Sexual Masochism Disorder

Resources for Patients and Caregivers

Sexual masochism involves acts in which a person experiences sexual excitement from being humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise abused. Sexual masochism disorder is sexual masochism that causes significant distress or substantially interferes with daily functioning.


Cluster Number:
Wiki Number: 40-Sexual Masochism Disorder
US Patients:
World Patients:
Sex Ratio: 
Age Onset: 
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Resources for Physicians, Counselors and Researchers


The world-wide medical research
reports chosen for each diagnosis 

Clicking each title opens the
PubMed article’s summary-abstract.

  • Sexual Violence and Nonconsensual Experiences Among Alt-Sex Communities' Members
    by Susan Wright on January 6, 2022

    BACKGROUND: As behaviors, alternative sexual (alt-sex) (i.e., kink, bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism , consensual non-monogamy, swinging, leather, and fetish practices) practitioners often emphasize that consent and boundaries are key elements of alt-sex activities. Despite these emphases, individuals experience consent violations and sexual assault both prior to engaging and during their involvement in alt-sex activities.

  • Paraphilia
    by Kristy A. Fisher on January 1, 2022

    Paraphilias are persistent and recurrent sexual interests, urges, fantasies, or behaviors of marked intensity involving objects, activities, or even situations that are atypical in nature. Although not innately pathological, a paraphilic disorder can evolve if paraphilia invokes harm, distress, or functional impairment on the lives of the affected individual or others. A total of eight Paraphilias are listed in the DSM V and include pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual sadism, sexual...

  • The Biology of BDSM: A Systematic Review
    by Elise Wuyts on December 8, 2021

    CONCLUSION: BDSM interactions are complex and influenced by several psychological, social and biological processes. Though research is limited, there is emerging evidence for an interaction between several biological systems involved in these types of interests and activities. This means there is an important role for future research to replicate and supplement current results. Wuyts E, Morrens M. The Biology of BDSM: A Systematic Review. J Sex Med 2022;19:144-157.

  • How does reading (dis)locate space? Reading "The Call of the Woods" ("La voix du bois") by Pierre Bergounioux
    by Frédéric Vinot on September 29, 2021

    On the threshold between loss and its representation: masochism as a defence against the risk of depression. This article explores defensive modes of masochism based through the case study of Sarah, a 25-year-old patient who is regularly followed in psychoanalytical therapy. I will postulate the idea that fetishization of moral masochism should be seen from the perspective of melancholic processes. Drawing on several moments of her therapy, I will illustrate how the primitive idealization of the...