Sadomasochism (SM) refers to the combination of sadism (inflicting pain) and masochism (receiving pain) to derive pleasure and sexual gratification. It can include the infliction of or submitting to physical or emotional pain.
If used in a sane and consensual relationship, dancing the fine line between pleasure and pain can be very erotic and gratifying.
Practicing sadomasochism (SM) can range from playful to extreme. It can be physical or mental.
Most people have engaged in gentle biting, spanking, hair pulling, or scratching as part of sexual play. These activities fall into SM. At the other end of the spectrum you have play piercing, flogging, public humiliation, and degradation.
According to studies conducted during the 1950s, about 50% of adults get an erotic response from being bitten. However, it is believed that extreme SM practices are embraced by a small group of people. Another survey found that about 5 percent of adults reported gaining pleasure from inflicting or receiving pain.
As with most sexual practices, if SM is practiced in a safe relationship with consenting adults it can be a way to add spice to the bedroom.
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