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kroika's essay: Pornography and Sexual Health
December 20, 2007
8:48 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi BEvdee,

Actually I meant me in a general sense, not me, sepcifically, as an individual.

Of course I make assumptions about you. I'm only flesh and blood you know. And collagen, of course.

Seriously though, I think it takes a long time for people to get to know each other very well, and working through assumptions, projections and just plain mistakes is part of that process.

December 20, 2007
8:58 pm
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bevdee
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Hey WDad

"Actually I meant me in a general sense, not me, sepcifically, as an individual."

I apologise for the misunderstanding? This was the source of my confusion - "Take me as a "source" for example.

For example I believe a person who hears what I, WD have to say about these things would understand me best if they really, really "considered the source."

Maybe I'm too literal.

(((WDad)))

December 20, 2007
10:39 pm
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Hi BevDee,

Like I said, it takes a lot of work for two people to get to know each other.

I do not feel like you owe me an "apology," because as far as I am concerned, you haven't harmed me or wronged me.

Your writing sometimes makes me feel a little "uncomfortable," but that is, after all what I am paying you for. Please don't cash that check until Dec. 25th.

When people have faultless misunderstandings, I think it is graceful to say "I regret our misunderstanding" rather than "I am sorry for," or "I apologize for" the misunderstanding.

Misunderstanding is the Human Condition.

I think having patience with, compassion for, and a sense of humor about, and a desire to learn from misunderstandings is a sign of grace and wisdom.

You are a deep person, and that is reflected in your writings. I mostly really like your writing and your ideas, and I find joy in my task of learning to hear you and respect you and understand you.

December 20, 2007
11:18 pm
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Hey WDad

You say - "Your writing sometimes makes me feel a little "uncomfortable," but that is, after all what I am paying you for. Please don't cash that check until Dec. 25th."

Ha! A true comedian always puts his truth with his joke. I get your sense of humor. I like it.

I would like to thank you for saying this - "Your writing sometimes makes me feel a little "uncomfortable," in such a gentlemanly, respectful way. So many times, I have been reacted to - or at - for voicing my feelings or my ponderings, and it took me a while to realise that this "discomfort" was the case. You know, to consider the source. :~).

Thank you. I predict getting to know you will be a delight.

December 21, 2007
12:53 am
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Hi Bevdee,

I have long been a bit proud that I can read 1-3 pages a minute.

Later, I found that that was somewhat of a disadvantage for a fiction reader because it means I am always out of books to read--unless I want to re-read.

But tonight, I have found a real, below ground level flaw in my estimate of my own reading ability.

See, in the ordinary "reading tests," you are tested in your ability to mainly absorb "factual" information and a few logical and rhetorical bits.

If the logic sucks, you can rip it up in a minute or two.

Your previous post has me a bit dumbfounded. I am reduced from a page a minute to a page a day.

I have to go back and read and re-read what you said up there.

I gots to do some ponderin.

December 21, 2007
2:07 am
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hey bev,

Thanks for the link to Diana Russell's site. I see that one can contact her to receive a copy of a book [?] she has authored, entitled:

Against Pornography: The Evidence of Harm

Think I'll send away for it. Wanna check it out too, WD? Since I recall you have said a few times in our little chats that there is no evidence of harm associated with porn.

So much to read....

December 21, 2007
7:18 am
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Hi Kroiks,

OF course I'll check it out.

You know me--"Mr. Open-minded!"

😀

December 21, 2007
11:16 am
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WDad?

Why does tht post have you dumbfounded?

December 21, 2007
8:23 pm
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In the article, Russell defines degrading as

"Degrading sexual behavior refers to sexual conduct that is humiliating, insulting, and/or disrespectful; for example, urinating or defecating on a woman, ejaculating in her face, treating her as sexually dirty or inferior, depicting her as slavishly taking orders from men and eager to engage in whatever sex acts men want, or calling her insulting names while engaging in sex, such as bitch, cunt, nigger, whore. "

I've been thinking about this definition and I think that degrading is in the eye of the beholder- or receiver or whatever. I don't ever EVER want anyone to pee or poop on me. Not romantic, not sexy, that's just gross. I can't imagine.... I take great pains to avoid pee and poop at work, I'm a certified germaphobe. I'm not as particulr about where the ejaculation lands, and I'm not averse to a little submission play with someone I trust. But I only have sex with men I trust, so..... So I guess it depends on what a person considers disrespectful. Maybe what she means is that porn suggests or sends the message that permission is not necessary?

