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Is It Okay To Be A Masochist?

Question:

Is it okay to be a masochist? I don’t do anything to myself that can cause permanent damage, like burning and cutting. Also, how do you think my family will respond if I tell them I’m a masochist?

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Answer:

There are several senses of the word “masochist”. There is Sexual Masochism, which is considered to be a paraphilia (or sexual disorder) within the DSM (consisting of “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the act (real, not simulated) of being humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer”, which suffering may be self or partner-induced), and then there is a more general and informal sense of the word which probably just refers to someone who someone who seeks out pain in physical and emotional forms.

Most people aren’t masochists for the simple reason that it hurts physically and/or emotionally to participate in masochistic acts, and most people avoid painful activities. Those people who seek out pain may have a variety of reasons for doing so. People who self-harm (which you say you do not do) typically report, for instance that they want to punish themselves, or that they require the pain to ground themselves again (after being dissociated, for instance). The former explanation suggests that a considerable amount of shame is involved in many masochistic acts, while the latter explanation suggests that masochists may have endured abuse at an earlier age (from which they needed to escape mentally). There may be other reasons too. Sexual masochism adds a whole other layer to the mixture, in that it is acted out with a partner. Mild masochism (and sadism) may be played out as a thrill-seeking venture. For some people, it is thrilling to be in someone else’s power (or to have power over others. The fear of being harmed and the pain itself are highly arousing/activating states to experience, and some people’s fear and pain arousal carries over into their sexual arousal. This is why sexual masochism is considered to be a paraphillia, which is a group of “disorders” wherein people require special circumstances in order to become sexually aroused (such as pain, or vinyl/leather/latex, or children, or cross-dress clothing or whathaveyou).

All of the paraphilias are considered to be clinically relevant (e.g., therapy-worthy), but you need to take this with a grain of salt. Some paraphilias (like transvestism) are harmless, while others (such as pedophilia) are fairly monstrous. If you are able to act out your thing without harming anyone else or yourself in the context of an exclusively adult and consensual relationship, AND you aren’t particularly bothered by being stuck with your paraphilia, then you are probably okay. If your thing requires you to harm yourself in a way that debilitates you in any significant fashion (such as carving your arms or burning yourself, or exposing yourself to repeated humiliating acts that disturb you (even if they fascinate you too) that is not really okay, and psychotherapy with an understanding therapist would appear to be a good idea. Likewise, if your masochism comes out of past abuse experiences that you are trying to recreate and/or master, I don’t know that acting out sexually is going to help put that stuff to rest. It would be a better (safer, healthier, more empowering) idea to explore feelings about abuse in a therapy relationship.

Not knowing your family, I have no idea how they might respond to your secret. If I venture an educated guess, I would think they won’t easily understand (just as most people don’t and can’t, not having experienced whatever it is that draws people into masochism).

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    My 20 year old daughter wants people to hurt her in sexual situations. I have no idea why. My response to this is manifold and goes from one extreme to the other. I worry for her. What kind of person is she subjecting herself to? Will someone go too far some day and hurt her, even if she uses her so-called "safe word?" If you let them tie you up, you're at they're mercy. If they go crazy, there's nothing you can do. I am ashamed of her. I wonder what I've done to create her need to do this. The guilt is crippling. Or does everything a person decides to do have to be their parents' fault? I want to accept her, but can't understand how this could possibly be a positive experience. How could she let someone do this to her? (In her case, it seems to be at least flogging .. I have no idea what else.) I hate her. Her behaviour reflects on our whole family she doesn't live in a vacuum. How dare she do this? Can a woman who participates in this kind of behaviour ever expect to have a decent relationship with someone? It seems that, once they find out about it, good people would run screaming from her. Which I guess puts her into the category separate from "good people." It's affected my own sex life, because thinking about sex reminds me of her and the sadness overwhelms me. Worrying about her keeps me up nights, too. Sometimes I wake up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night, think about her and can't get back to sleep again. How dare she do this?????? This young woman is brilliant she attends a very selective college and does very well in school. My husband and I pay the tuition ... to the tune of $35K a year. Are we wasting our time and money (coming up with this money is not easy for us .. we're basically spending our retirement) on someone who can never hope to have a successful life because they've got this awful secret overwhelming their life? There is a big wall between us. Of course there is! She knows I'm not accepting of her behaviour ... although I'm sure she has no idea to what extent. So I'm willing to try to understand, to try to accept. But maybe that isn't the right thing to do, either? Maybe I should be helping her? But how? She's going to therapy, but I have no idea why. She told me she had stopped doing this, and I believed her, but I recently got some information proving to me that she hasn't. There's been a wall between us that I haven't understood, but now it makes perfect sense. I love my daughter deeply, am a committed family person, and want to have close relationships with my children. I'm not a bad mom ... I gave up a good job when I had kids so I could dedicate all of my time to them, and I made them the center of my life. Oh my god. She hates herself when she sees me because she knows she is betraying me. She hates me for making her feel like she's a bad person, when she's associating with people who are telling her that what's she's doing is perfectly normal. If it's perfectly normal, why doesn't she just tell everyone she knows about it? Has she already told her old neighborhood friends, and everyone knows about it, but they're too embarrassed to talk to me about it? Sometimes I just want to say good-bye to her and never see her again. I'm sure she feels the same way. How positively horrible. How can someone treat their family members this way?

