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Masochist vs. Sadist: Does Pain *Giving Pain* Give You Pleasure?

With many different fetishes, it’s hard to know which is which. Are you a sadist? Are you a masochist? Do you even know what masochist vs. sadist means?

What is a masochist vs. sadist? Or a sadomasochist? What does BDSM stand for? I know, these terms become confusing after a while, but once you know what they mean, it’s easier for you to identify with them. That is, if you even do.

If you’ve heard of BDSM, then you’re already one step ahead. BDSM is an acronym for bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D&S), and sadism and masochism (S&M). So, obviously, we’re focusing on the masochist vs. sadist out of the BDSM acronym.

Masochist vs. sadist: What you need to know

Really, what sadism and masochism boils down to are erotic practices typically viewed as something outside of social norms. But, let’s get real, anything sexual cannot be viewed as abnormal, we’re animals after all.

So, if you’re curious about the subtle nuances between a masochist vs. sadist, it’s all good. What’s important is that you know the differences and what they actually are.

So, a masochist and a sadist walk into a bar…

#1 What is sadism? A sadist is someone who receives pleasure through inflicting pain or acts of cruelty to others. Yeah, I know, it sounds a bit intense, but it’s not like the person receiving it does so without consent.

Everyone who engages in these acts are consenting individuals. So, a sadist isn’t someone who’s getting whipped, rather the person who does the whipping. [Read: How to be a dominatrix in the bedroom]

#2 What is masochism? Now a masochist is someone who receives pleasure from being harmed by oneself or others. So, unlike a sadist, masochists are the ones who enjoy being whipped. So, these two parties, sadists and masochists go together like ying and yang. One gives pain *sadists* while the other receives it *masochists*. [Read: 10 naughty tips for a sexy spanking]

#3 Neither have to be sexual. Okay, I’m not ignoring the fact that sex is a part of sadism and masochism. However, it’s not always the main role in a scene. Though it’s designed for sexual arousal, the acts themselves don’t have to be sexual. So, you can whip someone, spank them, but  sex may never occur during the activity.

#4 Both do not show instability in a person. There’s this idea that people who are into BDSM are gothic freaks who live in caves and wear latex. Well, this isn’t the case. If you’re into sadism or masochism, you’re not a specific type of person. You can be a teacher, dog walker, doctor—people who enjoy sadism and masochism can be literally anyone.

#5 Men are more likely to be masochists. Who would have thought that this would be the case, but, alas, it is. When it comes to being hurt or humiliated by someone else, aka. masochism, men actually play this role more often than women.

This could be because men usually take an assertive role in society. So, they want to have someone else control them and tell them what to do in the bedroom. [Read: 11 most common fetishes + 5 super weird ones]

#6 What’s used in the sadomasochist relationship? For sadomasochistic relationships, you’re not going to get away with having vanilla sex or cuddling on the couch.

I mean, you will have these aspects in your relationships, but during the sadomasochist play, the masochist will be restrained with ropes or chains and will be paddled, spanked, or whipped. Or, they’ll act as a slave to the sadist.

#7 Masochistic pleasure goes more extreme. Masochists can receive pleasure from more intense methods of pain. This isn’t for all masochists. However, some derive pleasure from being burned, cut, shocked with electricity, near-asphyxiation, or bitten.

#8 Sadomasochism isn’t a psychological disorder. For a long time, it was believed that sadomasochism was a psychological disorder. Recent research shows, sadomasochism is only a sexual preference. This preference isn’t linked to prior sexual abuse or that these people are damaged. [Read: Unbelievable sex – 20 sexual fetishes that are bordering on crazy]

#9 A person can be both. You can be both a sadist and masochistic if you choose. Usually, people favor one over the other, but it’s been shown that you can switch between being a masochist vs. sadist. However, there’s no rulebook to what you can and cannot be.

If you have feelings towards being both, choose whichever you feel like. Just make sure your partner can switch or have a different partner for the masochist or sadist role. [Read: 8 facts you think you know about BDSM debunked]

#10 Pain releases hormones and chemicals. I know for many people, they can’t seem to wrap their heads around receiving pain for pleasure. Well, have you ever gone back with an ex who treated you badly? See, you are a little masochistic. The human body releases chemicals and hormones when we feel love or have sex, but also when we feel pain.

When someone is sexually aroused, their tolerance for pain increases due to the release of endorphins which act as pain relievers. This is why masochists turn pain into pleasure. [Read: 15 dirty ways to have the sexiest rough sex ever]

#11 It’s been around longer than you think. Yeah, if you thought this is some new trend, well, you’re horribly mistaken. Sadomasochism has been around for a long, long time. How long? How about since the 1400s. Yeah, it’s been documented that people engaged in whipping and other sadist acts prior to having sex. So, this is some old school shit we have right here.

#12 Role playing is often present. During sadomasochistic acts, people often incorporate role playing. Usually, they’ll roleplay kidnapping, rape, dungeon entrapment, or slave treatment. Of course, there must be a high level of trust among the people involved, including a safe word respected at all times. [Read: 12 arousing sex fantasies to try in real life]

#13 Sadomasochism could lead to altered states of the mind. There have been various studies on BDSM which have shown that practitioners of it have more secure relationships and lower anxiety levels in comparison to the average population. [Read: BDSM tips and tricks for curious first timers]

With sadomasochism, this form of activity actually changes the distribution of blood flow in the brain. A study by Ellen Lee of Northern Illinois University showed cortisol levels rise during this activity, and participants reported feeling less stressed. Meaning, this disconnect indicated altered states of consciousness.

[Read: 15 really gross sex acts you probably didn’t know existed]

Now that you know the difference of a masochist vs. sadist, the next time someone sasses you about BDSM, you can correct them. They don’t know shit.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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