I pretty much concur with her other definitions of porn, erotica, and abusive.

December 22, 2007
12:46 am
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Hi BevDee,

I don't like Russell's definition of porn--mainly because I think it is confusing to try to completely reinvent a word that is already in popular usage. I also believe that erotica is also porn.

To me abuse is largely about lack of consent.

But the respect versus degrading strikes me an "eye of the beholder," thing.

Consider whole BDSM subculture shows that.

You have people that want to be dominated, bound, called names, beaten, humiliated.

And it is amazing how often it is a man who wants to be treated that way by a woman. There are, after all, professional dominatrixes...dominatri?

I've heard of website called "men in pain." I expect it is mainly men pay to view it.

Just about anything we can think of, someone will eroticize, and just about anything that someone finds erotically appealing will make it's way onto video.

December 22, 2007
1:28 am
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WDad

I had to look this up to confirm my thoughts on sadism and masochism. My question, still unanswered, is I know why people like it, but why? I have always thought it stemmed from childhood, possibly sexual abuse, but there don't seem to be many of these poor souls talking about it.

From the Encyclopedia of Mind Disorders

http://www.minddisorders.com/P.....chism.html

Sexual masochism

Definition The essential feature of sexual masochism is the feeling of sexual arousal or excitement resulting from receiving pain, suffering, or humiliation. The pain, suffering, or humiliation is real and not imagined and can be physical or psychological in nature. A person with a diagnosis of sexual masochism is sometimes called a masochist.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM, is used by mental health professionals to diagnose specific mental disorders. In the 2000 edition of this manual (the Fourth Edition Text Revision also known as DSM-IV-TR) sexual masochism is one of several paraphilias. Paraphilias are intense and recurrent sexually arousing urges, fantasies, or behaviors.

Description In addition to the sexual pleasure or excitement derived from receiving pain and humiliation, an individual with sexual masochism often experiences significant impairment or distress in functioning due to masochistic behaviors or fantasies.

With regard to actual masochistic behavior, the person may be receiving the pain, suffering, or humiliation at the hands of another person. This partner may have a diagnosis of sexual sadism but this is not necessarily the case. Such behavior involving a partner is sometimes referred to as sadomasochism.

Masochistic acts include being physically restrained through the use of handcuffs, cages, chains, and ropes. Other acts and fantasies related to sexual masochism include receiving punishment or pain by means of paddling, spanking, whipping, burning, beating, electrical shocks, cutting, rape, and mutilation. Psychological humiliation and degradation can also be involved.

Masochistic behavior can also occur in the context of a role-playing fantasy. For example, a sadist can play the role of teacher or master and a masochist can play the role of student or slave.

The person with sexual masochism may also be inflicting the pain or suffering on himself or herself. This can be done through self-mutilation, cutting, or burning.

The masochistic acts experienced or fantasized by the person sometimes reflect a sexual or psychological submission on the part of the masochist. These acts can range from relatively safe behaviors to very physically and psychologically dangerous behavior.

The DSM lists one particularly dangerous and deadly form of sexual masochism called hypoxyphilia. People with hypoxyphilia experience sexual arousal by being deprived of oxygen. The deprivation can be caused by chest compression, noose, plastic bag, mask, or other means and can be administered by another person or be self-inflicted.

Causes and symptoms

Causes There is no universally accepted cause or theory explaining the origin of sexual masochism, or sadomasochism in general. However, there are some theories that attempt to explain the presence of sexual paraphilias in general. One theory is based on learning theory that paraphilias originate because inappropriate sexual fantasies are suppressed. Because they are not acted upon initially, the urge to carry out the fantasies increases and when they are finally acted upon, a person is in a state of considerable distress and/or arousal. In the case of sexual masochism, masochistic behavior becomes associated with and inextricably linked to sexual behavior.

There is also a belief that masochistic individuals truly want to be in the dominating role. This causes them to become conflicted and thus submissive to others.

