General Question

Draconess25's avatar

Is being a masochist considered a mental disorder?

Asked by Draconess25 (4430 points ) April 25th, 2010

I enjoy pain. I laughed when I broke my ribs 7 years ago. Is masochism a mental disorder, or just some weird fetish?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

54 Answers

zophu's avatar

There’s a few disorders here, I think. But, might as well work with what you’ve got.

lol, “is masochism a mental disorder or a fetish?” I hope you realize how awkward that question is.

dpworkin's avatar

No. It is a harmless paraphilia, and only becomes a problem if it causes the individual pervasive distress in other areas of his or her life. Then it is a psychiatric problem, but still not a disorder.

Draconess25's avatar

@dpworkin I thought problem & disorder were synonyms?

dpworkin's avatar

A disorder is a specific diagnosis that has specific diagnostic criteria in a widely accepted international compendium of mental disease.

zophu's avatar

@dpworkin is in school for this stuff, I believe.

Draconess25's avatar

@dpworkin Okay! So I’m not nuts?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Just an uneducated guess, but wanting pain to the point of injury is not healthy. Pain without actual harm is within normal “kink range”. You need to find a partner who knows how to satisfy you without doing harm. It takes perceptiveness and skill to do this. At least get your scene and safewords understood before playing.

I could go on all day on the subject of BDSM safety. PM me if you want any specific information.

HungryGuy's avatar

It’s actually a fairly common fetish. You just need to find a dominant boyfriend who is a sadist, and you’ll both be happy. Just learn about autoclaves and safewords before you proceed…

dpworkin's avatar

@Draconess25 I don’t know whether or not you are nuts, because I don’t know you. I do know that being a masochist is perfectly normative sexual choice, shared by millions of others, and there is nothing crazy about it on its face.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Remember the mantra “hurt, don’t harm”.

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land & @HungryGuy I’m confused…. And the only way I can even feel any pain is through rather severe injury, such as the broken ribs. And I have a girlfriend who is a sadist, which I believe will suffice. She gave me some nice scars on my arms with her claws!

dpworkin's avatar

Is your choice making you unhappy? Do you find yourself wishing that you had another choice? If it’s OK with you, then you are OK. If it’s not OK with you, maybe counseling can help. I wouldn’t listen to anyone other than myself if I were you.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 Then your g/f has some learning to do. A skillful “top” should be able to deliver as much pain as needed without scarring or breaking anything. There are instruments and techniques for accomplishing this. Ever tried clover clamps or violet wand?

zophu's avatar

You got some better answers than I thought you would. Fluther is awesome. And a little creepy sometimes.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Draconess25 – Okay, you’re a masochist, and your girlfriend is a sadist. Sounds like a perfect match to me :-) As was said above, your gf just needs to learn some skills at being a dom. But that takes time. It’ll be fun for the both of you while she learns. In the meantime, if you’re in an urban area, there may be a BDSM group you can both join. They usually have “meet and greets” and/or “munches” where prospective members meet casually (no play takes place at a meet and greet or at a munch). After attending a few munches, you’ll get invited to “play parties” and other events. Many BDSM groups have sub discussion groups and dom discussion groups, as well.

liminal's avatar

Out of curiosity how old are you?

slick44's avatar

And where are your parents?

Draconess25's avatar

@liminal & @slick44 I’m 19 (20 in July). And I “officially” live with my mom & stepdad, but I probably spend more time at my girlfriends’ houses. At the moment, my mom is gone for a few hours visiting my brother in prison.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

What I was about to say was just covered quite well by @HungryGuy . I just want to clarify that I’m not a sadist by nature; I learned these techniques only for my partners pleasure and also to knowlegably “referee” sessions she had with her g/f. My partner was more into bondage than heavy pain, nonetheless I was very concerned for her physical and psychological well-being. I’m what is known as a “service top” in kink-speak.

For your own safety, make sure that your partner knows the difference between hurting and harming, and has the proper level of concern for your well-being. Don’t play with random partners in an unsupervised setting. In club-type settings there will be a “dungeon master/mistress” who functions as a safety referee and will intervene to stop any unsafe activity. The clubs usually offer classes in various techniques with an emphasis on safety as well as satisfaction.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Most definitely.

dpworkin's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Most definitely what? Are you on your Victorian “moral” high horse again? Go cleanse your anus carefully, and leave regular people alone.

zophu's avatar

Don’t fuck with him, @dpworkin . He wears black turtlenecks. Sure sign of dominance.

liminal's avatar

@Draconess25 thank you for telling me.

I agree with what dpworkin says about masochism being a normative sexual choice.

It also might be worth exploring the inability to feel with a therapist and physician. Sometimes the inability to feel physical pain can mean something is amiss such as this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congenital_insensitivity_to_pain. While this is rare it never hurts to understand ourselves better.

I mention a therapist because, sometimes, the inability to feel physically is also reflected in our inability to feel emotions. Also, in some cases, physical pain becomes the only possible way for one to feel anything. (I don’t assume this is the case for you or this is even something negative.) A good therapist is skilled at helping one explore whether certain things about us are problematic, disordered, or simply a way, of being, that we find comfortable.

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t believe he fucks at all. Unclean!

Draconess25's avatar

@liminal I don’t go to a physician (it goes against my beliefs), but thanks for the advice.

