I realised that we’ve used the term Sadist quite a lot on this site without ever really defining it. Even our Sadist’s Philosophy of Pain doesn’t really define the term.
A sadist is a person who enjoys inflicting pain and/or humiliation on another, or observing others being hurt or humiliated, either for power and control or for sexual arousal.
That would answer the question if the question was “what is a sadist?”, but perhaps the more interesting question is “why?”. Why is a Sadist?
Of course there will be as many answers to that as there are Sadists, so I’m not going to pretend to have the magic universal motivation in my drawer. Instead, I’ll give you a range of answers from some Sadists:
• “I find focusing on another person while I am inflicting pain relaxing. It is like going to a different world where the only thing that exists is me and the other person.”
• “I enjoy the reaction. The manipulation really excites me.”
• “I think it’s the intensity that moves me. I’m all about traversing boundaries and pushing the envelope, and as a sadist I get to do that using the body and sensations of someone else. It’s also a way of exchanging trust between the masochist and myself, and it can be a way of expressing affection.”
• “There is something about watching the trust in their eyes, slowly move to a trusting fear. The pleasure they get from not knowing where it might lead or how far it may go. Their body is my playground, and whilst they feel absolutely beautiful under the unmoving gaze I provide them in my eyes, their body becomes my masterpiece.”
• “Power. Having someone give you their body, it’s an incredibly powerful experience.”
• “Getting her so dizzy in the pain or the mix of pain and arousal that she leaves reality. I have her brain in my hands, and the only thing that exists is us, in that intricate dance. As a consequence, we land together. Slowly coming back to reality while our connection deepens.”
• “Personally, it’s an emotional release for me….usually a controlled/tempered release”
• “I enjoy the reactions, the sounds they make, the rush of adrenaline, the closeness/tactile experience with their body and knowing that someone is getting turned on by the pain I’m inflicting on them.”
Is there common ground in these comments? I think so. Many Sadists love the power, the thrill and the mutual pleasure. But also within the responses there is another common theme – the reward is often the ability to connect on a much deeper level and the bond that’s formed.