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Brad Sagarin, James Ambler, Ellen Lee, & Kathryn Klement Northern Illinois University.

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Presentation on theme: "Brad Sagarin, James Ambler, Ellen Lee, & Kathryn Klement Northern Illinois University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brad Sagarin, James Ambler, Ellen Lee, & Kathryn Klement Northern Illinois University

2 Sadism would … correspond to an aggressive component of the sexual instinct which has become independent and exaggerated and has been brought to the foreground by displacement. Freud (1938)

3 [Masochism is] nothing but a continuation of sadism directed at one’s own person in which the latter at first takes the place of the sexual object. Freud (1938)

4 [Masochism is] a peculiar perversion of the psychical sexual life in which the individual … is controlled by the idea of being completely and unconditionally subject to the will of a person of the opposite sex; of being treated by this person as by a master, humiliated and abused. Krafft-Ebing (1965)

5 Abused as children Irrational guilt Filled with unconscious rage and the desire for revenge Fragile sense of identity Indistinct personal boundaries between themselves and others Ross (1997)

6 Men Women “Pleasant thrills” from inflicting pain “Pleasant thrills” from receiving pain 51% 32% 28% 29%

7 Clinical CriminalConsensual

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9  Higher education and income  Higher divorce rate  No higher incidence of childhood abuse  Socially well adjusted

10  Many realize SM tendencies at an early age:  Gay men before straight men (all before 16 yrs)  Men before women

11  Partner selection, power dynamics, and sexual bargaining in self-defined BDSM couples (Cutler, 2003)  Great diversity in relationships  Compatibility ≠ identical kinks  Sexual gift-giving

12 Sagarin et al. (2009)

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17  132 respondents  56 women, 73 men, 3 transgendered individuals  Ages  Recruited in Southern California via through BDSM clubs and organizations

18  Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2, 567 items)  Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III, 175 items)  Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI, 100 items)  Postraumatic Stress Disorder Scale (PDS, 49 items)  Multiscale Dissociation Inventory (MDI, 30 items)  Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II, 21 items)  Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI, 21 items)

19 Depression Anxiety Obsessive-compulsion PTSD Dissociation Psychological sadism Psychological masochism Narcissism Borderline pathology Paranoia Depression Anxiety Obsessive-compulsion PTSD Dissociation Psychological sadism Psychological masochism Narcissism Borderline pathology Paranoia

20 BDSM practitioners lower than normative samples BDSM practitioners not statistically different BDSM practitioners higher than normative samples DepressionObsessive-compulsionDissociation AnxietyNarcissism PTSD Psychological sadism Psychological masochism Borderline pathology Paranoia Out of body experiences Missing one’s freeway exit because one’s mind is elsewhere Ego self- involvement Connolly (2006)

21 Physiological short term changes in the brain caused by SM related activities

22 Flow Csikszentimihályi (1991) The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one.

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24 1. Engagement in activity chosen for its own sake 2. Perceived challenges are high while skill level is also high 3. Clear goals that are regarded important 4. Immediate feedback indicating success at task 5. Highly focused attention

25 1. Intense concentration on task 2. Deep sense of involvement and merging of action and awareness 3. Sense of control over one’s actions 4. Enjoyment in activity 5. Distorted sense of time

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27 The self is sometimes burdensome  "The greater the demands in my outside life, the likelier I am to feel submissive sexually." Baumeister (1988) Wiseman (1996)

28 Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DL): Important for directed attention, temporal integration, and working memory Working memory deficits cause: Less abstract thinking Less access to memory Less self-reflective consciousness Less cognitive flexibility  These lead to subjective changes in consciousness Dietrich (2003)

29 Common experiences of altered states of consciousness: time distortions disinhibition from social constraints changes in focused attention Transient Hypofrontality States -Runner’s High -Meditation -Dreaming -Day dreaming -Hypnosis -Various Drug Highs Specific variations: reduction of pain feelings of floating feelings of peacefulness little consistent logic difficulty with memory feeling of living in the here and now little active decision making Dietrich (2003)

