Our Definition

deriving pleasure or purpose from inflicting pain or discomfort. Frequently refers to physical elements, but can also apply to emotional or mental elements.

Common Practices

Everyone is different! You'll see this repeated throughout our website and glossary. Common sadism practices include, but certainly aren't limited to:
  • Pairing up with a compatible masochist
  • Discussing types of pain
  • Establishing boundaries and limits 
  • Seeking information about safe practice before participating in some types of play 
  • Pre-established safe words 
  • Checking in with scene partner frequently, especially when a dynamic is new 
  • Learning to read a scene partner’s nonverbal cues. 

Murphy enjoys whipping their partner with a cane.

Jane likes to play with emotional elements of sadism. She often uses humiliation and degradation on her submissive. 
Hugh likes to grab his partner by the hair and pull hard, inciting a yelp of pain.

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Real Life Examples

We're gathering short anecdotes on this topic from experienced kinksters!
If you'd like to be quoted in our glossary, please email us a single paragraph describing the practices you'd like to share, along with whatever name you'd like to be credited with.
If your definition differs from ours, tell us how and why! We want to illustrate as many sides of kink as we can to both normalize kink and the diversity within it.

Recent Glossary Entries


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