Gender identity contusion in men with sadism has been noted in other descriptive studies (for example, see Langevin38 and Langevin et al109). Extreme cases of gender identity confusion were reported in men who have been described as sadists and whose crimes included dismembering female body parts, cannibalizing, and even attempting to wear body parts of their victims.
As outlined by Hucker (1997), Krafft-Ebing cited eight varieties of sexual sadism; namely, lust-murder, mutilation of a corpse, injury to a woman via stabbing, flagellation, or comparable means, defilement of a woman, symbolic sadism (where one might cut a woman's hair rather than her skin), ideational sadism (restricted to thoughts only), sadism via use of an object such as a whip, and sadistic acts with animals. AU these counted as instances of sexual sadism insofar as they led to sexual arousal.
A major focus of the psychopathy literature is the disposition toward violence and aggression (Meloy, 1988). As an exemplar of this disposition, sadism entails aggression that need not relate to perceived threat, nor is it necessarily prompted by frustration. Indeed, clinicians have noted that some psychopaths seem to need violence as a staple of their regular emotional experience.
Some sadists enjoy the others' suffering.
Sadistic PD is regarded as an important factor particularly in forensic populations (Spitzer, Fiester, Gay, & Pfohl, 1991; Stone, 2001). Loranger, Sartorius, Andreoli, Berger, Buchheim, Channabasavanna et al. (1994) found that in a general clinical sample only 0.5% were diagnosed with sadistic PD and 1.3% with its masochistic counterpart, self-defeating PD. In forensic samples sadistic PD is much more prevalent.
Sadism here is used to denote behavior thought to be motivated by hate and the urge to destroy. This was the meaning Freud gave to this kind of sadism, to the point that he built it into an instinct (his word), Thanatos (Freud, 1920/1955). And this is the meaning that Klein, too, gave to it, perhaps even more pointedly than Freud. Since Klein, the analytic community, when talking about sadism, has continued to endorse this meaning: hate and destructiveness (see "Review of the Literature," below).
Sadism and masochism are, of course, named after famous practitioners -- the Marquis de Sade (1740-1824) and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1835-1895) -- who stand approximately one hundred years apart, but well within the Foucauldian dates of deployment. As with the psychiatric discovery of all peripheral sexualities, it cannot be claimed that sadism and masochism only exist from their neologistic birth date; yet it is possible to claim a distinction (similar to that of sodomite and homosexual) between sadistic or masochistic acts prior to the medicalisation of the term, and the proliferation of discourses surrounding such acts after the invention of the terms.
The DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of sexual sadism state that: there must be recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors involving acts (real, not simulated) in which the psychological or physical suffering of the victim is sexually exciting to the person; these fantasies, urges or behaviors must have a duration of at least 6 months; the fantasies, urges or behaviors must cause significant distress or functional impairment.
True sadists, who enjoy inflicting pain, experience torture as a game and the victim as a toy. The ability to gloat, to taunt, to revel in their own invulnerability and compare it to the victim's enslavement to what they will do next, are part of the essence of sadism.
In journalism, the torture is applied to the victim's reputation, his public image and credibility.
Envy, shame/rage mechanism, a disturbed oral-sadistic development, castration fear and severe feelings of inferiority, the conviction of being unlovable and unacceptable, need to diminish tension, powerful and sadistic fantasies as a consequence of inadequate and frustrated parenting, and reality distortion appear to be involved in sadistic etiology.
Sadism in small doses, when combined with good faith, can make positive contributions to the human experience. Some thread of sadism can be found in teasing, interpersonal parody and satire. (Healthy families and healthy marriages do a lot of teasing, parody and satire!) Sadism is an ingredient in tickling and practical jokes, the stuff of life where I grew up. Lovers use the metaphor "sweet torture."