  • Anonymous-2

    To the author of the first comment, Let her know that you don't approve but you love her anyway. She knows she has a problem. This is clear from her going to therapy. She may have people in her life telling her masochism is normal, but her therapist may be one who is helping her with the root of her problem, whatever it is. Just like many things in life, there are those around us who tell us something potentially harmful is okay and those who warn us. We have to make the decision ourselves. Pray for her.

  • steve

    Firstly masochism in the broadest sense is nothing rare (i use the term now in a sense, that includes people, who like being spanked or handcuffed, but do not go further than that or call themselves masochists). I have no statistics, but if you look on the web, snickering references to things as "spanking" are right all over the place. Some dating guru even advised men in a forum posting, to have some handcuffs lying in some half hidden but visible place, when they have a girl as guest. And that guy is one known for giving quality advice, so the betting average for a random girl to be slightly masochistic must be pretty high. Secondly, there are many theories, where masochism comes from, but none is backed by serious science yet. Fact is, those people come from all kinds of family backgrounds, so you need not ask yourself, what you did wrong. You almost certainly did not cause this. It also does not say anything about her personality or her willingness to stand up for herself in all areas of life (despite some nonsense home-baked theories floating around on the internet). Furthermore i disagree with Anne about your daughter being a paraphiliac. AFAIK to be called a paraphilia masochism has to have a severe negative impact on her sexual life or otherwise on her life. Otherwise it is just an attribute, like left-handedness. You have to ask yourself (or talk with a therapist) about what causes you to feel so strong about this. You will never "understand" any kind of sexual kink, that you do not have yourself, just as I (a straight male) cannot understand, what is so sexy about men, but women apparently find something. Those feelings of guilt and shame seem to impact your life severely and may get in the way of your relationship with your daughter. You should talk to a therapist about them. As long as your daughter is happy with her sex life (i don't know from your text, if she is) there is nothing wrong here. And even if she isn't, she is the one, who has to do something about it.

  • Anonymous-3

    I'm surprised that no one has responded to the repeated phrase "how dare she?!!!" Do you think it was a choice along the lines of "I think I wan't to piss off/embarrass my family, masochism sounds a good way to do that". Nobody one day wakes up and decides to be depressed, or bipolar etc.

    You said that "good people" will run in the other direction if they found out, well it doesn't seem very "good" to push away a person with a problem. Everyday we hear stories of model husbands killing their pregnant wives and priests abusing little children, but until then doesn't all of society think they're just so darn good?

    This girl is obviously struggling with many issues, and realizes that there is a problem, so she's reaching out to you by letting you know and by going to therapy. Intelligend and successfull people from "good" families are probably more prone to having psychological troubles from the pressure to succeed, to not let down the family, I'm sure your daughter is well aware of the fact that you have sacrificed a lot for her. Also very intelligent people are more sensitive to the world and people's behavior and tend to spend more time analyzing why things are the way they are. You said that this girl already hates herself for disappointing you, by rejecting her you will be perpetuating that hate. Just be supportive and definitely encourage therapy, it can do wonders to let a person vent to an unrelated individual and analize the situation from a logical perspective.

  • waxman

    I have always enjoyed a bit of external sexual pain wherher it is from putting tape on myself then slowly peeling or other mildly to moderate painful activities. No, I do not care to damage my body in any way, but the excitement of pain or pleasure is a reality for many people. I had a great childhood, wonderful parents, and have an excellent wife. By most standards my life is normal. There are people who what to damage themselves but, I/we are not of that category.

    Waxman

  • Jenny

    I say if you get aroused by it then thats up to you, we only disagre upon it because its not "culturally accepted". We have to break away from being so one track minded. Its only a few years ago that being gay was illegal!!!

    As long as people dont kill each other (and use protection), who cares what they do in thier spare time.

    but In my eyes its better to have a few bruises than get high and internally ruin your mind and body. Life these days is so stressfull and everybody needs a release. Lets allow it to be a clean one.

