In BDSM, the term sadism refers to sexual gratification in the infliction of pain or suffering upon another person. The word is derived from the name of the Marquis de Sade, a prolific French philosopher-writer of sexually violent novels and plays. The receptive counterpart of sadism is masochism, the sexual pleasure or gratification of having pain or suffering inflicted upon the self; the name is derived from the name of the 19th century Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, known for his novel Venus in Furs that dealt with masochistic themes.
In non-BDSM usage both words are commonly used to describe personality traits in an emotional, rather than sexual sense.
Often interrelated, the practices are collectively known as S&M or sadomasochism. These terms usually refer to consensual practices within the BDSM community.
Distinction between S&M, BDSM and D/S
Sadists enjoy inflicting pain; this may or may not be sexual in nature. Masochists enjoy receiving pain, which again may or may not be sexual. The simple desire for pain is technically known as algolagnia.
BDSM is a short-hand acronym for many subdivisions of the culture: B&D (bondage and discipline), D/S (domination and submission), S&M (sadism and masochism).
Dominance and submission control over another, or being controlled by another, respectively typically describes a relationship power dynamic rather than a set of acts, and may or may not involve sadomasochism. Bondage and discipline describes a set of acts that sometimes involve D/S or S&M; although discipline often implies a level of suffering (real or pretend), participants may stop short of causing actual pain.
Pain, violence, sex and love all are associated with the release of a variety of hormones and chemicals within the human body. Furthermore, humans have been shown to exhibit sympathetic responses in their bodies while watching, hearing, or imagining such experiences.
* Endorphins are released by pain experiences and can be perceived as pleasurable and possibly psychologically addictive. It is due to this same release of endorphins that people can become addicted to self harm. In this way, the acts of self harm and engaging in masochistic behavior can be similar in function though most would agree, not in causality.
* Brain chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin can be affected by emotional or stressful experiences.
* Epinephrine and norepinephrine are released during stressful or painful experiences, and can cause a pleasurable 'rush'.
The effects of S&M on body chemistry possibly reinforce the behavior and therefore might create psychological states that seek to further such behavior.
I hope this helps!
Have a good one!
- Response by kanaka
, A Life of the Party, Male, 46-55, Dallas, Executive