It’s sort of ironic that I had this blog post title already saved as a draft I was intending to write about when a couple of minutes ago a Domme friend messaged me about receiving some negative comments from someone that completely relates to this topic. I was originally planning on writing this from a perspective of dominant guilt and reluctance but I figure that is a good enough reason to write it in a more general sense.
I think that a lot of people shy away from the term sadist. This is common with newer Dommes and for “curious” men that are looking at the D/s lifestyle from the outside in. I know many veteran Dommes that embrace the term completely and consider it an essential part of who they are.
For a straight forward definition I will be working with: a sadist is someone that derives pleasure (usually sexual) from inflicting suffering.
As much as newer subs can struggle with the idea of being subs, newer Dommes often struggle with the idea of sadism. They can feel abnormal or screwed up. They can feel dangerous. However, the biggest hurdle they often must clear on the path of self-acceptance is the idea that being a sadist doesn’t make someone a bad person.
Many violent criminals are sadists. Being a sadist doesn’t make someone a violent criminal. Being a sadist doesn’t turn someone into a sociopath or a psychopath that breaks laws and violates others. Being a sadist doesn’t remove someone’s conscience. Being a sadist doesn’t make someone heartless or lacking in empathy, sympathy, and compassion. Being a sadist just means that someone gets turned on by inflicting pain. That doesn’t make someone a bad person, it just gives them a sexual quirk.
The mental hurdle that I referred to earlier is for a Domme to come to the understanding that being a sadist does not make them bad or evil. In my eyes, the crucial difference is the absence of malice.
In D/s, when a sadist hurts a consensual sub that in many cases is some form of masochist, there is no malice. The sub gets what they want. The Domme does it because they want to feel a certain way. Even if the Domme secretly desires to say, enslave someone who doesn’t like pain and hurt them, the fact that they would not act upon that desire keeps them from falling into the realm of evil.
To summarize it bluntly, a person that chooses to hurt a consensual “victim” in a way that gives them both pleasure is not evil.
How this differs from malice is simple. A sadist wants to hurt someone because the sadist gets something from it. A person acting with malice wants to hurt someone simply because they wish harm upon the victim. From my perspective, this makes malice evil in a way that sadism in D/s is not.