The masochist says to the sadist: "Please hurt me."
The sadist says, "No."
I have seen this ridiculous short exchange in so many contexts, most recently today, that I feel compelled to clear up the misconceptions about sadists and masochists.
What people believe about us simplifies who we are and what motivates us to seek out what we do in sex. It's a caricature of sadomasochism. The reality has subtleties and complexities most people wouldn't imagine.
It's unfortunate that the term, "sadist," has come to be used in conjunction with those who commit criminal acts, but I suppose it's somewhat appropriate, given that the Marquis de Sade, whose name is the origin of the term, committed crimes himself. His sexual "crimes" were mild, however: blasphemy, for using crosses with one prostitute, and sodomy, which was common among the French aristocracy at the time, though technically illegal. He also beat the French prince very badly, though, and the rumors of his sexual cruelty were numerous.
Perhaps we should create a different term to use for those of us who get off on reactions (especially pain), but seek the consent of others. After all, we are not doing it to be cruel, but to fulfill sexual desire, in both us and those with whom we seek the darker side of sex.
To understand what I am, sexually, it might be helpful to go back to where it started. When I was nine years old, I saw a movie where women were kidnapped and held
In pursuit of my desire to see girls tied up and struggling, I spent time as a boy playing a game with a neighborhood girl where we would tie each other up and try to get free. This play never went farther than the tying and escaping. I was very young.
I tied up two of my girlfriends. I tied up a girl I tutored in Algebra (with her consent) and tickle tortured her. I spanked my prom date. All of these things I did with the consent of my partners, but I wanted more.
I met my first masochist at age 23. She was in her thirties and had experience. If she had limits, I never found them. We explored fire, blood, severe spanking, consensual non-consent, bondage, whipping... I learned a lot from her. One of the things I learned, and what people miss about sadists and masochists getting together, is that masochists will go much farther in exploring limits, with a much wider variety of kinks, than someone who doesn't really enjoy pain, but allows to have it inflicted on them to please a sadist.
For me, it's all about reaction, and masochists will still react in ways that fulfill me as a sadist. Masochists can still be bound and still struggle. Just because a masochist enjoys pain doesn't mean she/he will not cry out when whipped, spanked, poked with needles, pinched, bitten or otherwise stimulated by pain. There are still gasps and moans and begging. An intense orgasm is a pleasing reaction. Asphyxiation play produces intoxicating panic reactions.
There's something people should understand about masochists, too: it's not all about the pain. My slave, who is most certainly a masochist, enjoys severe spanking. She loves being whipped with
Example: during a savage fucking, I often have two fistfuls of her hair. She doesn't particularly enjoy this pain, but suffering through it, begging me to stop, but still having it continue (not using her safe phrase), always makes her incredibly wet, and often brings her to orgasm. I sometimes slap her head, which she doesn't particularly enjoy directly, but it turns her on while I'm fucking her. She fears the heavy memory foam pillow I sometimes use in breath play, but it turns her on with an intensity rarely rivaled by other acts.
There are subtleties and nuances to our sadomasochism, and experiences we couldn't possibly have with those who don't truly enjoy what we enjoy. The masochist's enjoyment is the opposite of the anathema to what the sadist desires. If anything, a masochist's tolerance for pain can present a challenge to the sadist to get the desired reaction. What's more exciting in sex than creativity, than exploring new kinks?