  • Anonymous-4

    There are plenty of masochists out there. I say, what you do in your bedroom is your business and if others want to join that's their business. As long as everyone is above 18 and consenting, let the sexual fantasies be played out.

  • A Daughter

    To the parent above who has stated that she hates her daughter. I can't believe how you go on and on, you're complaining about your daughter's sexual lifestyle accusing her of telling the world and here you are discussing it on the Internet.

    Sexuality preferences are not a choice, they are ingrained. The number one cause of masochism is childhood abuse. It's obvious by your mean rambling comment that you have tormented your daughter and continue to do so.

    You threaten to shut your daughter out of your life. How any mother could say such cruel things is beyond me. But it's actally probably the only chance your daughter has at having a healthy life.

  • Z

    You need way, way more therapy than your daughter ever will.

    Getting that hung up over your daughter enjoying BDSM, which is terrifically common and popular as far as sexual acts go, is just ridiculous. I have known more than a few couples who're into BDSM, who have happy, healthy relationships, good jobs and so on. Sexual "abuse" in the form of BDSM isn't really abuse. It's a pair of consenting adults pleasuring each other (though in this case pain is a form of pleasure for your daughter). In other words, it's no different than any of the sex you've had, they just happen to enjoy something you don't enjoy. It is also not an embarrassing fetish as far as I know, unless, perhaps, you're a very conservative, christian, older woman, who is shocked by the mere mention of the idea that people use sex for pleasure and for meeting psychological needs, instead of just reproduction.

    Regardless of the case, you still need therapy. Lots of it. You need to talk to a therapist about your anxiety, your inability to tolerate new ideas and information, and your sexual hangups. Possibly even get some heavy medication. The idea of your daughter taking a spanking shouldn't keep you from sleeping with your spouse. Congratulations on being way more messed up than the person you are accusing of having all the problems.

    Editor's Note: I'm printing this comment and have printed some of the ones of a similar nature below it (in time), but I want to point out that these are angry comments, and designed to shame the mother who is herself ashamed over her daughter's preference for sexual activity. Everyone is shaming everyone else! What good is that? It is no way to create a productive dialog or to help anyone grow as a person. No one is going to be successful shaming this mother into accepting her daughter's preferences better. I'd like to see some compassion occuring, if that is not too much to ask, because only compassion will have a chance to unharden someone's heart. Not approval of intolerance, but compassion.

  • Anonymous-5

    I have dated many submissive women, and some were masochists, some not. I have never dated anyone as young as your daughter, so I cannot tell you if this is normal behaviour for someone that young or not. It would concern me though. I enjoy consensual BDSM, but only with adults, and we can all argue at what age that begins, but my gut feeling is somewhere around 25. If she has been going to therapy, I would say there is more going on here than just playfull BDSM. If her partner knows about her therapy, he should not indulge her, IMO. Sounds like a lot more going on.

  • S

    Well first of all I disagree with the person who said masochism begins at around 25. I've had masochistic feelings since I was 12 (am now 21) - why? Who knows? Who cares? I don't think you should be ashamed of your daughter for being a bit kinky - I'd be worried if she is going off with strangers or getting into seriously dangerous situations, but on the whole she should be no less safe than if she was having the same kind of sex any 20 year old has. I'm not a formal member of the BDSM community so i can't speak for anyone other than myself, but there are good and bad people within that community just like any other... If she looks, she will find good, caring people to have relationships with who are into the same stuff and can live a productive life and achieve her dreams.

  • bosspipe

    I have meet three masochist women have been dating one for 10 years.All three have came to me and brought up the subject in fact they were searching for someone to fullfill that need. Different races and backgrounds.One thing for sure they know what they want and speak of it open if asked.They are most unhappy when there desires cannot be fullfilled.Why they chosse me? I don't know they say they can just sense that I would be the one they could come to.But other than the submissive role play spanking bondgae toys every thing else is pretty blue collar life with every day events.Movies dinner kids work bills vacation family etc.

  • A. Masochist

    To: Parent reaction to masochism

    Just thank the fates that your daughter was not raised in that wide spread religion that convinces pre-schoolers that their little bodies have nasty parts that are so evil that just touching them is a sin that will damn their little souls to eternal damnation.

    These little sinners learn that only pain and suffering can save them from their deserved punishment and are persented with shining examples of dead people, known to be in heaven, called saints like Dominic Loricatus, Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, and Thérèse of the Child Jesus who at the age of 3 was described by her own mother as "...anxious to practice mortification.” and one of whose biographers said about her that she "...used the 'discipline' vigorously, "scourging herself with all the strength and speed of which she was capable, smiling at the crucifix through the tears which bedewed her eyelashes,"

    How severely would your daughter be letting herself be beaten if she had been put thru that?

