Sadism and Masochism
Sadism and masochism are paradoxical conditions in which erotic gratification is obtained in association with humiliation, enslavement, domination and even with physical pain. The sadist is the donor and the masochist is the recipient of the degrading or cruel acts. The two anomalies are often thought to be fused in one person so that the term sadomasochism is used. Gebhard17 claimed that partners are so difficult to find, that sadists must take turns being the masochist. This presupposes a preference for the sadism and explains both behaviors in the same person. Sack and Miller42 on the other hand indicated that the interchangeability of the two behaviors has not been demonstrated satisfactorily in case material.
Sadism and masochism are rather loosely applied terms which entail not only sexual pleasure in pain but a wide range of nonsexual and cruel acts (cf. Panken37). Siomopoulos and Goldsmith45 have reviewed and classified the various forms of nonsexual sadism. They note that it may be associated with sexual and aggressive drives and neuroses but also in nonsexual ways with psychosis, seizures, and, as a characterological trait. In some cases, it is not clear if the sadistic act is erotic. Lust-murder falls between the two extremes of sexual and nonsexual sadism. Usually the victim is mutilated and parts of the body may even be eaten. In rape-murder sexual assault is clearly involved but in lust-murder it is not. Lust-murder may involve generalized excitement or perhaps masturbation, but not always, so this rare act may be nonerotic. It is uncertain if all sadistic and masochistic acts have a common etiology but in any case, the material of this chapter is restricted to