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What is SM? Introduction

By Susan Wright
with contributions from Charles Moser, Ph.D., M.D.

In the last decade, SM awareness has exploded into popular culture. SM is commonly depicted in advertising, books, movies, music, and is becoming commonplace on television. SM has been positively covered by Newsweek, Time, Ms. Magazine, the New York Times and many other national publications. SM fashion accessories have become commonplace, as have jokes about SM play.

Yet separating the truth about SM from the stereotypes can be difficult.

This article is an attempt to educate the public about sadomasochism (SM). The following are some answers about consensual SM that are supported by scientific research.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. SM is a Sexual Orientation or Behavior
  2. SM is Safe, Sane and Consensual
  3. SM is not Domestic Violence
  4. Seeking A Professional
  5. Should I Be Afraid of People Who Enjoy SM?
  6. How Many People Engage in SM Activities?
  7. More Information About SM Activities
  8. Appendix A