Another theory suggests that people seek out sadomasochistic behavior as a means of escape. They get to act out fantasies and become new and different people.

Symptoms
Individuals with sexual masochism experience sexual excitement from physically or psychologically receiving pain, suffering, and/or humiliation. They may be receiving the pain, suffering, or humiliation at the hands of another person, who may or may not be a sadist, or they may be administering the pain, suffering, or humiliation themselves.

They experience distressed or impaired functioning because of the masochistic behaviors, urges, and fantasies. This distress or impairment can impact functioning in social, occupational, or other contexts.

Demographics
Although masochistic sexual fantasies often begin in childhood, the onset of sexual masochism typically occurs during early adulthood. When actual masochistic behavior begins, it will often continue on a chronic course for people with this disorder, especially when no treatment is sought.

Sadomasochism involving consenting partners is not considered rare or unusual in the United States. It often occurs outside of the realm of a mental disorder. More people consider themselves masochistic than sadistic.

Sexual masochism is slightly more prevalent in males than in females.

Death due to hypoxyphilia is a relatively rare phenomenon. Data indicate that less than two people per million in the United States and other countries die from hypoxyphilia.

Diagnosis
The DSM criteria for sexual masochism include recurrent intense sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving real acts in which the individual with the disorder is receiving psychological or physical suffering, pain, and humiliation. The suffering, pain, and humiliation cause the person with sexual masochism to be sexually aroused. The fantasies, urges, or behaviors must be present for at least six months.

The diagnostic criteria also require that the person has experienced significant distress or impairment because of these behaviors, urges, or fantasies. The distress and impairment can be present in social, occupational, or other functioning.

Sexual masochism must be differentiated from normal sexual arousal, behavior, and experimentation. It should also be differentiated from sadomasochistic behavior involving mild pain and/or the simulation of more dangerous pain. When this is the case, a diagnosis of sexual masochism is not necessarily warranted.

Sexual masochism must also be differentiated from self-defeating or self-mutilating behavior that is performed for reasons other than sexual arousal.

Individuals with sexual masochism often have other sexual disorders or paraphilias. Some individuals, especially males, have diagnoses of both sexual sadism and sexual masochism.

Treatments
Behavior therapy is often used to treat paraphilias. This can include management and conditioning of arousal patterns and masturbation. Therapies involving cognitive restructuring and social skills training are also utilized.

Medication is also used to reduce fantasies and behavior relating to paraphilias. This is especially true of people who exhibit severely dangerous masochistic behaviors.

Treatment can also be complicated by health problems relating to sexual behavior. Sexually transmitted diseases and other medical problems, especially when the sadomasochistic behavior involves the release of blood, can be present. Also, people participating in hypoxyphilia and other dangerous behaviors can suffer extreme pain and even death.

Prognosis
Because of the chronic course of sexual masochism and the uncertainty of its causes, treatment is often difficult. The fact that many masochistic fantasies are socially unacceptable or unusual leads some people who may have the disorder not to seek or continue treatment.

Treating a paraphilia is often a sensitive subject for many mental health professionals. Severe or difficult cases of sexual masochism should be referred to professionals who have experience treating such cases.

Prevention
Because it is sometimes unclear whether sadomasochistic behavior is within the realm of normal experimentation or indicative of a diagnosis of sexual masochism, prevention is a tricky issue. Often, prevention refers to managing sadomasochistic behavior so it primarily involves only the simulation of severe pain and it always involves consenting partners familiar with each other's limitations.

Also, because fantasies and urges originating in childhood or adolescence may form the basis for sadomasochistic behavior in adulthood, prevention is made difficult. People may be very unwilling to divulge their urges and discuss their sadistic fantasies as part of treatment.

I don't believe "men in pain", or women in pain, are healthy, sexually.

December 22, 2007
1:42 am
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I'm not sure I consider BDSM to really be a paraphilia. I mean homosexuality used to be considered a paraphilia or mental disorder.

I think about my ex--she really liked me to bind her wrists sometimes during sex, and really liked me to spank her--I thought it was kind of silly, but I certainly didn't feel a need to send her to a shrink over it.

"The diagnostic criteria also require that the person has experienced significant distress or impairment because of these behaviors, urges, or fantasies. The distress and impairment can be present in social, occupational, or other functioning."

