Treats for the Strange

Welcome to Treats for the Strange. I update erratically, whenever I feel the need to share something in my very pansexual collection.

Treats for the Strange is for anyone with a love of sexuality, art and kink.


The Psychology of SM

I found a very interesting article about SM, by Charles Moser. I suggest reading the whole thing, though it's a giant wall of text, but these are the parts I found most interesting:

"There is no accepted definition of what constitutes S/M behavior and the spectrum of sexual interests of those individuals who adopt an S/M identity is quite broad. Colloquially, we can define S/M as an erotic interest in giving and/or receiving painful (either physically or psychologically) stimulation. It should be noted that the perception of pain is in the judgment of the observer; the recipient may or may not report the experience as painful."

I will make one note here, I, and I assume others, don't always necessarily see SM as erotic. Yes, sometimes it's incredibly arousing or wonderfully sexy, but sometimes it's just a physical and spiritual release. It is a different kind of pleasure than sex or foreplay.

"For the purpose of the present article, an S/M practitioner is an individual who actually takes part in the behavior and self-defines as being involved in S/M or a similar term.1 Additionally, for the purposes of the present article, S/M practitioners engage only in consentual acts among adults. While members of any group can engage in nonconsentual acts, it has been unfairly and incorrectly assumed that S/M practitioners must somehow be forced or coerced, or force or coerce their partners, into engaging in these activities."

"While there is some disagreement, there is little doubt that at least some S/M practitioners are able to sustain long term relationships. The role of S/M in these relationships varies in a number of ways. Some couples only engage in S/M during some sexual inter actions, some always have at least an element of S/M in all sexual interactions, some employ S/M role-plays throughout the relationship but not at all times, and some attempt to live out the S/M roles at all times. Some individuals see S/M as part of foreplay (a sex-style), others see it as part of a lifestyle, while still others fluctuate between these two states (Breslow et al., 1985, 1986)."

Breslow, N., Evans, L., & Langley, J. (1985). On the prevalence and roles of females in the sadomasochistic subculture: Report of an empirical study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 303-317.
Breslow, N., Evans, L., & Langley, J. (1986). Comparisons among heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual male sadomasochists. Journal of Homosexual ity, 13{1), 83-107.

I'm glad that this is addressed. You will find just as much variation in SM relationships as you will in vanilla relationships.

"Prior to Krafft-Ebing (1886/1965), S/M was neither a sickness nor a sin (Bullough & Bullough, 1977). It seems that behaviors that we might consider to be S/M were commonly found in ancient marriage manuals (Kokkoka, 1150/1965; Nefzawi, 1400/1964; Vatsysayana, 450/1964). It was only in the late fifteenth century that the first unambiguous case report of S/M was reported, and then as a medical curiosity rather than a problem (cited by Ellis, 1936). Other case reports written in a similar vein followed, but S/M was still seen as a curiosity rather than pathology. While S/M behavior probably existed before the 15th century, historical accounts do not in clude enough information to ascertain whether the behavior was done consentually and/or for erotic purposes in order to make an unambiguous categorization."

Krafft-Ebing, R. von (1965). Psychopathia sexualis: A medico-forensic study (F. S. Klaf, trans.). New York: Bell Publishing Company, Inc. (Original work published 1886)
Bullough, V., & Bullough, B. (1977). Sin, sickness, and sanity. New York: Meridian Books.
Kokkoka (1965). The koka shastra (A. Comfort, Trans.). New York: Stein & Day. (Originally written 1150)
Nefzawi, S. (1964). The perfumed garden (R. Burton, trans.; A. H. Walton, ed.). New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. (Originally written 1400 A.D.)
Vatsysayana (1964). Kama sutra. New York: Lancer Books. (Originally written 450 A.D.)
Ellis, H. (1936). Love and pain. In Studies in the psychology of sex (Vol. 1). New York: Random House. (Original work published, 1903)

I don't mind being a bit of a curiosity. A sexual psychopath, however? I'd decline.

"As S/M behavior is seen transhistorically (Ellis, 1936) and cross-culturally (Ford & Beach, 1951), we can assume it is part of the repertoire of innate human sexual behaviors. Behavior which appears to be analogous to S/M is also common among mammals. For example, Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, and Gebhard (1953) name 24 different mammalian species which bite during coitus. Addition ally, Gebhard (1976) remarks "From a phylogenetic viewpoint it is no surprise to find sadomasochism in human beings" (p. 163)."

Ellis, H. (1936). Love and pain. In Studies in the psychology of sex (Vol. 1). New York: Random House. (Original work published, 1903)
Ford, C. S., & Beach, F. A. (1951). Patterns of sexual behavior. Scranton, Pennsylvania: Harper & Brothers.
Kinsey, A. C, Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1953). Sexual behavior in the human female.Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company.
Gebhard, P. (1976). Fetishism and sadomasochism. In M. Weinberg (ed.), Sex research. New York: Oxford University Press.

All in all, a very well thought-out and thoroughly researched article. I included the references, since I'm quite interested in looking up these books myself and I'm assuming there will be others interested too. I want to read all of these books he's referenced, as well as more by him. 


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