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The Psychology of Bondage and Masochism


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#1 Reaper

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 05:54 PM

As some of you may know, there are some groups of people who use bondage as a tool for sexual pleasure. It seems though that, unless in cases where one is raping another, that this is completely voluntary for both sides. It sparked my curiosity because I've been wondering what exactly the person who gets tied up gets out of it? Or more specifically, why they would want to be a masochist in the first place? How does the thought of being abused actually arouse a person?

I also heard of people who have fantasies of being raped, and this does serve as a source of some sexual pleasure, even though they would not want to be forced in real life.

Any thoughts?
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#2 Realitycheck

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 08:22 PM

Some people are compelled, for unknown or various reason, to be out of control, to be dominated. Fetishes are a real wildcard. People can come up with infinite reasons to come up with any rationale. Some people believe that the caveman had his bitch for as long as cavemen were considered cavemen, and the last few thousand years of civilized development really don't matter. In their minds, they want to be living out their idea of what being human, throughout history, is really about, not to mention going back to their animal roots.

As far as S&M goes, you have people who like to "play" with bondage, but don't really get into the pain aspect, then you have the real S&M'ers, of which, I couldn't really tell you exactly what gets them off. I would call it a sickness more than anything. They get off to it because a sick subculture gets off to it. They probably say things to themselves like, "Love is so out. This is where the real action is." Does pain really cause pleasure for them? Just because they have let themselves believe that it does, that's what I would say. They probably get some pleasure out of letting their partner get some pleasure out of it. It takes two to tango, you know. :)
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#3 Sisyphus

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 10:26 PM

Ha, I find it amusing that you find the masochistic half so baffling, yet the sadism part apparently seems perfectly natural to you... :P

Anyway, my feeling about S&M is that it is not terribly far removed from the psychology of "ordinary" sexual pleasure. Much of sex is about playing subtle games of control, and of the thrill of losing one's inhibitions and making oneself vulnerable to another. I don't think that's particularly sick. It's about the thrill of trusting your partner to such an extreme degree both physically and in letting no desire remain hidden. The thrill of letting go, in other words, which is what erotic passion is all about.

The body certainly goes along with it, too. Pain receptors are greatly dulled during sexual arousal, but the pain still releases endorphins, bringing pleasure. And any act which becomes associated in the brain with sex brings pleasure as well.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

#4 Realitycheck

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 10:37 PM

Ha, I find it amusing that you find the masochistic half so baffling, yet the sadism part apparently seems perfectly natural to you... :P


Who exactly are you talking about here?
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#5 CPL.Luke

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 10:38 PM

the bondage bit isn't so hard to understand, being able to use someone for your own sexual pleasure can be quite arousing, some people love the feeling of having no control in the situation. the rituals leading up to sexual intercourase can be so cumberome that some people wish that sex just happened (on both sides of the issue).
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#6 Sisyphus

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 12:10 AM

Who exactly are you talking about here?


I was talking about the OP, which expressed bewilderment about masochism but didn't mention its counterpart (sadism), unintentionally implying that it didn't seem strange, which I found amusing. Although your hilariously Victorian attitudes are pretty funny, as well. "Love is so out?" Really? So only repressed squares who have sex through a hole in a sheet can love each other?
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

#7 bascule

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 12:58 AM

So only repressed squares who have sex through a hole in a sheet can love each other?


Is that a UCB reference?
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#8 Realitycheck

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:20 AM

So only repressed squares who have sex through a hole in a sheet can love each other?


Well actually, I did a case study on a typical caveman coupled with a trust fund college girl, starting about a month after I got out of a weeklong coma. (Duuuuuuhhhhhhhh) It was kind of funny. He dominated, she tried to change him (out of pity?), he dominated, she played with him, sooner or later, I made some new friends.
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#9 foodchain

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:25 AM

Some people are compelled, for unknown or various reason, to be out of control, to be dominated. Fetishes are a real wildcard. People can come up with infinite reasons to come up with any rationale. Some people believe that the caveman had his bitch for as long as cavemen were considered cavemen, and the last few thousand years of civilized development really don't matter. In their minds, they want to be living out their idea of what being human, throughout history, is really about, not to mention going back to their animal roots.