30 “With my girl, she was punishing me, and I felt a deep sense of pain and pleasure, sort of a one with nature and my environment, it was incredible.” “It’s very dreamlike. I knew that I felt good, and I was aware of my partner, but I was not paying attention to anything else.” “I felt intense pleasure and pain, I almost felt like I was flying and for a moment I thought I would pass out. I felt like I was separating from my own body.” “An almost trance like state. Pain didn’t exist in any form.” “While bottoming with my partner, I was able to let go to the point of losing touch with reality while my partner spanked me.” “While being dominated I stepped back inside myself. After getting the rush from playing I lost track of what was going on, nothing seemed to affect me while I was down inside myself.”

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33 Read the word

34 Green

35 Red

36 Blue

37 Yellow

38 Name the color

39 XXXXX

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43 Read the word

44 Yellow

45 Green

46 Blue

47 Red

48 Name the color

49 Green

50 Red

51 Yellow

52 Blue

53 Correlation does not imply causation!

54  Recruited switches willing to be randomly assigned to the top or bottom role  Friday, March 29 th, 2013 at the Arizona Power Exchange (APEX)  With generous support from:

55  14 participants, 10 women, 4 men  Mean age= 40.86, SD=12.46, Range:  Sexual Orientation  1 gay/lesbian  10 bisexual/pansexual  3 heterosexual  Race  All participants were Caucasian

56  BDSM experience (years)  M=6.86, SD= 5.07, Range: 1-17  BDSM experience (# scenes)  M=386.65, SD= , Range:  Experience with study partner (# scenes)  M= 39.64, SD= 79.73, Range: 0-250

57  Informed consent  Practice Stroop  Baseline Stroop  Baseline saliva sample  Baseline survey  Pre-scene Stroop  Pre-scene saliva sample  Pre-scene survey  Scene  Post-scene Stroop  Post-scene saliva samples (x3)  Post-scene survey

58 Very Well Very Poorly

59  “It went better than I expected since it was random I did not know how well it would go.”  “It was fun and since I had never played with (#6) before it was nice the variety and different style.”  “Incredibly sensual and sexually charged, less about pain than sensuality and sensation.”  “He got my masochist to come out then fed her pain. I liked it.”

60 Very strongly affected Not at all affected

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63  “the connection between us.”  “heavy flogging at end.”  “Being bitten on the tender sides of my stomach and ribs.”  “Biting the spot where her heart chakra is.”  “no one thing. It all added up to a very intense/gratifying scene.”

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65  “Watching my partner as I brought her to orgasm!”  “the sounds she made, the element of control”  “Being bitten on the nape of the neck and having full body contact. There was also full chakra contact that was sexual in the energy exchanged.”  “using toys on my partner's breasts and genitals.”

66  “The connection between us.”  “the music drums/beat”  “laughter”

67  “Some intense cane strokes”  “It was an impact/sensation scene. The bristle brush on the nipples and clit and caning.”  “paddles and floggers used hard”  “Being bitten and scratched.”  “Spanking”

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73  36 items (1-5 plus “not applicable” option)  “I was challenged, but I believed my skills would allow me to meet the challenge”  “I did things correctly without thinking about trying to do so”  “Time seemed to alter (either slowed down or speeded up)”  “I really enjoyed the experience of what I was doing”

74 Yoga: 3.85 Sports: 3.68 Exercise: 3.88

75  Incredible community support for research  Participants volunteered for more intrusion!  SM activities  Increase intimacy  Decrease stress and negative affect  Increase then decrease sexual arousal and positive affect  Facilitate flow

76  Different perceptions of scenes  Tops: Sexual > Spiritual > SM  Bottoms: SM > Sexual > Spiritual  Different perceptions of scene intensity  Tops saw scenes as more intense than did bottoms  Altered states  Objective evidence of altered states of consciousness in bottoms

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79 Brad Sagarin


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