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Sexual Sadism: Brutal acts of violence     

The term sadism is derived from the name of the Marquis de Sade, who inflicted such cruelty on his victims for sexual purposes that he was eventually committed as insane. Sexual sadism is used to describe individuals who achieve sexual stimulation and gratification by inflicting physical or psychic pain or humiliation on a sexual partner. A closely related pattern is the practice of ‘bondage and discipline’, which may include tying a person up, hitting or spanking to enhance sexual excitement.

Individuals suffering from sexual sadism are referred to as sadists and the cruel elements of their interest suggest a psychological association with rape. The arousal of sadistic individuals thus, heavily depends upon the infliction or suffering or the appearance of it on their partners.

The pain may be inflicted by such means as whipping, biting or pinching. The act may vary in intensity from fantasy to severe mutilation and even murder. Mild degrees of sadism are involved in sexual foreplay customs of many cultures and some couples in the society enjoy it. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples regularly engage in such practices. It is important to distinguish transient or occasional interest in sadomasochistic practices from sadism as a paraphilia. Several studies have found that perhaps 5 to 10 percent of men and women enjoy sadistic or masochistic activities occasionally. Paraphilic sadism and masochism, in which sadomasochistic activities are the preferred or exclusive means to sexual gratification appear to be rare and like all paraphilias occur almost exclusively in men.

In some cases, sadistic activities lead up to or terminate in actual sexual relations. In others, full sexual gratification is obtained from the sadistic practice alone. A sadist, for instance, may slash a woman with a razor or stick her with a needle, experiencing an orgasm in the process.

Sometimes, sadistic activities are associated with animals or with fetishistic objects instead of other human beings. In other instances, gratification is achieved only if mutilation is performed directly on the victim. Many serial killers are sexual sadists. One study characterized 20 sexual sadistic serial killers, responsible for 149 murders throughout the United States and Canada. Their murders were consistent over time, reflecting sexual arousal to the pain, fear and panic of their victims. Choreographed assaults allowed them to carefully control the death of their victims.

 
 

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