    So relax! For your daughter, the beatings make her brain pump out adrenaline and natural opiate analogs called endorphins. The opiate high makes sex fantastic - ask any heroin adict. Yes she might drvelop a masochiostic, sometimes called selfdefeating, personality disorder but to her that may be a small price to pay for incredible sex and periods of total freedom from the demands of living life.

  • Anonymous-6

    reply to: parent thingy

    omg how can you let your daughters sexual fantasies destroy your mother daughter rrelationship. i dont believe your a bad mum. just an overprotective and maybe in need of some therapeutical sessions yourself :) But it does make you seem like one. Instead of embarassing your daughter, just trust her to have her own personal/sexual relationships. If your daugheter was 13 and sexually active AND masochistic, then MAYBE you should be worried, but 20 years old, errr no. so what if shes masochistic? so many people are these dayas, mild or strong. Lotsa people like bondage or whatever. But that should not affect family matters. WTH woman?? WANT ME TO DONATE A BRAIN??

  • Karziel

    who does she think she is? she obviously thinks she is an independaant unit capable making decisions and just as capable of feeling noting regarding the shame you feel, being another seperate unit. personanlly, i think she should be proud of opting for something so against the grain. i would of assumed someone on thier way to retirment is smart enough to realize that good and evil are solely matters of perception. does the terrorist call himself evil? it seems to be a recurring theme that groups called terrorists by goverments, often call themselves freedom fighters.you are yourself, your daughter is herself, learn the difference and that there is literally nothing you can do about her decisions, short of physically getting involved.

  • amanda

    I have been a masochist since I was 15. For me, masochism is about knowing your limits and trusting your partner. I know what kinds of pain I can endure and for how long or to what extent. And I trust my partner to inflict such pain within those parameters. Knowing that I can trust him in this way helps me to release my anxiety. For example, I enjoy having anal sex while being tied or restrained in a way that limits my ability to move my wrists, elbows, and neck. I also enjoy being "made" to swallow and drink my partner's urine. It's a matter of trust and mutual respect between myself and my boyfriend. As long as you and your partner share mutual trust and respect, and communicate about the limits or parameters within which you conduct your sexual activities, it is perfectly okay.

  • Irrelevant

    I'm sixteen, and I'm a masochist. I don't physically harm myself either. I did for a while, but merely things like piercing my arm with a corkscrew. Sexual masochism is fine as well, for me it adds a flare of passion to sex. My case may be a bit more severe than what you describe though, as I find blood to be a turn on, but again I don't like doing or recieving serious harm. As far as your family is concerned, I imagine that they'll fail to understand it. They'll tell you to go to concelling, or ask if your depressed. You don't have to be depressed to be a masochist, though being both is common. Even some of my best friends tell me it's "kinda creepy man." The only people I've had understand me are other masochists, but still, you may want to consider telling them, if it seems so important that they know.

  • roddie

    My daughter is 25. In the last few years I heard rumblings about kinky sex and my only concern was that she could be hurt badly. Recently she told me she watched a movie 21 times. I asked her if it was an S&M movie although she denied it, I later found it was. Her almost three year old daughter was quoting the "greatest love story ever" so I believe she is exposed. I also noticed that Claire is acting out, very sexual behavior and her private parts don't look right anymore. She said mommy hurt her. I regret being passive and accepting. There has to be a line drawn when they hurt other people. I didn't abuse my kids, I don't understand why she have gravitated to this sickness.

  • Andy

    I'm a guy and I like it when a woman inflicts pain on me. I'm not ashamed, it's who I am. I'm not going to ignore the incredible sexual high I get and settle for mediocrity to conform with society norms. Full speed ahead.

    @Parent Reaction to Masochism

    Quote: "If you let them tie you up, you're at they're mercy. If they go crazy, there's nothing you can do."

    What if your doctor went 'crazy' while he was operating on you, while you were 'unconscious'? What if your dentist went crazy? What if somebody decided to swirve into oncomming traffic and hit you head on? What if some random person on the street decided to shoot you? You can't live your life afraid of everything, and there are always situations where you're at the mercy of others.

    You're not even more at the mercy of your lover in a BDSM session than you are in normal circumstances, assuming you sleep with your mate. If your mate went 'crazy' you'd be a pretty defenseless target in your sleep.

