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.

  • Paraphilic Interests Versus Behaviors: Factors that Distinguish Individuals Who Act on Paraphilic Interests From Individuals Who Refrain
    by Lauryn Vander Molen on June 14, 2022

    Little is known about distinct factors linked with acting on paraphilic interests or refraining from engaging in paraphilic behaviors. Participants from Canada and the United States (N = 744), aged 19-42 years (M = 29.2; SD = 3.18), were recruited through Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Participants completed questionnaires about their paraphilic interests and behaviors, as well as potential key factors linked to behavioral engagement (i.e., perceptions of consent, sexual excitation/inhibition,...

  • Crying the pain away: the nature, measurement, and function of benign masochism
    by Samantha P Spoor on May 18, 2022

    This study explores benign masochism, the ostensibly non-adaptive enjoyment of inherently aversive experiences (e.g., rollercoasters). After confirming the proposed eight-factor structure of the Benign Masochism Scale (BMS), gender differences in BMS scores and their association with measures of acculturation were examined to assess if benign masochism reflects degree of immersion in the dominant culture. Data were then used to test the hypothesis that benign masochism serves an emotion...

  • Paula J. Caplan (1947-2021)
    by Joan C Chrisler on February 10, 2022

    Memorializes Paula J. Caplan (1947-2021). Caplan was a leading scholar in feminist psychology, and an early contributor to the feminist critique and re-visioning of psychology. In her now-classic books The Myth of Women's Masochism; Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship; and Between Women: Lowering the Barriers she took particular aim at psychoanalytic theories that women are inherently masochistic and unable to form loving bonds with their mothers and female friends. She...

  • Pathways and Patterns of Entrance into BDSM
    by Alicia M Walker on January 14, 2022

    Prior limited research on entrance into BDSM divided paths of entry into external or internal factors (Yosta & Hunter, 2012), while research on age at entry into BDSM has not considered variation by BDSM role identity, gender, sexual orientation, and other demographic differences. In this mixed-methods exploratory study, we contribute to this literature by collecting and analyzing qualitative interviews with 96 self-described practitioners of BDSM to more fully describe distinct pathways into...