As far as S&M goes, you have people who like to "play" with bondage, but don't really get into the pain aspect, then you have the real S&M'ers, of which, I couldn't really tell you exactly what gets them off. I would call it a sickness more than anything. They get off to it because a sick subculture gets off to it. They probably say things to themselves like, "Love is so out. This is where the real action is." Does pain really cause pleasure for them? Just because they have let themselves believe that it does, that's what I would say. They probably get some pleasure out of letting their partner get some pleasure out of it. It takes two to tango, you know. :)


Well, you can find social hierarchies in primates, as well with humans, but we donít make a taboo out of it. I also cant say past casual speculation of course is the reasons are biological for such patterns of behavior, nor do I think the same could be said of sexual lifestyles really. I mean sexual reproduction is biological, but then again people did not evolve directly into modern metropolitan cities. I Donít know where you would draw the line between hardwired aspects of being human such as having two thumbs, to the hardwired aspect of what people do with two thumbs, to basically just whatís allowable or what an organism can express really. I mean even the savage tiger can seem to live a more tamed lifestyle. I also donít remember when people left behind there animal roots exactly, to whatever thatís to mean I also donít understand. I mean no matter what I do or think, I am simply being a human organism, this never ceases to change does it? I donít think it does for people in general, or life in general.
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#10 Sisyphus

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:28 AM

Is that a UCB reference?


Why would you even want to have sex with a machine?
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

#11 ParanoiA

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 02:32 AM

It sparked my curiosity because I've been wondering what exactly the person who gets tied up gets out of it? Or more specifically, why they would want to be a masochist in the first place? How does the thought of being abused actually arouse a person?


Seems to me that's almost like asking how someone likes the taste of chocolate. And isn't there supposed to be a corollation between high intelligence and sexual deviance? So maybe you are just unable to understand... ;)

They get off to it because a sick subculture gets off to it. They probably say things to themselves like, "Love is so out. This is where the real action is." Does pain really cause pleasure for them? Just because they have let themselves believe that it does, that's what I would say.


Are you serious? Because of a sick subculture? They probably say things to themselves like...?

While it is true that some S&M enthusiasts get pretty..uh extreme, most people into S&M, bondage and so forth don't "live it". That's where this weird imagery and this need to pass judgement seems to come from. It's not a lifestyle, it's a type of sex - intimacy. For most anyway. Some people go to the extreme and turn it into a lifestyle, but hey, they're happy and it gives me something to watch late night on HBO...
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#12 Realitycheck

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 03:25 AM

Are you serious? Because of a sick subculture? They probably say things to themselves like...?


What I meant was something like ... it's there and it could be a new avenue to take things to a next level of depravity. Its existence perpetuates itself, along with any rationale to justify it. If it didn't exist, then there would be no reason to try it. Next on the list could be a plastic bag suffocation fetish. The exact why really is beyond me.
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#13 someguy

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 04:01 AM

when you were born via evolution your body was designed to like certain things and dislike others. these were features of our previous animal state before we could "know". you would choose what to eat, not because you know of nutrition and you read the ingredients, because you think it smells good. so if you want to eat healthy all you need to do is not eat anything with artificial flavors and just trust your taste, unless your taste genes have been too modified since those animal days. you are afraid of heights because falling from high will kill you. you like sex because it makes babies, you don't like getting injured because it could cause you to die. but since we invented technology we can survive genetic "defects" that otherwise in nature would have had us killed. therefore some people like the "wrong" types of food, some people are not afraid of heights and some people like "pain". but they probably don't feel pain exactly like you do it feels different to them, it feels like something to like. just like some people hate some food you like, some of it is from eating habits that grow on you but also people perceive different flavours differently since birth. Anyways, that's one reason why we can have masochists and that's why they can like it. but probably, some, for some reason, due to some experience want the same pain you experience for example like that dude in da vinci code. but i find that more difficult to swallow when you associate it with sex. I would tend to associate at least the large majority of those instances with people that perceive pain differently than the majority of human beings. it may also be possible that certain pain gets associated with something good and after a while that specific kind of pain gets desired by association, like what happened to george on seinfeld when he started eating during sex. but still even masochists must all have a certain threshold of pain they can't bare or that they dislike because otherwise they would die and that kind of gene would get eliminated.
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#14 Reaper

