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  • ICD-10: Sadomasochism F65.5

The object of erotic interest of sadists is Pathological sexual aggression and hostility towards the sexual object. Also, anything related to aggression. Sexual violence has a varied phenomenology. The manifestations of sadism and sadists also look like this. It is a whole range of sexually deviant tendencies and activities. From fetishistic sadistic partner expressions to offensive sadism and sadistic murder. Thus, the label "sadist" alone does not classify someone as a dangerous individual. This designation always needs to be further specified.

For practical and descriptive reasons, we recommend distinguishing sadism: fetishistic, pseudopedagogical and aggressive. This deviance in all its manifestations can be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. There is pedophilic sadism, but also gerontophilic sadism. We have repeatedly observed sadists who have shown their sexually aggressive tendencies on animals. We can therefore also speak of zoophilic sadism.

Fetishistic Sadism[edit | edit source]

This sexual deviation is of the nature of intimate erotic predilection. The victim is usually not seriously threatened. Sometimes the object as a whole is in the background and the erotic fascination is only with props that are somehow related to the violence. The deviance may be fantasy in nature (ideatory sadism). Then its manifestations are peculiar literary or artistic productions. Sometimes these are self-serving pseudo-artistic works, sometimes such works have a certain artistic ambition. The classic of fetishistic sadism, after whom the whole deviation takes its name, was the Marquis A. de Sade (1740-1840). Apart from literary works of dubious artistic value ('Justine', 'Philosophy in the Boudoir', etc.), this man repeatedly committed sexually aggressive offences. He was therefore clearly not a mere ideological paraphiliac.

A fetishistic sadist can pursue his deviant interests with a willing sexual partner. Often he uses the services of specialized prostitutes. In some countries, fetish sadists form deviant erotic clubs. Here it is possible to obtain both sadistic props and a willing partner for a fee. Because sadism in this embodiment is perfectly complementary to its inverse image, masochism, it is sometimes referred to as sadomasochism' (SM clubs). However, there are very few actual sadomasochists in the population. We can usually classify an individual as either a sadist or a masochist, depending on his or her erotic preferences.

Fetishistic sadists generally do not commit any crimes. They are therefore discovered only by accident. Some young fetishistic sadists consult a sexological counsellor because they are disturbed by their strange erotic fantasies. The partners of these men sometimes disclose their sexually deviant predilections. Either because they are surprised and offended by these practices, or (more often) because there has been a partner or marital conflict and the counterpart needs to be discredited as much as possible in the eyes of those around him.

Pseudopedagogical Sadism[edit | edit source]

Especially those sadists who target children or adolescents are close to this kind of sadism. The main features of pseudopedagogical sadism are emphasis on obedience and discipline. Dominance over the object is symbolized by dressage and a peculiar education for absolute submission. The violence used by these delinquents to achieve this may be only mild and symbolic. But the actual torture of the object, whether psychological or physical, is no exception. The domain of pseudo-pedagogical sadism is partner relations and child-rearing (whether in the family or in institutions).

If a sexual deviant of this kind appears in a position where he has some power over other people, he can become a source of considerable suffering for his charges. This pseudo-pedagogical form of sadism, like fetishistic sadism, can also sometimes occur in women.

Aggressive (offensive) sadism[edit | edit source]

An aggressive sadist brutally attacks an object to subdue it. He does not demand consent or submission, nor does he seek much of it. Sometimes he seems to need primarily the negative reactions of the object, his fear, terror and disgust. The object is usually immobilized by physical violence or severe threats. The manner of attacking the object is often ritualistically stereotyped. There is beating, attack with a stone or stick to the head, smashing, strangling, tying, drugging. At other times, the subject is attacked with a firearm, literally ambushed.

Typical of the aggressive sadist is the brutal and self-inflicted torture of the subjugated object. These deviants make it clear by their behaviour that the true aim of the attack is not to obtain sexual intercourse. The brutal physical violence is accompanied by bossing and bullying. The victim may be tortured in various ways and sometimes even Suicide. An assaultive sadist differs from a pathological sexual aggressor primarily by the fact that he or she tortures and humiliates the object. The props needed to assault and abuse the object are sometimes carried by the assaultive sadist. These include knives, guns, handcuffs, ropes, chains, etc. In contact with the victim, such an assaultive sadist sometimes does not even reach the emotional climax. At other times, during a long ritual, he will satisfy himself repeatedly and in different ways. Often he deliberately delays the orgasm, showing that he is primarily concerned with the thrill of tormenting his victim.

Aggressive sadists include most serial sexual killers. Their offences are often carried out in a stereotypical manner, using the same technique. Few aggressive sadists, however, begin their delinquent careers with sexual homicide. Most of the time, the dangerousness of their offences escalates. The typical progression goes through atypical genital exposure and less severe aggressive acts.

The assaultive sadist is rarely a willing client of a sexologist. Working with them is a matter of medical management of sex offenders.

Razorback[edit | edit source]

They are a less dangerous subgroup of offensive sadists. These sexually motivated men, typically obsessive, damage women's outer clothing. They take advantage of similar situations to frotheists and tuffers. I mean, crowding. Their classic tool is a razor or razor blade, which can be used to subtly and effectively damage women's outfits. Individuals have also been repeatedly described using acid, sprayed from a specially prepared container or syringe, for the same purpose.

The razor-wielder shows himself either at the scene by rubbing himself against the object or by jerking off, or more often by masturbating in seclusion. These sexual deviants usually have highly sadistic erotic fantasies.

Diagnosing sadism in an examination is not easy where the subject is uncooperative or his cooperation in the examination is only formal. Sexually aggressive topics are among the most taboo and repressed. They are even less entrusted to the community than paedophilic or homosexual tendencies. Sexual aggressiveness may not correlate at all with the general aggressiveness of the examinee's personality.

Links[edit | edit source]

Source[edit | edit source]

Author: doc. MUDr. Jaroslav Zvěřina, CSc. (head of the Sexuologického ústavu 1. LF a VFN)

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