Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Sarah Ketay

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Ever since Kraft-Ebing (1886) coined the term “sadomasochist”, interest in this sexual deviance seems to have steadily grown. What was once a pathological condition has recently been thought of as an accepted sexual deviance. Although sadomasochism is a controversial subject, it seems that Westernized culture may be moving toward greater approval and interest. Sadomasochism represents the power struggles that we must deal with in every relationship we have. One of the most important aspects of SM is communication (Weinberg, Williams, & Moser, 1984; Weinberg, 1987). Many researchers (Rehman, Rellini, & Fallis, 2011; Rubin, Hill, Peplau & Dunkel-Schetter, 1980; Montesi, Fauber, Gordon, & Heimberg, 2011; Aron, Norman, Aron, McKenna, & Heyman, 2000) have found that this communication is an essential part of satisfaction in every relationship. In the following paper, I explain that the benefits that SM practitioners may gain in their relationships, and the lessons that they learn, may easily be generalized to “normal” or “vanilla” relationships.

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