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 04:59 PM

And isn't there supposed to be a corollation between high intelligence and sexual deviance?



Damn you figured me out :D.



Ha, I find it amusing that you find the masochistic half so baffling, yet the sadism part apparently seems perfectly natural to you... :P


I didn't include sadism because I have a good understanding of what drives a person to do that. Of course, it depends on the person because there are differing reasons for why one is a sadist.

Pain receptors are greatly dulled during sexual arousal, but the pain still releases endorphins, bringing pleasure. And any act which becomes associated in the brain with sex brings pleasure as well.


This is certainly true.

I was kinda looking at this from an evolutionary viewpoint, as to why someone would want this. Or better yet, if this has any survival value. An organism is driven to survive, and by my understanding, being aroused by the thought of being tortured or abused, or actively seeking it, would run contrary to an organism's survival.
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#15 Vader

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:20 PM

It sparked my curiosity because I've been wondering what exactly the person... gets out of it? Or more specifically, why they would want to be a masochist in the first place? How does the thought of being abused actually arouse a person?


This is a very old thread - if it had been any earlier than July or so of 2007 I might not have answered at ALL - but I registered here mostly for the sole purpose of replying to this thread. (I'd been Googling two old articles; one I wrote and one I refer people to often, and this came up in my results.)

The fact that I keep seeing things like this

I would call it a sickness more than anything. They get off to it because a sick subculture gets off to it. They probably say things to themselves like, "Love is so out. This is where the real action is." Does pain really cause pleasure for them? Just because they have let themselves believe that it does, that's what I would say.


really upsets me.

Seriously, what the hell.

I mean, I'm VERY open, and I do not really get offended by these sorts of opinions - pfft, if I did, I wouldn't last five minutes in the 'real world" - but I've come here to make you guys an offer. I've noticed that absolutely NO ONE ON THIS THREAD currently discussing the issue has any or much experience WITH it.

I, on the other hand, have been a submissive for fifteen years, am currently IN a relationship in which I receive... a "firm hand" in several formats, and am a "lifestyler"; I'm not someone's "slave" 24/7, I don't go grocery shopping on a leash, you ken - but if this thread still interests you, or ANYONE, I could give you a unique and first-hand perspective from the inside. It might be a LOT different from what you expect. I'd be happy to answer your questions.... IF, that is, people can at least TRY to be polite? Hopefully?

I also pass this article around to new friends of mine or people to whom I have difficulty explaining it to - it helps some of them a LOT.

http://health.yahoo....101-000036.html

Let me know! I SHOULD get e-mail replies if someone answers this, so feel free. I'd be happy to discuss it; when it comes to that, I am not shy in the least. Proud OF it.

drowning_jedi@livejournal.com : Personal e-mail
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thechosensithapprentice on Y! Messenger. (My "spare time" aliases.)

Cheers! ;)
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#16 Arienette

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:58 AM

I would have to agree with Vader. I also made this account almost strictly for disproving the ignorance expressed above, although now that I'm here, it seems pretty cool. :)

For one thing, BDSM should be thought of as an ORIENTATION. Participants could be of any gender, but the idea is the same: you can't deny it, you can't hide it, it's not a choice, and in my opinion you are born that way. If you can have sexual fantasies before you really know what sex is, this is what I fantasized about. No, I was not abused. No, I am not psychotic, although depression is a bitch. No, I can't think of any weird Freudian reason why I would feel this way, aside from simply: it turns me on. I can't get off otherwise, if you will. Can a gay man enjoy sex with a woman? Likewise, a devotee of BDSM can't get what they need out of sex unless they acknowledge these wishes.