I figure, if people are functioning normally in their everyday lives...perhaps even high-functioning, and if they are happy in their relationships, value respect and mutuality and are able to give and receive love, then it is hard for me to label that as "unhealthy."

December 22, 2007
3:03 am
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Why not? There are all kinds of people with various kinds of "un-health" who function normally in their everyday lives...

December 22, 2007
3:52 am
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21.....7#11618677

8-minute "Today" show interview on the subject; last half of interview is with Dr. Patrick Carnes. While he acknowledges that some people have benefited from the internet by learning about their sexuality (same as stated in his article mentioned a month or two ago on this thread above), he says there is a "tsunami" of sex addiction coming down the pike because many teenagers are watching internet porn and it's affecting their brain pathways associated with sex. I would call that an affront to sexual health.

December 22, 2007
4:06 am
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Hi Kroikster,

Now if porn (or drugs or football, shopping, gambling, or whatever is screwing up a person's daily life and screwing up their relationships, that of course is another thing altogether.

My training is that an "illness" or "injury" is something that impairs a person's homeostatic mechanisms--it interferes with their ability to go about their activities of daily living. The ADL's right?

I believe that if a couple is unhappy with their life together, then it bears looking into.

And I also believe in the principle of preserving loving relationships, whenever possible.

December 22, 2007
10:55 am
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WD

That was my understanding of this thread.

"Now if porn (or drugs or football, shopping, gambling, or whatever is screwing up a person's daily life and screwing up their relationships, that of course is another thing altogether."

December 22, 2007
11:04 am
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All these definitons!! They all seem to kind of loop back on each other.

"Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This

ill·ness /ˈɪlnɪs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[il-nis] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. unhealthy condition; poor health; indisposition; sickness."

Alcoholism is defined as a disease. Is a disease an illness? I know many functioning alcoholics and functioning addicts.

Disease is defined as

1. a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.

2. any abnormal condition in a plant that interferes with its vital physiological processes, caused by pathogenic microorganisms, parasites, unfavorable environmental, genetic, or nutritional factors, etc.
3. any harmful, depraved, or morbid condition, as of the mind or society: His fascination with executions is a disease.
4. decomposition of a material under special circumstances: tin disease. "

PTSD is a disorder, but it is a diagnosis, and I've been treated for it while remaining functional in my world. My diabetes is an offshoot of PTSD, and that, too is classified as a disorder, even though, if left untreated, will cause death.

PTSD stuff from Wiki- (I use this for fast references)

"Neurochemistry

PTSD displays biochemical changes in the brain and body, which are different from other psychiatric disorders such as major depression.

In PTSD patients, the dexamethasone cortisol suppression is strong, while it is weak in patients with major depression. In most PTSD patients the urine secretion of cortisol is low, at the same time as the catecholamine secretion is high, and the norepinephrine/cortisol ratio is increased. Brain catecholamine levels are low, and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) concentrations are high. There is also an increased sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, with a strong negative feedback of cortisol, due to a generally increased sensitivity of cortisol receptors.[31]

In addition to biochemical changes, PTSD also involves changes in the brain itself. Combat veterans of the Vietnam war with PTSD showed an 8% reduction in the volume of their hippocampus in comparison with veterans who suffered no such symptoms.[32]"

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder
"Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Causes When you are afraid, your body activates the "fight or flight" response —a reference to our caveman ancestors facing a tiger. In reaction, your body releases adrenaline, which is responsible for increasing blood pressure and heart rate and increasing glucose to muscles (to allow you to run away quickly in the face of immediate danger). However, once the immediate danger (which may or may not have actually existed) is gone, the body begins a process of shutting down the stress response, and this process involves the release of another hormone known as cortisol."

Maybe we're splitting hairs with definitions.

I still think it's - at least odd-turned to want or need to be hurt to feel pleasure. I avoid physical pain. I take measures to prevent pain. Maybe those with these needs have suffered abuse throughout their lives and left it untreated. I feel great compassion for those individuals. My ex-abuser was one who got off inflicting pain. He was sexually abused as a child.

