The Science of Sexual Masochism
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Sexual masochism is not just a kinky form of sexual pleasure; it is in fact a mental disorder that requires treatment. Discover more about the science of sexual masochism in this video.
Transcript: Couples in healthy sexual relationships may experiment with masochistic behavior, like spanking, blindfolding,...
Couples in healthy sexual relationships may experiment with masochistic behavior, like spanking, blindfolding, gagging or bondage. With sexual masochism, a psychosexual disorder, these acts are not a game-they may result in physical or mental harm. The term "masochism" is derived from the name of writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, 19th-century author of Venus in Furs, the novel of a man who finds sexual pleasure in the degradation and abuse of a powerful woman. Experts say sexual excitement is derived from consciously being unconditionally subjected to the will of another person. And self-inflicted pain and humiliation is the means by which sexual masochists end up perceiving they're controlled by an all-powerful partner. Sexual masochism sometimes involves extremely painful activities like whippings, cutting or self-mutilation, as well as humiliating acts like urinating or defecation. One particularly dangerous practice masochists carry out is auto-erotic asphyxia, the placing a noose around the neck and, in some instances, the genitals, for sexual pleasure. Airtight bags and amyl nitrates, known as poppers, are also sometimes used. Research suggests that brain chemicals epinephrine and norepinephrine are released during stressful or painful experiences, resulting in a pleasurable "rush" that strengthens the desire to replicate the feeling. Sexual masochism is diagnosed after 6 or more months of intense recurring, sexual fantasies, urges or behaviors that involve acts of brutality for sexual excitement. Another factor addresses how the masochist's behavior leads to significant social, occupational or functional impairment. It's believed that sexually masochistic behavior starts with masochistic or sadistic play in childhood, and that these behaviors are generally evident by early adulthood. Cognitive, behavioral, psychoanalytic and drug therapies are all options for treating sexual masochism, though patients rarely continue treatment long-term, as recommended. For more information on mental health issues, watch additional videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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