An eponym based on Count Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade (1740 - 1814) a French novelist whose books were full of sexual fantasies of torturing sexual partners.

De Sade was condemned to death in 1772 because of his writings, but escaped to Italy. His life was filled with unmentionable adventures until he was finally caught and locked up in the Charenton Lunatic Asylum. He died there in 1814.

Sexologist Kraft-Ebbing coined the term sadism in 1872. It currently is used to cover practices like bondage and dominance, along with 'torture' (or pseudo-torture). It is often lumped with masochism (another eponym), as in the terms sadomasochism and BDSM; these nodes have much more information.

sadism: a paraphilia of the sacrificial/expiatory type in which sexuoerotic arousal and facilitation or attainment of orgasm are responsive to and contingent on [and dependent upon] being the authority who variously imposes abuse, torture, punishment, discipline, humiliation, obedience, and servitude (named after the Marquis de Sade, 1740-1814, French author and sadist). The reciprocal paraphilic condition is masochism.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

Contrary to common belief, sadism is not strictly limited to a desire to hurt others, or see others in pain, or indeed taking pleasure in the discomfort of others. Rather, to be a sadist one must follow the inherent philosophy of the Marquis de Sade, that is to say, to do what Nature dictates, and that is mainly, to please and serve YOURSELF before anyone else. A sadist may thoroughly enjoy being flogged to a bleeding pulp, or being the bottom in a sexual power exchange. Alternatively, a sadist may also enjoy chopping up little girls into pieces. A sadist may enjoy eating pancakes on a Saturday morning. The point is that what anyone else enjoys or values, or indeed BELIEVES is unimportant to the sadist.

A sadist does not believe in love, nor law, nor God. They are faithful to friends and lovers only to protect their interests, find no evidence to an afterlife, and see their own survival as important, but because of a belief in the cycles of nature and Man's unimportance in the grand scheme of the Universe, do not fear death.

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