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James Ambler, Kathryn Klement, Sarah Hanson, David Wietting, Ellen Lee, Evelyn Comber, & Brad Sagarin.

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Presentation on theme: "James Ambler, Kathryn Klement, Sarah Hanson, David Wietting, Ellen Lee, Evelyn Comber, & Brad Sagarin."— Presentation transcript:

1 James Ambler, Kathryn Klement, Sarah Hanson, David Wietting, Ellen Lee, Evelyn Comber, & Brad Sagarin



4 top master dominant sadist slave masochist bottom submissive

5 Paulhus & Williams (2002)

6 Chabrol, Van Leeuwen, Rodgers, & Sejourne (2009) Psychopathy: personality disorder centered on callousness and unemotionality Narcissism: grandiose sense of self-importance, sense of superiority, lack of empathy Machiavellianism: tendency to manipulate and exploit others

7 Chabrol, Van Leeuwen, Rodgers, & Sejourne (2009) Sadism: a pattern of cruelty, aggression and demeaning behavior “I would enjoy hurting someone, physically, sexually or emotionally” “I have fantasies which involve hurting people” “I have humiliated others to keep them in line” “Sometimes I get so angry I want to hurt people”



10 Over a period of 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving acts (real, not simulated) in which the psychological or physical suffering (including humiliation) of the victim is sexually exciting to the person. The person has acted on these sexual urges with a non- consenting person, or the sexual urges or fantasies or interpersonal difficulty. DSM-IV-TR: SEXUAL SADISM

11 A preference for sexual activity that involves bondage or the infliction of pain or humiliation. If the individual prefers to be the recipient of such stimulation this is called masochism; if the provider, sadism. Often an individual obtains sexual excitement from both sadistic and masochistic activities. Mild degrees of sadomasochistic stimulation are commonly used to enhance otherwise normal sexual activity. This category should be used only if sadomasochistic activity is the most important source of stimulation or necessary for sexual gratification. Sexual sadism is sometimes difficult to distinguish from cruelty in sexual situations or anger unrelated to eroticism. Where violence is necessary for erotic arousal, the diagnosis can be clearly established. Includes: Masochism, sadism. ICD-10: SADOMASOCHISM

12  Separates sadism from masochism  Assumes all sadism is pathological  Does not separate clearly sexually sadistic behavior from cruel behavior  Combines sadomasochism  Allows for consensual SM play  Distinguishes sexual sadism from cruelty in sexual contexts

13  Difference between sexually-motivated acts and brutal violent acts in a sexual context  Example: Piquerism & Jack the Ripper

14  Offenders with deviant fantasies commit increasingly violent crimes  “Devolving”  Case study: Ted Bundy

15 MEN WOMEN  More likely to have explicit- visual sexual imagery  21% reported fantasies about being sexually overpowered (Sue, 1979)  24% reported fantasy of forcing someone to have sex (Sue, 1979)  More likely to have emotional-romantic imagery  51% reported fantasies about being sexually dominated (Pelletier & Herold, 1988)  16% reported fantasy of forcing someone to have sex (Sue, 1979) Leitenberg & Henning (1995)

16 Josifkova & Flegr (2008)


18  Testosterone  High levels of testosterone may be associated with dominance or sadism  Luteinizing hormone  LH stimulates testosterone production in testes  Some studies show a positive correlation between LH and indexed offense violence




22  Self-control  Self-efficacy  Self-esteem  But it does not compensate for low self-esteem Damon (2002)

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


25 1. Engagement in activity chosen for it’s own sake (not necessary but a facilitative condition) 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

26 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

27  Why pain?  Transient Hypofrontality  Escape from Self


29  “The human brain has limited resources”  “A minimum level of intensity is required to force the redistribution of resources in the brain.”  On a continuum  Focus can force redistribution ▪ Meditation  Structures are prioritized as needed Dietrich (2003)

30 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)

31 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)

32 Subspace Flying Floating The wave The forever place

33 “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.”

34 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)

35 “Pain gradually obliterates psychological content, eventually leaving only the awareness of pain. One’s knowledge of the world is temporarily forgotten, and attention is narrowed to the immediate present, both spatially and temporally.” (Scarry, 1985) Pain, interrupted action and failure feedback focus people’s attention BDSM play Pain Bondage Humiliation Sex as a reinforcer Baumeister (1988) Vallacher & Wegner (1987, 1989)

36 In the pain field there is a growing recognition that the subjective interpretation or meaning of pain determines the amount of pain- related suffering The brain creates experience, we don’t have unedited access to what happens to us Meaning changes the hedonic experience of pain ▪ Root canals suck ▪ Slapped in a scene vs. slapped in an argument Leknes & Tracey (2008 )

37 Evidence of pleasure-related analgesia has been reported in human and animal studies; pain is decreased by:  pleasant odors  images  music  palatable food  sexual behavior  perceived control  meaning of the pain Leknes & Tracey (2008 )

38  The brain addresses intense physical and mental demands by prioritizing resources; lack of resources to certain areas result in altered states of consciousness  Pain, challenge and failure feedback all push people into the here and now  The subjective suffering an individual experiences depends on context and interpretation, not the actual stimulation occurring


40 The deployment of sexuality is always changing and is ‘concerned with the sensations of the body, the quality of pleasures and the nature of impressions [that] the body produces and consumes.’ Michel Foucault (1978)


42 Deci and Ryan (1985) Competence Psychological Relatedness Autonomy Self Determination Theory


44 Self-control Self-efficacy Flow

45 Altered states of consciousness Escape from self

46 Self-control Self-efficacy Flow Altered states of consciousness Escape from self Sexual arousal Power exchange Autonomy, competence, relatedness Community


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