What Is Sexual Masochism Disorder?

Sexual Masochism Disorder

Sexual masochism disorder (SMD) is the condition of experiencing recurring and intense sexual arousal in response to enduring moderate or extreme pain, suffering, or humiliation

Sexual masochism involves the thought or experience of being humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer to have sexual arousal. 

Let’s take a look at the traits of sexual masochistic personality. 

Behaviors associated with sexual masochism disorder such as binding, sticking with pins, electric shock, or mutilation, can be carried out alone or with a partner by carrying out the following:

  • Physical restraint 
  • Blindfolding
  • Paddling
  • Spanking
  • Whipping
  • Beating
  • Cutting
  • Humiliation

It can also include demeaning acts such as being urinated or defecated upon, being forced to crawl and bark like a dog, being verbally abused, and being forced to cross-dress.

A sexual masochist is a person who derives sexual arousal by being humiliated, beaten, or made to suffer. 

Different people have different ways of being sexually aroused, and masochism is one such way. Sexual masochism is synonymous with sexual sadism. 

Let me take you through what sexual masochism means in a few minutes.

Causes of sexual masochism disorder

Sexual masochism disorder (SMD) is one aspect of the paraphilic disorder, the other aspect is sadism disorder. 

SMD is a sexual act that causes significant distress and greatly impairs a person’s functionality. 

One thing that could trigger sexual masochism disorder may be as a result of a battle of will that arises between a developing child and an over-controlling parent.

This could cause the growing child to suppress their sexual fantasy. 

There are a few things that may lead to sexual masochism disorder and they are listed below:

  • Sexual impulsivity: This is the tendency of a person to continually engage in sexual activity without stopping. It could be as a result of early involvement of sexual activity, unsafe sexual practices such as involving in unprotected sexual intercourse, having multiple sex partners, and having sex with partners with high risk.
  • Hypersexuality changes over time: This is described as a way of dysfunctionally preoccupying oneself with sexual behaviors, urges, or fantasies that are difficult to control.
  • Suppression of sexual fantasies: This is synonymous with sexual repression. It is the state in which a person is prevented from expressing their sexuality, and this could lead to an increase in such thoughts. 
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Traits of sexual masochistic disordered personality

  • A sexual masochist will work to the point of exhaustion to meet up targets, which is abusive to self if they push themselves to their limits and beyond.
  • They feel humiliated inside but take extra steps not to show people around how they truly feel.
  • They feel unloved to a point where they work extra hard to be accepted by those around them. However, in most cases, they continue to feel that nothing they do is ever enough. 
  • A sexual masochist is always attacked by his inner person about everything they do, thereby pushing them to the extremes to prove their worth.
  • They may be attracted to an abusive relationship where they would continue to be humiliated and shamed. 

Generally, it’s not unusual for sexual masochists to endure pain, and hide the fact that they are hurting. This is the only way they feel they can maintain some sense of pride in themselves.

How to identify a sexual masochism disorder patient

One other aspect to take note of when looking at SMD is how to identify a person going through this situation. 

Three main ways to identify them include the following:

  • The sufferers have repeatedly had intense arousal by being humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise being abused. Such arousal is expressed in fantasies, intense urges, or behaviors.
  • Their fantasies, strong and deep urges, or behaviors can cause them significant distress or impair their functioning at work. These factors can also manifest in social gatherings or other important areas.
  • The affected persons have been experiencing sexual masochistic disorder for no less than 6 months.
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Effects of sexual masochism disorder. 

Sexual masochism disorder can affect a person in several ways, causing the individual at least one of the following:

  • Guilt: Guilt is a sense of regret or feeling responsible for having sexual masochism disorder. It is a mental state of being continually in a depressed mood or loss of interest in activities that cause significant impairment in daily life. 
  • Shame: This is a feeling of embarrassment or humiliation that arises as a result of knowing that you have SDM. 
  • Obsessive thoughts about engaging in sexual masochism: These are a series of thoughts, which are often accompanied by negative judgments that arise from the knowledge of being an SMD patient. These may include thought of bodily harm, the need to get drunk, and in some cases, suicidal thoughts.
  • Severe anxiety: This is a mental health disorder that is accompanied by feelings of worry and fear that is strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.

One question that might be running through your mind is “are there solutions to sexual masochism disorder?”

Thankfully, there are generally solutions to very complicated issues and SMD is no different.

Now let’s look at how to handle sexual masochism disorder. 

Ways of treating sexual masochism disorder

If you are dealing with this sexual condition, then here is good news for you. There are two proven methods of handling sexual masochism disorder.

Though these two methods of treating sexual masochism disorder are yet to be hundred percent approved, they have helped in calming the situations. The solutions include the list below:

  • Medication: Certain medications may be used to decrease testosterone levels and, in turn, reduce the occurrence of erections. A bit extreme but completely effective. 
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Additionally, antidepressant medications may be prescribed to reduce overall sex drive.

  • Psychotherapy: The purpose and goal of therapy is to uncover and work through root causes of unwanted, distressful behaviors. More specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which has to do with effectively restructuring your thoughts and beliefs that may inspire you to engage in harmful behavior. It may also help you learn new skills that will prove important to resisting sexual urges.


As mentioned earlier, humans have different ways of attaining sexual arousal. Some prefer it the masochistic way, and getting aroused through sexual masochism isn’t entirely problematic. Nonetheless, it should be in check before it results in a disorder. 

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