  • liz

    You know, I read these comments and told myself I wouldn't respond to any for fear of hurting someones feelings, or perhaps giving the wrong advice.. but damn it women what's wrong with you? Are you aware that more often than not maschism is traced back to child hood abuse? I'm living proof. How can you say that you hate your daughter for something she didn't just wake up one morning and decide? How can you be ashamed of her for lettin gyou know? She probably told you she had quit because of your reaction.. I don't blame her, I would have too.. You've totally and completely disgusted me.. YOU need therapy, not your daughter. Not for indulging in consentual sex that helps with her release.. perhaps you should work on accepting new things, or perhaps just tolerating it. As long as she is happy, and is not hurting anyone else, please, please, please, let her be herself.Let her be happy just doing her own thing. I must let it be said though, obviously your relationship with your daughter hasn't lost all potential of getting better, b-cuz she was open enough with you to fill you in. You may want to just take a deep breath and re-evaluate some things, before that potential is lost.Trust takes a very long time to build, but only a second-or a few words to break it all down.Try to understand her, try to meet her halfway.. and hopefully she'll do the same for you. If all else fails, maybe it's best that those details of her life are best left out of yours.and if you're having problem performing iwth your spouse.. that means you may have some emotional problems that counseling would help.. give it thought.. remember, face every problem with patience and understanding.. don't forget to thinki before you answer things, or to be honest.. "Love does not boast, it is not proud, and it does not envy" you love your daugher or you wouldn't be here complaining.. so embrace it, and just dont give up.. your daughter is perfectly fine in my opinion.. different yes, but fine.. if she begins to no longer care for her safety.. that's when you should be concerned.. try to agree to disagree.

  • A Straight Guy

    I want if you all know that you are sick and pervert. There is not God in your life and your souls are ruined in pervertions. Ask Jesus for help because you all are in trouble and you all don't understand that you are sick and pervert. I am so sorry for the mother who has a sick daughter. It seems this family had not a father and the daughter never saw her parents being loving each other. If you cannot be happy in normal relationships then you are losers and need pervertions.

    Dr. Dombeck's Note: Normally, we delete hateful comments like this one, but on occassion it is useful to let them through in order to show how emotionally charged this situation can be, and how fear of "the other" - the "strange" - can cause people to become completely hateful. Sexual fetish behavior of this type is certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but some people like it and practice it in safe, mutually-consenting and non-abusive ways. That is not a perversion. The commenter reveals more about his own immaturity and insecurities than anything else.

