Among women, sexual masochism is one of the most common forms of paraphilia. However, its etiology and clinical correlations remained unknown — until now.
A new study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, examined 60 women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, along with 60 others that suffered from a different personality disorder.
According to researchers, women with BPD were ten times more likely to have masochism traits, compared to women who did not suffer from such personality disorder. Furthermore, researchers also noted that masochism found in women with BPD fantasized about being whipped, tied up, and spanked.
However, make no mistake: Women who are diagnosed with BPD does not necessarily mean that they have masochistic traits. Instead, researchers suggested that masochistic women suffering from BPD may have been more likely to suffer from childhood sexual abuse, the data concluded.
In an interview with PsyPost‘s Eric Dolan, Alvaro Frias Ibanez, one of the lead researchers of the study, gave the following statement in regards to the findings.
“Based on my clinical experience, clinicians should address whether borderline patients may have sado-masochistic sexual disorder, specifically in order to avoid forthcoming sexual risk behaviors and also as a manner to treat with trauma-related symptomatology.”
Sexual abuse may play a predispositional role in the comorbidity of both borderline-PD and sado-masochistic sexual disorder, however, more research needs to be done to investigate this link.