", didn't claim "nobody gives a shit", didn't make speculative comments about my nationality, and didn't break Wikipedia rules. He or she calmly presented logical arguments for keeping the old text and suggested a rational alternative. In other words, Mdwh acted like an adult (more so than I did at the end, certainly), and was polite instead of making a point of pissing people off. Now, note the result. I read with great interest your claim that you are "hyper-intelligent" -- may I suggest you take a look at the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, who suffered from a similar problem, and was given some very good advice in his youth on how to deal with it.)
--Scot W. Stevenson 00:31, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually the 3RR refers to reverting "more than three times" in 24 hours - I believe Mistress Selina Kyle has only done so exactly 3 times.
I have no opinion either way on which version of S&M should be given "priority"; I don't care _which_ article name is reserved for the various aspects of BDSM, I'm just saying that S&M, in a BDSM context, deserves its own article separate from the BDSM article. (Whether the medical usage goes into a subsection of that, or a separate article, I have no opinion on that either.)
In terms of what people think of first - my impression would be that people are more likely to think of the medical usage when it comes to the terms sadism or masochism separately, but my feeling is the phrase "sadism and masochism" or S&M is more likely to make think of the BDSM sort. So I'm not really sure what should go where. Mdwh 02:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
And the next sentence on 3RR is? "This does not imply that reverting three times or fewer is acceptable." Point is, she made no constructive contribution, spewed insults instead of presenting arguments, and the system lets her get away with it. Again, it's no wonder people don't want to contribute to Wikipedia. I retrospect, I should probably have taken my text to Datenschlag, which has the best online resources on this subject anyway.
But here we are now. To get this over with so we can all go back to our lives: I'm going to wait a bit to see if the discussion on BDSM goes anywhere, and if not, I'll just put it up as "Sadomasochism in Medicine" and link it to here.
--Scot W. Stevenson 11:41, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, we could as well move the discussion from Talk:BDSM to here, so the discussion will be held in one place. I agree with Mdwh and I'm also not really sure how the articles should be named. "Sadomasochism" is, I think, used in the BDSM sense, while "sadism" and "masochism", as Mdwh says, sounds more like the medical definition of the terms. I do agree that we at least need an article about S&M in the BDSM context, there are also articles about Bondage (BDSM) and Domination and submission (BDSM). --Conti| 17:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, if the discussion is going to move here, let me make a suggestion, which I can do with ease, as I won't be the one doing any of the heavy lifting:

  1. BDSM is the main, general, overview article about the "people having fun" stuff
  2. It links to (at least) three subarticles, that are linked in the "(Main article: ...)" way: Bondage, Dominance and submission, and Sadism and masochism. These explore the "people having fun" aspects in greater detail, but don't try to explain basic concepts any more.
  3. "Sadism", "Masochism", "Sadomasochism", and all abrvs such as "S&M" all are redirects to "Sadism and masochism".
  4. Very early in "Sadism and masochism", there is a link to Sadism and masochism as medical terms, which is where the medical "paraphilia" views live.

This would mean that the current "Sadism and masochism" would have to be rewritten, or rather, cleared of a lot of stuff that would then be redundant, and "BDSM" would have to be rewritten in a more general tone.

--Scot W. Stevenson 13:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

That sounds fine to me - create a new article for the medical aspects, and put a link at the top of this article. As for the cross-over between this article and BDSM, yes that needs to be sorted out and improved, but it's an issue that's existed before the medical vs non-medical debate (and to be honest, there's lots of crossover between many of the articles in the BDSM category). Mdwh 22:25, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
As there are no objections, I've done just that. The new article is Sadism and masochism as medical terms. Note that there are still parts of this article that have a medical touch to them, but since it needs to be rewritten anyway, I'll leave that to other people to sort out. ContiE, Mdwh, thanks for the help! --Scot W. Stevenson 13:21, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

[edit] Dominance and submission

First of all, the article says: There is quite frequently a strong emotional aspect to the sexual desires, taking the form of a need for domination or submission—the desire to be controlled, or to control another, as opposed to a simple desire for pain (which is technically known as algolagnia).

Which I think is fine. This is something which is often - but not always - true. But it then says: It is often agreed that this desire for dominance or submission is in fact the driving force behind sadomasochism, with the giving and receiving of pain acting only as an active stimulation to reinforce those feelings. This view is supported by the nature of sadomasochistic behavior. A masochist does not in general take pleasure in any arbitrary form of pain, only in pain received under the pretext of enforcing authority, and typically only that of a sexual nature. Likewise, a sadist usually only takes pleasure in pain that is inflicted for reasons of punishment and control, and most often for the indirect pleasure of the masochist.

In my experience, this is simply not true for all cases.

  • In many cases, a masochist desires to receive pain as an end in itself, and not as part of some submissive act (sometimes such a person is referred to as a "pain slut").
  • The comment about arbitrary pain versus from authority is not something which is true in general. The reason why a masochist dosen't like "arbitrary" pain is because usually such pain is not the sort that will cause pleasure. Probably due to a lack of a "warm up" - the person experiences pain before they can perceive any pleasure (eg, from endorphins).
  • Receiving pain in an erotic context may well be true, but it doesn't have to be "under the pretext of enforcing authority".
  • In my experience, there are plenty of people who enjoy inflicting pain itself, and not as part of a punishment and control thing.
  • Lastly, not only does this go against my experience, all of this is completely unsupported by any evidence. The whole thing starts off with the weasel words "It is often agreed".

I'm tempted to delete this bit entirely - the paragraph I quoted first explains the relation to dominance and submission in a manner which doesn't make false generalisations of all masochists. Thoughts? Mdwh 00:20, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

[edit] automasochism

Hi, if there is anyone more knowledgable about the subject than I, do you know if the term masochism also refers to people who inflict pain upon themselves or if the term is limited to people who like to have the pain inflicted upon themselves by others. AdamJacobMuller 23:11, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

[edit] disambig link at the top perhaps?

shouldn't there be a thing at the top of this article that says something like: "this article is about the sexual fetish, for other uses see the disambiguation page"? I am not really sure how to do that so if anyone knows, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks. Wikipediarules2221 22:10, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

to be more specific, a link to the S&M disambig page since I see there already is something like what I requested. Wikipediarules2221 22:13, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
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