I Believe I am a Sexual Sadist

Reader’s Question

For awhile now I’ve been dating this girl, and I wish to marry her. However, I have also been struggling with a less-than-normal sexuality, that I don’t think anyone would expect from me, and sometime I even wonder if I’m mentally well. I beleive that I am a sexual sadist. I am sexually aroused by biting, clawing, binding and torturing my partner’s breasts, and even fantasy rape scenarios. I have never hurt anyone, and I don’t have a criminal record, but I’m still afraid of myself. My girlfriend and I haven’t had sex yet (though we plan to) and I’ve never talked to her about this: I’m afraid she’ll become terrified of me, and that she’ll leave me. And I’m afraid that when we do get into bed, I won’t be able to control myself, and that I may end up hurting her and scaring her away. I haven’t told any of my friends about this, I just think it will estrange them. My sexual state of mind, is it healthy? Should I seek help? What should I do?

Psychologist’s Reply

While you report arousal by sexually sadistic fantasy, you’ve never hurt anyone and haven’t been intimate with your current partner. This suggests to me that you have the fantasies…but you’ve not actually experienced these behaviors first-hand. Sexual fantasies are very common but you’re describing a level of preoccupation that you may feel will place your partner at physical risk. In your situation, I would advise seeing a mental health professional for several reasons:

  1. You may have limited sexual experience yet excessive sexual fantasy. This may be in the normal range…or not. An assessment would be helpful.
  2. You are appropriately concerned for the relationship. As you suspect, surprising your new partner/spouse with this type of sexual fantasy and behavior would create significant problems in the relationship.
  3. Being afraid of yourself is enough to need a mental health assessment. While most folks have sexual fantasies — they are not afraid they will act them out. Being afraid tells me that you worry about your ability to control yourself…and that needs evaluation by a professional. Lastly,
  4. We need to wonder where your “normal” sexual fantasies have gone. You have a sweetheart and that typically creates normal sexual fantasies. In your case, those normal sexual fantasies are not present — being overwhelmed by sadistic fantasies. Again, seek consultation to further evaluate your situation.

It is possible that your overconcern about sexually sadistic fantasies is a product of sexual inexperience or even sexual immaturity. If this is the case, counseling would be helpful to mature your views of sexuality and sexual interaction.

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