  • Ayhan

    I have stumbled upon here and read both articles and comments.Article was accurate and helpful but the comments here disgusted me.Here there is a suufering woman,a mom who express her raw emotions and thoughts and beg for advice or some help or just she wants to tell her frustration.Apparantly she is in suffer and a bit naive.So what do many commentators do?Help her,comfort her,advise her?NO ! All they did is to try to insult with their hostile and hatefull comments.You,site editors,you say" we won't allow hostile comments".Are you able to read?Or just you enjoy high ratings?How on the earth can you accept so much hostile,disgusting messages towards a woman and a mom?Do you think you are better than these submissive-slave-ill people?If you do,i am afraid you are wrong.One of the most important thing about being human is EMPATHY.Where is your empathy for that mum?Why did you accept so vile,disgusting,despicable,ignorant,stupid comments towards her? The vast majority of commentators here need really serious help not only for they are slave-masochist,additionally they are lack of basic human features.They only think to promote,to advocate,to glorify,to justify their mental illness attacking a suffering mum.İ find this DISGUSTING but obviously there is no problem for you and that indicates you are partipiciant of it. Masochism has some varios degrees from mild to extreme. I don't say every masochism is bad or harmfulli I,myself, like raw and rough sex and overpower a woman at times depending on mine and my partner's mood.i'll say a generale profil of a masochist. They do want,long,crave for being humiliated,being degrated,being used as a piece of meat and a sex object,be,ng raped,being beaten up,being cut,being knock down and kicked while they are on the ground,being choked and stabbed to death.How any sane,healthy human being might want these?Obviously they have weak minds and personality,less or none self esteem,self respect and self confidence.The most of them are unaware how much vulnerable and how much they need help.These kind of actions can well lead you to self destruction mentally,emotionally and physically. Which mum,father and parent wants to see his/her child in this situation?Every BDSM'er will say it is healthy and a wonderful thing.They tell that they know few couples who are very happy but somehow they do not know even one couple who suffers from this.Advocating,adverting,promoting?Absolutely. I saw here many ignorant,stupid,misleading,immature comments.I won't go lenghty but i can feel hatred towards that mum for only she wants to save her mother from this illness.They hate that mum because they do need meats to satisfy their blood-thirsty insticts and that daughter is a potencial for this.They don't care neither mum nor daughter.They have no advise,no helpful comment what to do for the sake of that girl but to attack,trying to insult,assault that mum and you,so called site editors,it is your fault rather than these ill people. Amanda said" WANT ME TO DONATE YOU A BRAIN?".Well amanda,YOU CAN NOT DONATE SOMETHING WHICH YOU DO NOT HAVE:) One poster said"i drink piss of my boyfriend".If any real doctor exists here that he/she will know how much can be harmfull to drink piss regularly as for its ingredients. a doctor said"it is ok if there is mutual consent and it is not abusive".ok,as you know these kind of mental disorders most likely come from childhood while there can be various reasons such as abuse,rape,mistreat etc. genetic and biologic factors are also may be important.Ok,so you say if it is not abusive then it is acceptable between two consenting adults.In fact i agree with you but a can a human being who is vulnerable,who is emotionally and mentally damaged,give a reasonable consent? Will to beat her/him,to humiliate,to rape,to degrade,to use her/him,to see her/him just a piece of meat and s...t will heal or help her/him?Permanently might be,what about long term effects amotionally,mentally and physically? To use such person means only one thing and it is TO TAKE HIS/HER ADVANTAGE even they are adult. Where i draw line between a healthy,safe masochism and a pathological one?It is obvious in my opinion. If you ccan not get pleasue from sex and only if you turn on or get pleasure being used,pain,being beaten up, overpowered etc.then you have some serious problems which can lead you very harmfull relationship. I can go into detail but won't.I read some of your articles and found these very good,accurate in the light of science but your commentators have an agenda and you allow all hostility here. Of course you can read my comments hostile as well but not as hostile as your posters.This is just reaction against this ignorance and vulgarism towards a mum who is apparently loves her daughter and wants her good very much. I do think you will delete my post and keep on allowing comments of people who has mental disorders ,who are full of hatred towards other people.this is alone an enough evidence how much they are delusional,twisted inhuman beings.So you masochist-slave-submissive-mentally ill people,you really need therapy,a serious and long one for not only being masochist but also having no redeeming value in the name of being human.Some of you must not allow to go free out of clinic. The most masochists do cut themselves or burn or inflict pain to themselves in various ways because the vast majority of people do not much into this.So that ill person whos suggests"BDSMer terrificly increasing" is simply wrong.Yes there are many spanking movies around and there are many beastialty movies around as well and pree-teen sex videos and so called snuff films and scat etc.So these are common either?:) Lastly,one poster compared between being at the mercy of a dentist,on the streets and being at the mercy of a mentally ill people.Sure there always be a possibility that people can go wild and harm you but to be at the mercy of a mentally disorder people is far more dangerous and risky. So how can you equal these?You can die on the streets and you can die in the war either.So these are equally dangerous and risky?huh?This not only ridicilously ignorant but also very immature comment of her/his. Thank you.

  • Anonymous-7

    what do you mean how can she do this to family members? how can you do this to her and claim to be a loving mother? being a masochist is not a sin that shes committed, its part of her personality. she didnt just wake up one morning and decide that she would enjoy pain from then on. it amazes me that you can think youreself a good parent, and at the same time be so incredibly narrowminded. by telling your daughter that you disapprove, and that you think shes doing something horrible, youre forcing her to hide part of herself. how can you knowingly be this judgemental of your own daughter, and believe that shes the one harming your family? you are the one causing problems in your family by not being more openminded. chances are, if shes known for a long time about her masochistic tendencies, shes already gone through periods of her life when she may have been ashamed of it, and she doesnt you to bring that shame back by pushing your own ideals on her. if you want a relationship with your daughter, i suggest you stop judging her based on things about herself htat arent under her control and just accept her for who she is, because if you dont, then you will lose her one way or another. either her respect for a retarded mother will be so high that she makes the wrong decision of hiding her true personality, and one day she will grow to hate you for it, or she will simply stop trying to please you because she realizes that she needs to live for herself. do yourself and your daughter a favor and accept her before its too late to get back your relationship with her

  • Anonymous-8

    Masochism is something I've dealt with my entire life. I don't know what it is. I like the feeling of humilation, the idea of pain, and being out of control of the situation. I've masturbated to those feelings since I was a little kid. I'm weird. And I can't stand it.

    I tried to tell my mom in high school. Why I've always acted like I was below everyone... why I've always been bullied because I'm the easy mark. Because I let people hurt me... and while most of the time it sucks, sometimes, I love it.

