The world hates labels, but occasionally differences arise that make them desirable. I like to disguise labels with the word “terminology.” Terms have a definition and give the term its unique meaning. It’s still a label but meh.
Something I find fascinating is that the varying number of sub terms but relatively few terms for dominants. The majority of the terms are often simply the natural pairing for the sub type. It’s odd because it seems like every other year, new terms for sub types surface describing a demographic that has a critical difference or characteristic that is supposed to differentiate them from the people that are not that type. While a good number of these are created by people hoping to appear exclusive and unique, every so often I dig up a term that seems like a very relevant description that is noteworthy.
I’m not sure exactly when the term emotional masochist first entered into the scene but it was definitely during a time that I wasn’t really looking for information. For ease, I will use the term “arouse” to mean sexual arousal/pleasure or arousal caused by subspace. Nearly everyone is aware of the term masochist as an individual that gets aroused by experiencing physical pain. Thus, an emotional masochist is someone that gets aroused by experiencing emotional pain (humiliation, degradation, etc.).
The idea of emotional masochism sits at the foundation of the term I am searching for because its “natural pair” generally goes without a name but is often a source of great disagreement because the appropriately termed pairing, sadist, frequently fails to be its actual pairing. That is, the people who deem themselves to be sadists are not always a fit for an emotional masochist.
The dictionary definitions of sadists are basically: an individual that derives pleasure or sexual gratification for inflicting physical and/or emotional suffering on another. While they will vary from dictionary to dictionary, they nearly always include both physical pain and some form of emotional pain (humiliation, degradation, etc.). It is also used interchangeably whether they use “AND” vs. “OR” between the physical and emotional. What is even more difficult is that dominants tend to use the term without regards for the AND and OR.
Lady Grey generally hates it whenever I make a post referring to “non-sadist Dommes.” I can definitely understand the concern but I now realize that it is likely the AND and OR that is a major difference in views. It’s easiest to illustrate this if you think about a ruler you used in math class in school. If you are in the US, it most likely included metric on one side and English standard on the other. Using the AND definition of a sadist, this means a “ruler” has both metric and English standard units. Using the OR definition, it means a ruler has either both metric and English, just metric, or just English units.
The working definition of sadist that I use in my mind is someone that gets pleasure from inflicting physical AND emotional pain. Under this definition if someone is drawn to only one of the two, there is a need for terms such as “physical sadist” and “emotional sadist.” With that in mind, I have never had anyone refer to themselves by one of those terms, only the term itself, sadist.
This becomes a natural sticking point on understanding when these definitions do not coincide. I have come across a lot of sadists and the majority of them lean to the physical sadism only side of the spectrum. I have never come across anyone that would label themselves a sadist but then lean mostly to the emotional sadism side of the spectrum. This leaves the remaining two options being sadists that enjoy inflicting physical pain, and those that enjoy inflicting physical AND emotional pain.
I want terms! Anyone know some that differentiate these two? Labels are bad, but I want one or two words that allows me to explain something without having to write 5 paragraphs.
For those who haven’t seen the contrast between these, a dual sadist (made up term) doesn’t necessarily go out of their way to humiliate or degrade their sub but there are some key differences in what fuels their Domspace between the physical sadist. An easy check is in regards to pain play.
A physical sadist will get pleasure from inflicting pain but generally will only want to play with a masochist. They get aroused by the play but want the comfort of knowing it is consensual and mutually pleasurable.
A dual sadist (or whatever the hell you want to call it) will also get pleasure from inflicting pain on a masochist, but inflicting pain to a non-physical masochist adds a layer. Hurting the sub while knowing that they do NOT enjoy it ticks the emotional suffering box.
Just trying to read the last five paragraphs or so is probably quite painful. That is why I’m searching for some terms…