I used to feel pain, but I always had a good tolerance for it. I can still feel it, if I sit there & focus on it. But it takes a lot for me to really notice it. And then I enjoy it. I think it’s because I used to cut myself (I still do occasionally for rituals that require my blood), & because my brother nearly killed me multiple times. I think it’s my body’s way of coping with it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 The pain stimulus is putting you into an altered state of consciousness? We call it “subspace”. Getting you there safely, keeping you there as long as you wish to be and bringing you back gently (known as “aftercare”) are techniques that you and your partner can learn with proper instruction. Sometimes other things in combination (such as bondage) may help get you to your pleasure level without as much painful stimulus.

You may want to explore your motives though. Are you seeking pleasure through pain or have you convinced yourself that pain is pleasurable because you had no choice (a coping mechanism)? It sounds like you’ve been severely abused. It may take an expert therapist to help you explore that connection.

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land It used to be to cope, but now I genuinely enjoy it. I’m not traumatized or anything; I thank my brother for giving me strength. I still wouldn’t care less if he fell drunk in a ditch & died, but he taught me how to fight people twice his size.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 OK, but you can get to the pleasure level without doing permanent harm to your body. It’s the pain/pleasure you want, not the damage, right?

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Damage doesn’t really matter to me. If there’s lasting pain, so more the better for me. Scars are merely trophies.

zophu's avatar

Reanalyze the essence of your beliefs concerning medical help. Medicine is a useful tool, and you don’t have to follow the physician’s way to get his help. With the therapists, though, you may have a point. . . But there is some basic psychological help that one can receive without being over-analyzed and shit if you ever really need it. Point is, I don’t see why medicine shouldn’t be taken advantage of, even though there’s so much corruption and incompetence surrounding the subject.

dpworkin's avatar

Medical attention can help you keep going a lot longer with what you want to do. You just need to find a sympathetic MD, and that can be done through referral at a BDSM site, or from BDSM friends.

Draconess25's avatar

@zophu & @dpworkin I don’t believe in putting any chemicals in my body. Physicians way too often recommend drugs. I haven’t taken aspirin, Tylenol, cough medicine, antibiotics, or any other drug for almost 8 years. But I will drink, if it’s organic alcohol.

dpworkin's avatar

You can always refuse to take the drugs. You’re the boss, not the MD.

Draconess25's avatar

@dpworkin But then, what’s the point of going? I usually go to a Shaman who lives on the edge of town. She grows a lot of medicinal herbs in her backyard, & if she can’t grow it, she’ll have it imported.

dpworkin's avatar

Ahh, well, from your point of view you have satisfactory medical help.

liminal's avatar

@Draconess25 Have you spoken to the Shaman about this?

Draconess25's avatar

@dpworkin Now, if only she grew pot!
@liminal Yes. She gives me marigold to prevent infection.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 There are therapists who understand the BDSM community and won’t judge you (my late wife was one). All they will do is help you explore who you are and where you want to go in your life. Just helping you to ask yourself the right questions, not to “change” you into anyone you don’t wish to become. It’s sad that a bright and beautiful young person would seek out physical injury, it’s so unnecessary.

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Well, I’ve always lived for my own enjoyment.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 When you know yourself better, your enjoyment will be better. Whatever your decisions, please know that there are people who care about you.

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Of course people care about me!

If you’re created, you’re in this world for a purpose. Which means someone, somewhere out there, cares about you!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Draconess25 People who care don’t want to see you destroy yourself with unnecessary physical harm. Is it part of your purpose to needlessly damage your body?

Draconess25's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Who knows? Some people never know their purpose.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@dpworkin Those ugly words you expouse can only reflect your character and personal attacks of me. I notice you always refer to the anus and how dirty it is. You definitely have an “anal complex”. But as shit be, shit is. Lol. ( And yes, no worries about fucking. I don’t even think you know what the word fuck means, since you are so stuck up in your own anus!) :P

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@zophu Thank you my friend. I loved that! ;)

dpworkin's avatar

My dear @MRSHINYSHOES, you don’t remember lecturing me about all the extra steps you take while wiping after a bowel movement? Do you know the meaning of the psychodynamic concept called “projection”?

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@dpworkin Lol-lol…..you are still stuck on that? My my you ARE anal!!! You are also the hypocrite. You always tell us how well your wife treats you, how much you appreciate her, how sweet she is, etc. and trying to portray yourself as “so chivalrous”, yet you go around here picking on people and acting so nasty and rude. You are the biggest hypocrite dpworkin. Good day, I am leaving this thread. Heh.

zophu's avatar

Stop trying to analyze each other so much, bring it back a few notches and get back to more entertaining insults.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I happen to enjoy painful sex and laugh when I almost fell face first bringing in groceies. Don’t worry about a mental disorder. Your just fine. :)

zophu's avatar

Yeah, it’s just the self-mutilation you should keep tabs on. Very, very rarely is there a good reason to damage one’s body. And it’s never just for the sake pleasure. Scars are one thing, but things can get fucked up when people over-glorify the pleasure from pain.

Draconess25's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1 I hope you weren’t carrying any eggs!

SeventhSense's avatar

Sure is to me. Maybe not technically but certainly not normal.

dpworkin's avatar

@SeventhSense Who decides what’s normal? What does normal even mean? Remember Terentius who said “Nothing human is alien to me.”

(Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto)

SeventhSense's avatar

@dpworkin
I think it’s decided by who you’d let babysit your kids.

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