If I must psychoanalyze myself as a submissive, I would say that it is because I am too shy to relinquish control "naturally," so this makes it a lot easier. There's not as much pressure. But I believe that it is quite possible that these traits are unrelated, and that I am into BDSM because I am into BDSM. I fully consider it a sexual orientation, which makes me sympathetic to the cause of Gay Rights and other sexual minorities that are considered "weird" or "freaky" or "wrong." It's not wrong. Taste in sex is like taste in ice cream: you can't change what you like, so you might as well acknowledge your desires. It's just that us BDSMers happen to like fudge-ripple instead of vanilla. :)
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#17 magi13

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 07:35 PM

I'm new here, and I was browsing for some topics to digest. >:D and this thread caught my eye.

Anyway, returning to the topic. Are there any studies currently being done with respect to S&M?
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#18 TooFastForLove

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Posted 9 April 2009 - 05:23 AM

Society typically views S&M behaviour the same way in which masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, and homosexuality were once viewed.

It has been suggested not only that the widespread beliefs about masochism are invalid but also that “sadomasochism may simply be a form of sex play, providing those individuals with sufficiently adventurous attitudes towards sex with the experience of intense and intimate encounters.” Cross and Matheson. (2006).

Sexuality is part of our continued existence, not only for procreation but for a deeper connection to something mystical. We need to expand our enlightenment of sex beyond those few things scientists know how to count and measure and appreciate that there's a supernatural element to it that we need to respect.

There is research going on but the need for more empirical research is much needed.

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Kleinplatz, Ph.D., P. J., & Moser, Ph.D., M.D. (2003, May 19). DSM-IV-TR. Retrieved January 25, 2009 from www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/MoserKleinplatz.htm

Edited by TooFastForLove, 9 April 2009 - 05:23 AM.
Consecutive posts merged.

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#19 A Childs Mind

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Posted 9 April 2009 - 07:34 PM

And isn't there supposed to be a corollation between high intelligence and sexual deviance?




Wut dose intelegence have anything to do with a sexual devience.. i dont think when your having sex your thinking about if there relly could be an end to pie

well i guse you could.....be a math fetish

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they're happy and it gives me something to watch late night on HBO...



aparently you find some sourt of emusmint out of S&M if you watch it on TV

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What I meant was something like ... it's there and it could be a new avenue to take things to a next level of depravity. Its existence perpetuates itself, along with any rationale to justify it. If it didn't exist, then there would be no reason to try it. Next on the list could be a plastic bag suffocation fetish. The exact why really is beyond me.


and wuts the promblem with that. were humans. we dont mate for instenct we do it cus it fells good. and if we find the smallest things that makes it more enjoyable than will do it
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:confused:Why am I the one seeing this world from my point of view. why cant anyone else see wut is see:confused:

#20 Sayonara

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Posted 9 April 2009 - 07:45 PM

Wut dose intelegence have anything to do with a sexual devience.. i dont think when your having sex your thinking about if there relly could be an end to pie

Are you sure you understand what "correlation" means?

A correlation is an apparent relationship between two variables; in this case intelligence and degree of sexual deviance.

Reaper asked the question "isn't there supposed to be a corollation between high intelligence and sexual deviance?"

He is not stating that it is the case, nor has he drawn any conclusions from it.

Whether or not it is the case, a visible correlation between intelligence and sexual deviance would only indicate that one seems to vary with the other. In other words, as intelligence goes up, so do the chances of sexual deviance (in a measured population, not in an individual). It doesn't tell you how or why this relationship exists, nor does it have anything to do with people calculating pi while they are having sex.

we dont mate for instenct we do it cus it fells good. and if we find the smallest things that makes it more enjoyable than will do it

I think as far as this thread goes the question is why do those things make it more enjoyable for some people and not others?
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The Dictionary is not a technical resource.





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