December 22, 2007
3:04 pm
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I'm extending this to porn addiction.

http://www.lbc.edu/public/Acad....._abuse.pdf

"The Addictive System of Sexual Addiction --

A child that has been sexually abused will have altered core beliefs about
themselves. As previous sections show, children who have been sexually abused have feelings of self hate, low self esteem, powerlessness, not being wanted, unlovable, and the inability to connect with others. These feelings are the same feelings that sexual addicts hold (Giugliano, 2003). An addict has delusional beliefs about who he is as a person and subsequently acts on these delusional core beliefs (Carnes, 2001). The addict filters his choices in life through these delusional beliefs. For the sex addict, sex is his means to fulfill those feelings he wants or to escape them, just as the drug addict or alcoholic does. The addict’s relationship is with sex, not the people he uses to meet his
needs (Carnes, 2001).

Once a person’s views have been distorted, that person’s thinking becomes impaired and the behavior the person exhibits is not appropriate or reality based. The addict’s mind is full of denial, arguments, excuses, justifications and circular reasoning for his excessive sexual behavior (Carnes, 2001). This leads the addict into a vicious cycle of addiction. According to Carnes (2001), the addict becomes preoccupied with
sex, searching for it constantly. The addict then engages in rituals that enhance the preoccupation, arousal, and excitement. The actual act of sex or the sexual behavior comes next. Finally, the addict has feelings of despair and utter hopelessness over the fact that he cannot control his own behavior. This leads into unmanageability for the addict who tries to cover up his behavior but still must face many consequences which can
include prison, loss of family, debt, venereal diseases, and public embarrassment.

Because of the unmanageability of his addictive behavior, his feelings of despair, hopelessness, and utter powerlessness over this sexualized behavior, the addict starts the cycle all over again with the belief that he is worthless and that if anyone knew who he was, they would not love him. Because he does not seek help, he is unable to break out of the addictive cycle he has put himself into."

I consider excessive viewing of pornography and porn addiction to fall under the category of "excessive sexual behaviour"

With the epinephrine (noted in an earlier post) that has locked in the earlier arousal or fear and adrenaline, wouldn't seeing scenes in porn that trigger locked in memories do the same thing to a person who has suffered early sexual trauma?

http://www.pornaddictioninfo.com/
"Whether the motive for consuming pornography is sexual appetite, escape/self-medication, or any other reason, engaging in these addictions causes the brain and body to endogenously produce and release chemical drugs into its own system. These chemicals include: epinephrine (an adrenal gland hormone that "locks-in" memories of experiences occurring at times of high arousal), adrenaline, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), noradrenaline, norepinephrine and testosterone, among others."

December 23, 2007
4:36 am
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I know that there are different and shifting definitons - of nearly everything- as studies reveal this and that, as attitudes change about this and that.

WD brought up a good point about homosexuality no longer being considered paraphilia. Is it because it is currently more accepted behaviour?

Shifting norms.

The word paraphilia makes me think of pedophilia. The definition of this word is kind of nebulous, varying from state to state, depending on legal marriageable age. In the US, in Louisana, as recently as the 1950s, it was legal for little girls as young as the age of 10 to be married, as long as her parents consented. In different countries, in different cultures, in different centuries, it was acceptable for men to marry very young little girls. That Mohammed in the Muslim religion. Legal though it was, I still kind of think of that man who wants a little girl, as a pedophile.

But here's a loop. Wife- beating used to be acceptable, not a punishable crime. Remember the Rule of Thumb? Now, in the US, the laws have changed to protect women, and are mostly reinforced. Just like with children.

Slavery was formerly a common practice, miscegenation was illegal. Murder was acceptable when a man found his wife in bed with another man.

Shifts.

December 23, 2007
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BDSM

Bondage/Discipline Bondage and Discipline are two aspects of BDSM that do not necessarily relate to one another, but can appear jointly.

Bondage The term bondage describes the practice of restraining for pleasure. Bondage is usually, but not always, a sexual practice. While bondage is a very popular variation within the larger field of BDSM, it is nevertheless sometimes differentiated from the rest of this field.

Studies among BDSM practitioners in the U.S. have shown that about half of all men find the idea of bondage to be erotic; many women do as well (see Incidence).

