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A book that dispels the myths about those who prefer to go beyond vanilla sex Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures is a comprehensive exploration of the entire sexual subculture that lies on the cutting edge of society. The mental health professions and society have marginalized people who practice sadomasochism (SM).This interdisciplinary collection dispels myths surrounding SM, bringing together leading scholars from the fields of sexology, psychology, sociology, and medicine, alongside queer studies and sexual minority advocacy. Experts such as Thomas S. Weinberg, PhD, Susan Wright, MA, Margaret Nichols, PhD, Odd Reiersol, PhD, Svein Skeid, Rebecca F. Plante, PhD, Niklas Nordling, MPsych, and N. Kenneth Sandnabba, PhD, among other stellar authorities, reveal research findings, clinical data, and critical thinking about sexuality that lies beyond vanilla. To gain a broader understanding of human sexuality, the study of SM is crucial for what it reveals about us as sexual beings. The text discusses the results of research into practitioners' behaviors and perspectives, the prevalence of SM behaviors in today's culture, and stresses the need for greater tolerance and understanding. The realization of SM desires and their acceptance are explored in detail. This unflinching look at the world and the people of SM will guide scholars and lay people alike into a more sensitive, sex-friendly viewpoint of the people society calls kinky. Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures answers questions such as: What is the nature of SM relationships? What are the values and motives of SM participants? How do mental health professionals regard and treat SM practitioners? Should sadomasochism continue to be classified as a mental illness? What is the legal status of SM and what are the consequences of discrimination against SM practitioners? Does increasing visibility of SM imagery decrease stigma or create added problems? What can ordinary lovers learn from those we have marginalized about the farther reaches of human erotic potential? Sadomasochism: Powerful Pleasures is valuable, insightful reading for mental health professionals, students, sex educators, sex counselors, sex therapists, sex researchers, sexual health workers, sociologists, sexual minority groups, and anyone interested in learning more about the sexual pleasures that lie beyond the traditional.