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What do you know about Sadomasochism? Is it true that Sadomasochism can equal love? What is it like being in an S&M relationship? This article has discussed everything you need to know about S&M in detail, including; the relationship between S& M, expressing love in S&M, and S&M healer for broken relationships.

People perceive love as a chemical reaction. It is a feeling that can be tangible in the form of a hug, a kiss, a smile, or the presence of sincerity in someone's eyes. No one can judge what love personally means to an individual. You cannot label a single act as a form of love and affection. Hopefully, this article will help break the stereotype that acts of BDSM are dangerous, violent, and superficial ways to satisfy unfavorable human desires. S&M stands for Sadism, gaining sexual satisfaction from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation, and Masochism means gaining sexual satisfaction from receiving pain, suffering, and humiliation. It is a relationship and intense dance of sensuality, trust, kink, and respect that can increase the connection between two people. Embracing S&M goes beyond the physical act. Those who engage in S&M practices are loving, affectionate, and in love as those who don't.

What an S&M Relationship Looks Like

An S&M relationship looks like any other relationship; as you would see a friendly face at your favorite grocery store, it would be impossible to assume what an individual desires or experiences when in a relationship. Waldura et al. (2016) revealed that many people who enjoy sadomasochism and masochism practices are mentally healthy. The only difference is that they don't gain much arousal from mainstream regular sex as they do from other more intense experiences with a partner. Deep-rooted affection, love, and respect are within the confinements of S&M relationships. One of the major components of this sexual practice is trust. You wouldn't willingly give up all control to a person you don't trust. Being placed in a consensual compromising situation is a perfect indication of trust though trust does not always equal love. However, trusting a person is one of the healthiest ways to be in love.

How Can Love Be Expressed Through S&M?

S&M is not about whipping a partner; it is a lifestyle. Some people who engage in S&M have set clear and respectful boundaries beforehand. The boundaries set often come in the form of formal or informal consent. According to Dunkley & Brotto (2020), the rules comprise what the sadist is allowed to do, what the masochist is comfortable doing, a chosen safe word, and the discussion of materials used and sexual acts performed.

A power dynamic comes into play once boundaries are set. There's one sadist, mostly referred to as the dominant, and one masochist, referred to as the submissive. In some relationships, one or both partners can be considered a switch, where these power roles are reversed when desired. These two work together to create a pleasing, arousing, and satisfying experience. One where both partners feel comfortable and receive the stimulation and desires they crave.

People display their more gentle, protective, and nurturing side in aftercare. Aftercare could be considered one of the most important aspects of an S&M relationship, as it brings two individuals together.

Aftercare can take shape by cuddling, talking, or embracing each other. It can also be showering together or giving each other undivided attention. According to Nichols & Shernoff (2000), aftercare proves to be healthy for couples, especially women, as after sexual activity, they often feel undesired due to hormonal changes. In regular sex encounters, there is no aftercare such as talking or cuddling, which is how the power dynamic of an S&M relationship could surpass regular sex regarding respect and experiencing feelings of warmth, safety, and affection.

S&M is a Healer for Broken Relationships

IT may seem unreasonable to some people, but some sex therapists recommend the practice of S&M to couples facing relationship difficulties. One sex therapist, S&M, makes a difference for damaged relationships. It is true, especially for those who feel they are in a position of weakness or power over their significant other.

A partner may be dominant towards the other, causing a power imbalance. Orttman & Sprott ( 2012) suggested that introducing opposite roles in the bedroom can restore balance and resolve control issues. However, if one partner has endured a bad sexual experience before, allowing them to take control can be a healthy way to regain sexual self-esteem and work through their trauma.

The driving force for people in an S&M relationship is reaching mutual consent without intending to hurt themselves or others negatively. There is little or no harm in trying or enjoying S&M. It's best if you stay open-minded and explorative. S&M has become more prevalent in the mainstream media since it has opened up the possibility of a discussion, education, and experimentation.

Ten years ago, S&M, while probably being prevalent in some pornographic content, was seen as taboo, strange, and unheard of. S&M is more normalized now due to exposure in the mainstream media. People are now introduced to a new way to enjoy and think about sex. Those who were unapproving of this kind of sexual activity are now educated and more aware.


Love, as people perceive it, is a chemical reaction. It is a feeling that can be tangible in the form of a hug, smile, a kiss, or the presence of sincerity in someone's eyes. However, no one should judge what love personally means to an individual. It's wrong to label one act as a form of love and affection while rejecting mainstream manners of adoration. The stereotype that says acts of BDSM are dangerous and superficial should be broken. BDSM plays are dangerous but safe and pleasurable if a person follows the rules. Ensure communication with a partner to help learn different sexual desires. Employ aftercare to help heal a partner as emotions may e overwhelming. Consider role play to make the session enjoyable. An S&M relationship can equal love if two people have mutual trust, respect, adoration, and the right information.


Dunkley, C. R., & Brotto, L. A. (2020). The Role Of Consent In The Context Of BDSM. Sexual Abuse, 32(6), 657-678.

Nichols, M., & Shernoff, M. (2000). Therapy With Sexual Minorities. Principles And Practice Of Sex Therapy, 4, 353-367.

Ortmann, D. M., & Sprott, R. A. (2012). Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities And Communities. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Waldura, J. F., Arora, I., Randall, A. M., Farala, J. P., & Sprott, R. A. (2016). Fifty Shades Of Stigma: Exploring The Health Care Experiences Of Kink-Oriented Patients. The Journal Of Sexual Medicine, 13(12), 1918-1929.