Strictly speaking, bondage means binding the partner by tying their appendages together; for example, by the use of handcuffs or by lashing their arms to an object. Bondage can be also be achieved by spreading the appendages and fastening them with chains to a St. Andrews cross or spreader bars.

Discipline The term discipline describes the use of rules and punishment to control overt behavior in BDSM. Punishment can be pain caused physically (such as caning), humiliation caused psychologically (such as a public flagellation) or loss of freedom caused physically (eg. chaining the Bottom to the foot of a bed). Another aspect is the structured training of the Bottom. Overlap with practices from the field of bondage can occur, but is not necessarily mandatory. A differentiation between bondage and discipline is sometimes difficult.
Domination and submission Domination and submission (also known as D&s, Ds or D/s) is a set of behaviors, customs and rituals relating to the giving and accepting of dominance of one individual over another in an erotic or lifestyle context. It explores the more mental aspect of BDSM. This is also the case in many relationships not considering themselves as sadomasochistic; it is considered to be a part of BDSM if it is practiced cognizantly. The range of its individual characteristics is thereby wide.
Examples of mentally orientated practices are education games, during which the dominant requires certain forms of behavior from the submissive. Special forms include erotic roleplay like ageplay, in which a difference in age, either real or enacted, formulates the background; or petplay. Concerted deployed sexual rejection exercised on the partner can be an aspect of Dominance and Submission as well (see cuckoldry). The most established and probably most cliché set form of dominance and submission is dominance and slavedom. These can be administrated for the short duration of a session among otherwise-emancipated partners, but also can be integrated into everyday life indefinitely. In a few relationships, it leads as far as total submission of one partner in the truest sense of the phrase total power exchange. Compensating elements of the total domination and submission are care and devotion complementing one another, thus facilitating stable relationships.

The consensual submission of the sub is sometimes demonstrated to others by symbols indicating his/her belonging to the dom, such as wearing a collar, special tattoos, piercings, very short haircut or a bald head.

Occasionally, actual "slave contracts" are set out in writing to record the formal consent of the parties to the power exchange, stating their common vision of the relationship dynamic. Such documents have not been recognised as being legally binding. Contracts that are contra bonos mores (contrary to public morals) are generally illegal, and such contracts can even be constitutionally prohibited. In Europe, such agreements may be contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which grants a general freedom from "unhuman or degrading treatment". This right had been held to be absolute and no limitations or derogations are permitted by the Convention. Nevertheless, the mere existence of such purported contracts has resulted in banner headlines in yellow press publications, and uninformed third parties seeing such information out of context are periodically led to rejecting and condemning the relationships they describe.
Sadomasochism The term Sadomasochism is derived from the words sadism and masochism (see Etymology). In the context of consensual sexual activities, sadism and masochism are not strictly accurate terms; there is a significant difference from the medical or psychological usage of both terms. Sadomasochism refers to the physical aspects of BDSM. Sadism describes sexual pleasure derived by inflicting pain, degradation, or humiliation on another person. On the other hand, the masochist enjoys being bound, spanked or suffering within the consensual scenario.

Sadomasochists do not enjoy causing or receiving pain in other situations e.g. accidental injury, medical procedures.

Discipline often incorporates sadomasochistic aspects. In contrast to Discipline, flagellation plays a less important role in sadomasochism, and there are a wide variety of other practices used in order to inflict pain. Sadomasochism is practiced in isolation relatively rarely; an amalgam of various aspects of BDSM is more common.
Physical aspects On a physical level, BDSM is partly connected to the intentional infliction of physical pain, suffering and other intense sensations. BDSM practitioners often compare the effects induced by the resulting endorphines to the so-called "runner’s high" or to the afterglow of orgasm.
The corresponding trance-like mental state is also known as "subspace" and is regularly described as very comforting. Some use the term "body stress" to describe this physiological sensation. This experience of Algolagnia is important, but is not the only motivation for many BDSM practitioners. The philosopher Edmund Burke defines this sensation of pleasure derived from pain by the word sublime. The regions of the brain that manage sexual stimuli and pain overlap, resulting in some individuals associating pain with sexual pleasure as the neurological reactions are intertwined. A minority of BDSM practitioners take part in sessions for which they do not receive any personal gratification. They enter such situations solely with the intention to allow their partners to fulfill their own needs and/or fetishes.

