Updated: DECEMBER 28, 2016

Bathysadism is a subconscious desire or tendency for taking pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, from the pain and suffering of others. Unlike sadists, bathysadists are unlikely to ever act upon their sadistic desires. If they do, they are likely to feel guilt or shame about their actions.

Lexicographer J.E. Schmidt coined the term bathysadism by combining the words bathys, the Greek word for deep, and sadism.

More About Bathysadism

A bathysadist may fantasize or dream about sadistic acts without ever acting upon them. They may also never realize their subconscious sadistic nature unless they are exposed to certain triggers. Therapy may also help bathysadists understand their subconscious sadistic desires.

Some people suggest that we are all bathysadists, or subconscious sadists. These people suggest that we all take some pleasure in the suffering of others, but that we can be comfortable with this as we repress and fail to acknowledge this sadistic tendency.


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