Whip in hand, cold hard chains, studded boots and spiked gloves: you would think that these are training and taming instruments for a wild beast.

This, of course, would only be applicable if you did not think they would make an awesome addition to your kink-cupboard. In the words of Rihanna: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.”

This, fellow students, is not for the faint-hearted.  Sadomasochism, receiving sexual pleasure from acts which involve giving and getting either pain or humiliation. This would be the perfect time to wonder why you enjoyed giving/receiving that hicky last week Saturday in the dark and dingy corners of Hatfield. There is nothing like “vampire-like” role-playing to get the blood flowing, huh?

Unlike hippies or emos, sadomasochism is a very taboo culture. There are three subdivisions of this social phenomenon: bondage and discipline, dominance and submission,  and sadism (the act of enjoying hurting or humiliating other people) and masochism (the enjoyment of things that seem painful). These terms originate from the names of two authors, Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch respectively, based on their popular writings regarding aggressive and possibly violent sexual behaviour.

You may have heard of the couple in Germany, who was arrested for public indecency. The woman was dragging her husband, who was on all fours and stark naked, around a shopping centre with a leash around his neck. When questioned, the couple said they were engaging in what they considered normal sexual activity for them, and thought that it was okay if nobody was getting hurt.

Why do people engage in sadomasochist behaviour though?  According to modern psychology, the answer largely depends on the individual. For some, being obedient, helpless and submissive offers some form of therapeutic escape from guilt, responsibility or stress. For others, being under the control of a powerful presence evokes the feeling of safety and protection. A sadist, on the other hand, derives pleasure from playing an authoritative and controlling role. This satisfies the ego while feeding his or her sexual needs.

Spanking is one of the most common and subtle ways to show sadomasochist pleasure. Do you ever wonder why you enjoyed that little surprise beating? Newsweek recently reported on a study which showed how heavy spanking eventually affects a child, making them more likely to coerce their partner into sadomasochistic play later on in life. According to one leading researcher on the subject, “The more children are spanked, the more aggressive they are.” She also noted that they “may learn that sometimes there’s pain and fear involved in loving relationships.”

People have died while participating in sadomasochist activity. A Tennessee man was tied up by his wife and gagged with his head wrapped in duct tape, leaving only his nostril slits to breathe through. The authorities said that he was left that way, while his wife spent the night with another man. She returned 20 hours later to find him dead. Not so sexy anymore, is it?

As much as the motto “a whip a day keeps the boredom away” could result in an exciting lifestyle, there are probably less harmful ways to explore one’s sense of adventure. Although, we here at Perdeby never try and prescribe a way of life, so we will let you discover that all by yourselves. Good luck.

Image: Gustav Reyneke

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