Sexual sadism: symptoms and characteristics of this paraphilia

During sex, it is natural for couples to experience some exciting attitudes. For example, playing with a certain degree of control and mastery on the part of one of the members of the couple is a circumstance that both might seek out.

In this article we will detail what sadistic attitudes are when practicing sex, we will also consider how far they can be considered normal and how much they become paraphilia (sexual disorder). We will review the characteristics of sexual sadism, And what that implies from the point of view of psychology.

    What is sexual sadism?

    It can be said that a person has sadistic attitudes in his intimate life when you find pleasure in causing physical or psychological pain to your sexual partner. As we have seen above, a certain degree of agreed-upon and choreographed sadism is quite common when practicing sex when it does not become a disorder.

    Considering that while engaging in sex some domineering behaviors motivated by our more irrational side may emerge, it is common for sex to be linked to some degree of role play. But there comes a time when we can no longer speak of role playing, but real violence.

    In general, the person exhibiting sadistic behaviors can carry out their particular practices of domination and control. (Reaching some kind of pain) with people who are the target of it and consent to it without a problem, because they enjoy it. Sexually compatible couples have no problem with this situation. But in other cases, this agreement is not given or is given on unequal terms.

    On the other hand, the disorder of sexual sadism represents a significant discomfort in the life of the subject who presents it, and also intensely affects the sexual partners that he may have.

      Symptoms and typical behaviors of sadism

      Below, we’ll go over a list of behaviors that are common in sexual practices and that have an intrinsic component of sadism.

      1. Bad language

      Foul language it consists of verbalizing rude words towards our sexual partner, which can make him feel some humiliation. In general, this type of language is accompanied by other sadistic behaviors of a physical nature.

      2. The buttocks

      One of the most characteristic and common behaviors of sadism is that of the buttocks. These are generally not seen as abuse, but as a demonstration of play between the couple, however in the strict sense, they form a physical aggression, however small it may be, Beyond moral considerations about desirability in a certain context, they are appropriate

      3. Pull your hair out

      Another of the most common behaviors of sadism in sex is the act of pulling the couple’s hair while having sex, or some kind of intimate contact (they could be nothing more than kisses).

      4. Wrap your neck around your hands

      This is perhaps one of the riskiest behaviors in sadism and is about to be considered risky. It is about wrapping the neck of the couple in the manner of the strangulation while engaging in some form of sexual activity, usually penetration.

      When does sadism become a problem?

      These are just a few of the sexual practices where sadistic behaviors can be highlighted, apart from these there is a fairly wide range which will depend on the particular tastes of each couple.

      Sexually compatible couples generally have no problem with these activities, as they are not sudden or treacherous actions, but respond to a prior agreement regarding the particular tastes of each of them.

      Now let’s see when the conduct of sadism can come to be something natural during sex, a become a major problem in people’s lives. As we have seen so far, sadism understood as role play and prior agreement does not necessarily imply a problem for couples, unless it affects various aspects of their lives.

      But if, for example, the person finds it difficult to control their aggressive behavior during sexual activity, or if it always involves pain that the other person does not agree with, sadism it can go from an adaptive thing to a sexual disorder (paraphilia).

      Let’s see what exactly are the characteristics of a sexual sadism disorder. The following list contains the criteria that show whether sadism is a disadvantage for the natural development of sexuality and the lives of people with this disorder.

      1. Intensity

      Intensity is decisive in moving from an adaptive situation to an unsuitable one; it is not the same as a light nudge, spanking with moderate force, or obscene words for suffer severe physical and psychological beatings or punishments.

      2. Frequency

      Frequency refers to the subject’s ability to control sadistic behavior, it is not always appropriate or comfortable to express sexual desire through such practices.

      At other times, other methods of a more docile nature may be used, such as kissing, caressing, among other sexual samples that do not involve abuse. If the person is unable to put aside the violence and is only focused on inflicting pain and humiliation, we may be in the presence of a disorder.

      3. Affected areas

      The degree of affectation of the disorder due to sexual sadism goes beyond sex and can interfere with various aspects of people’s daily life (family, work, etc.). The anxiety level is so intense that it prevents the subject from developing properly in society.

      4. Comorbidity with other disorders

      Co-morbidity refers to the fact that symptoms of more than one disorder can be seen at the same time; this is common in disorders of sexual behavior. For example, when sadism becomes a disorder, it can lead to difficulty reaching orgasm, among other issues.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Chalkley, AJ and Powell, GE (1983). The clinical description of forty-eight cases of sexual fetishism. In: British Journal of Psychiatry, 142, pages 292-295

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