In some BDSM sessions, the Top exposes the Bottom to a wide range of sensual impressions, for example: pinching, biting, scratching with fingernails, spanking or the use of various objects such as crops, whips, liquid wax, icecubes, Wartenberg wheels, erotic electrostimulation or others Fixation by handcuffs, ropes, chains or vacuum beds may be used as well. The repertoire of possible "toys" is limited only by the imagination of both partners. To some extent, everyday items like clothes-pins, wooden spoons or plastic wrap are used as pervertibles

It is commonly considered that a pleasurable BDSM experience during a session is very strongly dependent upon the Top's competence and experience and the Bottom's physical and mental state at the time of the session. Trust and sexual arousal help the partners enter a shared mindset.

Some BDSM practitioners compare related sensations with musical compositions and representation, in which single sensual impressions are the musical notes of the situation. From this point of view, different sensuous impressions are combined to create a total experience leaving a lasting impression.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....%28BDSM%29

Subspace (also sub space, headspace, flying, or floating), in the context of a BDSM scene, is the psychological state of the submissive partner. The term is unrelated to the mathematical term subspace.
Subspace is a metaphor for the state the submissive's minds and bodies are in during a deeply involving play scene. Many types of BDSM play invoke strong physical responses. The mental aspect of BDSM also causes many submissives to mentally separate themselves from their environment as they process the experience. Deep subspace is often characterized as a state of deep recession and incoherence. Deep subspace may also cause a danger in newer submissives who are unfamiliar with the experience, and require the dominant to keep a careful watch to ensure the submissive isn't placing him or herself in danger. Many submissives require aftercare."

This sort of sounds like dissociation? Is the purpose to achieve altered mental states?

"Physiological Processes

During the scene, the intense experiences of both pain and pleasure trigger a sympathetic nervous system response, which causes a release of epinephrine from the suprarenal glands, as well as a dump of endorphins and enkephalins. These natural chemicals, part of the fight or flight response produce the same effect as a morphine-like drug, increasing the pain tolerance of the submissive as the scene becomes more intense. Producing a sort of trance-like state due to the increase of hormones and chemicals, the submissive starts to feel out-of-body, detached from reality, and as the high comes down, and the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, a deep exhaustion, as well as incoherence. Many submissives once reaching a height of subspace will lose all sensation of pain, as any stimulus causes the period to prolong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algolagnia

Algolagnia
Algolagnia (pronounced /ælgəˈlægniə/) (from the Greek άλγος, algos, "pain", and λαγνεία, lagnia, "lust") is a sexual tendency which is defined by deriving sexual pleasure and stimulation from physical pain, particularly involving an erogenous zone.

Most current research suggests it has a fully biological basis, as it is proven that pain, just like sensorial pleasures such as sexual contact and sweet foods, causes the release of endorphins, the chemicals that induce pleasure. Furthermore, studies conducted indicate differences in how the brains of those with algolagnia interpret nerve input.[1]

History of Research
Havelock Ellis was one of the first researchers to look into algolagnia, in the early 1900s.With such titles as Analysis of the Sexual Impulse, Love and Pain, The Sexual Impulse in Women and The Evolution of Modesty, The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity, Auto-Erotism, he did describe the basics of the condition. Eugen Kahn, Smith Ely Jelliffe, William Alanson White, and Hugh Northcote were other early psychological researchers into algolagnia.

Most early research placed algolagnia in the same category as masochistic tendencies and other "deviancies of sexuality", but William Alanson White believed that algolagnia was primarily a motor function or nerve disease. Current Research Currently, most psychological researchers feel that algolagnia is a physical phenomenon in which the brain interprets pain signals as pleasurable leading to psychological effects. In particular, the research conducted by Dolf Zillmann indicated that:
...most algolagniacs see their actions as an active lust, not a motivational one. Patients with algolagnia could lead normal lives, enjoy normal arousal sequences, and indulge in fairly normal sexual intercourse, but when exposed to sexual pain, were unable to control their reaction. One woman described it as being unable to prevent her arousal or subsequent orgasm due to pain, even if she was not aroused when it began.
This, along with other research, often links algolagnia to aggression, or hypersexuality, or other control psychoses.

