(a study done on sadomasochistic "disorders" for determining whether or not they should be included int the 5th edition of the DSM).
Most studies of individuals practicing sadomasochism in the community have shown evidence of good psychological and social function, as measured by higher educational level, income, and occupational status compared with the general population (Breslow, Evans, & Langley, 1985; Moser & Levitt, 1987; Sandnabba, Santtila, & Nordling, 1999; Santtila, Sandnabba, & Nordling, 2000). Weinberg (2006) concluded his review of the social and psychological literature by saying that‘‘…sociological and social psychological studies see SM practitioners as emotionally and psychologically well balanced, generally comfortable with their sexual orientation, and socially well adjusted’’(p. 37). A recent study by Sagarin, Cutler, Cuther, LawlerSagarin, and Matuszewich (2009) examining hormone levelsand psychological measures of relationship closeness in subjects before and after participating in sadomasochistic activities reported reductions in physiological stress as measured by cortisol and increases in relationship closeness among participants who reported their SM activities went well.
So let's see. They function perfectly well in society, experienced decreased stress levels following BDSM encounters, and find themselves in closer relationships.
This same report also notes that there is a very common objection to listing some paraphillias as disorders since they don't appear to be pathological, they are unscientific, unnecessary, and they (improperly) pathologize groups who partake in them. Edited, Dec 10th 2011 10:54pm by idiggory