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Sadomasochism, or S&M, is a combination of two terms: sadism, meaning receiving pleasure (sexual or non-sexual) from pain inflicted upon others; and masochism, meaning receiving pleasure from receiving pain. These two characteristics regarding the interaction of pleasure and pain are regarded collectively under one term. A person may a sadist, a masochist, or both. Any of the three, in a more general term, would be called a sadomasochist.

It should be noted that, speaking generally, a masochist's pleasure derived from pain would not be derived from pain received outside of a "scene" or outside of BDSM practice, such as being injured in a car accident.

The term sadomasochism is frequently used to explain BDSM activities. These activities can range from erotic spankings to bondage to more intense forms of pain infliction or torture. Sadomasochism can also incorporate receiving pleasure from related acts such as humiliation or domination/submission (exchanging of power). Sadomasochists frequently exhibit these tendencies via relationships such as Master/slave, Mistress/boy, etc. BDSM activities are usually experienced within a "scene," which is a pre-discussed interaction between a "Top" and a "bottom." This allows BDSM practitioners to operate effectively within their standing mantra: making play safe, sane, and consensual.

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This article is published under the terms of the GFDL. The contributors to this article were: slavesteel, Tanos

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