More recently, modern researchers using MRI and computer models of neuron firing patterns show that most algolagniacs experience pain differently than "normal" people. Algolagniacs may have DNA errors such as SCN9A, causing inaccurate noirecption to occur."

The Nav1.7 sodium ion channel protein is encoded by gene SCN9A. Recent studies have associated a defect in SCN9A with congenital insensitivity to pain.

"At least one researcher in the 1900's [7] thought that algolagnia was a psychological disorder. Dr. Schrenck-Notzin's assertion of this contributed largely to the blurring of the lines between algolagnia such true psychological conditions as masochistic tendencies and the like. The result is that very little ongoing research has been conducted, with most nerve researchers focusing on nerve diseases and most physioneurologists concentrating on neuropathological reasons for such reactions.
Addiction
One issue that affects many people with algolagnia is sex addiction and sensory addiction. Algolagniacs often engage in repeated acts to cause pain to themselves of a sexual nature. Usually, algolagniacs do not require a large amount of pain to arouse them, or aid them in achieving orgasm, but if the person's pain threshold is sufficiently high, they can continue to endure a high level of pain and (in women and some men) as a result endure multiple orgasms. The pleasure from this may outweigh the normal discomfort, even to the point of addiction. Many algolagniacs, either as a result of what they do or as a side effect, do indeed have a high pain threshold.

The results of such sex addictions run in similar lines to some reactions by masochists, which is why algolagnia is often confused as a paraphilia.
Algolagnia and Paraphilia
Algolagnia is not a paraphilia as defined by conventional medical literature. While many people, especially those unfamiliar with paraphilias (specifically, physical masochism) and algolagnia, tend to conflate the two as equivalent, this is in error. Paraphilias by definition include mental urges where the activity must be the sole means of sexual gratification for a period of six (6) months. Whereas in algolagnia typical pleasure responses are still sought while seeking pain for pleasure might be avoided or be an addiction. In the case of masochism there is a psychological desire for pain and humiliation which may result in sexual arousal. On the other hand algolagnia is a physiological reaction to pain that doesn't involve desire or psychological aspects directly.

In other words a person with algolagnia enjoys the pain but might wish they didn't, and a masochist wishes for the pain but might not actually be wired to enjoy it.

Psychological categorization

In the past many activities and fantasies related to BDSM were generally attributed to sadism or masochism and were regarded by psychiatrists as pathologic.
Following the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) sadomasochism is categorized a "Disorder of sexual preference" (F65.5) and described as follows: "A preference for sexual activity which involves the infliction of pain or humiliation, or bondage. If the subject 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."

With the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 1994 new criteria of diagnosis were available describing BDSM clearly not as disorders of sexual preferences. They are now not regarded as illnesses in and of themselves. The DSM-IV asserts that "The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors" must "cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning" in order for sexual sadism or masochism to be considered a disorder. The manualls' latest edition (DSM-IV-TR) requires that the activity must be the sole means of sexual gratification for a period of six (6) months, and either cause "clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning" or involve a violation of consent to be diagnosed as a paraphilia. Overlays of sexual preference disorders and the practice of BDSM practices can occur, however."

December 23, 2007
4:48 am
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bevdee
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Damned bold - it's NOT a user malfunction!!

I read quite a few blogs about this and the common theme throughout was craving pain as a celebration of what the body could feel, not as punishment. To me, this sounds a little like some of the explanations I have heard about cutting.

"When everything feels like the movies / Yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive..."

December 23, 2007
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"Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure
did she understand it when they said
that a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure
Will she still believe it when he's dead?
Ah girl......"
(Lennon/McCartney, 1965)

Well, bev..... lots of info there. And I will never again view Star Trek the same way when they talk about "subspace communications".

Much to digest, and I'm heading out for a choir gig. Catch you later.

December 23, 2007
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Well, there you have it. According to the APA a bit of bondage, flogging, badly aimed ejaculation, and verbal insinuation that your partner is nothing but a receptacle for your pleasure...can actually be healthy! Doesn't do anything for me personally, but to each his own.

Now this guy has a problem:

December 23, 2007
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This clip from he original version of the film illustrates the problem from the receiving end.

December 23, 2007
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