    I tried to tell her... and she didn't believe me. She said I was making it all up... she didn't understand. She disowned me. Like the women below she tells me she's worried I'll end up in an abusive relationship that the idea of who I am tortures her. Even though I stayed a virgin until I turned 18, and I have still only ever had one long-term partner (who I'm still with).

    And now I'm falling in love with this "normal" "good" guy, and I can't tell him who I am. I can't explain why my mom and I don't get along. I can't tell him why I can't orgasm with him.

    Was I really born this way, or did I not supress feelings like all the "good" people did when I was younger? Is it my fault?

    I've told my guy I have a deep dark secret... and that's why I can't explain certain things to him. He says "nothing could ever change the way I feel about you" he says "I'm sorry for pushing it on you, I hope your not upset"

    ...like he doesn't have every right to be upset! He shares everything with me and I can't share this with him? But how can I tell him the truth, when all "normal people" can never understand or accept it. When I can't even understad or accept it.

  • Robert

    What is being left out of all these comments, is that sexual masochism and sexual sadism are both chronic and progressive afflictions. The masochist becoming more masochistic, and the sadist more sadistic over time. I know this because a family member is involved in it, just as her daughter is. I have seen the damage that it can do to someone. And in a personal way. After about 8 years of involvement, this family member is a shell of her formal self. As far as Dr,s. and therapist's are concerned, more will tell you it is destructive, than will not.Anything that is chronic and progressive in nature, can obviously be very dangerous. As far as normal and abnormal. If sadism and masochism were normal, wouldnt half the population be sadistic, and the other half masochistic?? In fact, a very small percentage of the population is involved in this subculture. My advice to the mother is to research it, and get input as to how to deal with the situation from professionals. I myself have a hard time wrapping my head around accepting that if someone I love doesnt have the ability to associate abuse as abuse, then that makes it allright. It does strain the relationship, to say the least. I feel for both parties involved in this situation. Unfortunately, my experience has taught me that it will not rectify itself. It will most likely progress. Good luck to the mother.

  • meli

    to the mother at the bottom im sorry things have turned out that way some people are who they are it took my father a long time to except i was a maschocist as well i have been this way since i was sixteen i dont know why its just a prefrence i am with someone i love and i am very happy he knows i like certain things and never goes over the bounds i set i think you should try to talk to your daugter you maybe can try family therepy if you guys are having problems it worked for my dad and i i hope this helps.

  • Anonymous-9

    I am a 22 year old female and I am a masochist. I used to worry whether this makes me crazy but I don't anymore. I don't know where my sexual preferences stem from but I'm inclined to think they're just part of my personality. Even if they are a result of emotional instability or mental illness, surely it's more constructive to address my emotional and mental well being than to berate myself for enjoying a bit of pain.

    It would also seem to me that sadism and masochism is very wide spread. Take a look at Ann Summers - huge chain of shops with stores in most large UK cities. They sell handcuffs, gags, paddles and whips. Let's face it, if these items didn't sell they simply wouldn't stock them. Take a look at the internet, there's a never ending amount of material on sadomasochistic sex and particular fetishes. This stuff exists because people enjoy kinky sex.

    I reject the notion that, 'good' people do not enjoy BDSM sex. I was with a partner for almost four years. He was by societal standards successful: good job, nice car, comfortable flat, good relationship with family and strong friendships. Throughout our relationship he looked after me, respected me, encouraged me and never once did wrong by me. When we met he had never engaged in any sadistic or masochistic practices. I persuaded him to give it a try. Amongst other things he tied me up and inflicted pain on me. Over time he relaxed and began to really enjoy it. His enjoyment was two fold, he liked dominating me but he also liked the pleasure I clearly took from what he did. All my friends could see that we loved each other. How can that be construed as unhealthy? While we have now split, a year and a half on he is a very good friend.

    I hold a honours degree in engineering and am working towards a masters. Amongst my university friends I am aware of two people who share similar tastes to me. These are educated, compassionate people in healthy relationships. I don't understand why they should be branded as mentally ill because their sexual tastes are a little deviant.

    When it comes to sexual relationships I believe the most important thing is to be with someone you trust, who respects you and communicates with you. I have regrets over previous relationships and sexual partners. I was coerced and manipulated into sleeping with someone I did not want to and have been sweet talked into bed and then ignored. These incidents hurts but I've learned. I have more self respect than I used to, I don't let people treat me like crap. If I feel rushed, I try and take a step back and assess how I feel before I make a decision. If I don't like the way I'm being treated then I tell the person and they change or I'm out of there. I only wish I'd worried more about this stuff when I was younger rather than worried about whether it was normal to like getting whipped.

