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Article Title

Consensual Sadomasochism

Abstract

Sadism, the desire to inflict pain, and masochism, the craving for pain, can be categorized as formal mental disorders, as per the DSMIV-TR, but only to the extent to which normal functioning is impaired by the acts and fantasies associated with them. Sadomasochism spans across nearly all demographics and time periods, having its origin around the emergence of philosophy, economics, and politics. Consensual sadomasochism carries with it a particular consideration as both participants desire to become the other’s erotic fantasy and indeed enjoy being in that role. Sadomasochism has been continuously looked down upon by society due to misunderstandings about its physiological and psychological aspects. Sadomasochism can involve other behaviors and relationships that are considered inappropriate, such as homosexuality. Today’s mainstream culture, in the various media, reflect some sadomasochistic qualities, however, this sexual deviation is still viewed as just that, a deviation and has been deemed inappropriate. This paper will review the current literature on consensual sadomasochism and determine which out of three levels of inappropriate relationships sadomasochism constitutes.

Faculty Mentor

Michael D. Reiter, Ph.D

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