    I guess what I'm trying to say in a long winded way is: if overall you have a successful, satisfying and healthy life, what does it matter what your sexual preferences are? As long as you are not engaging in practices that cause long term damage or adversely affect the rest of your life does it matter what you do with your partner behind closed doors? My experience is that good and healthy people engage in BDSM. If you think someone is engaging in these activities for unhealthy reasons maybe you should be asking why. Addressing the cause is surely better than being mad at them for the symptom.

  • Rammsteinpyro88

    Dear Mom,

    I am currently 16 years old, female, and I fantasize about being bound, gagged, used, and beaten by someone who is older than me, but most importantly, someone who cares for me, loves me, and does these things to me because we enjoy it together. I have spent the last 4 years of my life having internetbsex on adult sites with Sadists. They are not all bad people. Granted, there were some OBVIOUSLY bad ppl on these sites, but many times you would find gentlemen and kind hearted guys. I searched for someone to be my 24/7 Master, but each time I found a candidate...I feared my families reaction. One day, however, my master Sahin found my father's facebook page and called him. He explained everything...and the next day I was given a real cell phone (in replacement of my Tracfone)so that I could keep in contact with him while my parents could monitor me. My mom found out, and took me to a psychiotrist while in the meantime threatening Sahin.

    Long story short, He and I r not together anymore. I have fallen for a Turkish romantic guy.

    This guy that Im with now saved my life. I was afraid of my mom finding out about my interest for bdsm and my nymphomania. i tried to kill myself. from turkey he called my stepmom, once i had told him what i had done, and i was bleeding...and he said, you dont know me. im your daughters friend. she is trying to kill herself, take her to the doctor NOW!

    My mom was afraid that i was getting back at her for something...god knows what...

    If your daughter is truely Masochistic and submissive, hen it is not your fault. in kindergarten i would tie little bears up in rubberbands, and at night i would pretend i was bound and could not move...sometimes...bear with me...i was a faerie in a hotdog bun, ajd when i got tired, a giant would eat me. i used to tie my barbies up, and pretend they were me. in seventh grade, i had somehow created Aan 'invisible friend' named Lucas. he was my master.

    it is true, your daughter could get hurt, and i hope she does, or has, not. sadists, doms, and masters r just like boyfriends and husbands. you find the right one who poves you and will protect and care for you. even the dating process is similar. i would not have sexual contact with a master for awhile...and would not b bound inescapeably for maybe years of being together. good lck to your daugter. her emotions r normal and its not another ones fault. i hope she fnds a good partner who loves and respects her, and i pray that you will love her and respect her and her desisions as an induvidual.

    srry for my terrible spelling. typing on a psp vita...wish i had a keyboard.

  • Zee

    I just want to say that it's totally okay to like pain. It's taken me several years to figure that out, but I'm so much happier now because of it. I practice BDSM in a controlled and safe relationship with a woman who understands my needs like I understand hers.

    When I was a teenager, I was severely depressed, even going so far as to self-harm on a regular basis. I had just come out to my mother as a lesbian not too long before that, and I was still dealing with the aftermath of that whole ordeal. I can't say whether or not I was cutting because of the average reasons when depressed (to bring that inner pain into a physical pain, which can be more easily dealt with), or if it was because I had a need to feel that pain because of my masochism. I didn't actually realize that I had those kinds of needs until I watched the film "Secretary" (2002 film with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal). In fact, I had always assumed that I was more of a sadist because I like being in control of the situation, but as soon as I saw that movie it came as a sort of revelation that I needed pain for sexual gratification.

    Two years ago, I met the woman that I'm still with to this day. Since the day I told her about my masochism, I haven't felt the need or urge to cut or harm myself in any way, able to get the pain I need from her in a way that won't leave scars. The worst she's ever given me is a bruise or rope-burns, and I loved every minute of those injuries.

    Now, while I can totally understand the comment from the mother below because I have two daughters of my own, and I'm not sure how I would feel about them being masochists when they get older, I just don't want anybody who feels like they might enjoy sexual gratification from pain to feel like that's wrong. Yes, sometimes people can get a bit out of hand with it, but I don't see how anyone can ever judge another person on what they enjoy sexually. It's an opinion and no two people are the same.

  • M00rescode

    Masochism is quite benign as far as fettishes go. While not the most harmless fetish to yourself e.g pedophillia (foot fetish not children), but way less serious then say zoophillia , necrophilia or paedophillia .

    I a 15 year old guy and im a mild maschochist , not in the sexual sense but in the way i relish pain , even going as far as to purposely getting into fights in order to get this pain.

    Yes i self harm , mostly by way of cutting and burning

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