Your Partner’s Strange Sexual Behavior May Mean They’re a Masochist — Here’s How to Tell

Blame it on 50 Shades of Grey — everyone and their significant other is trying to incorporate a little S&M into their relationship. But what many people don’t realize is that sexual masochism goes beyond light bondage and harmless shaming. Have you noticed that your partner seems a little too into feeling pain or humiliation during sex? These signs can help you determine if your partner is a legitimate masochist.

They don’t respond well to compliments …

Man kissing woman in bed

Does your lover not respond well to compliments? | Puhhha/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to having good bedside manner, complimenting your partner’s work in the sack is key. But masochists aren’t like that — they are turned off by receiving compliments. Sure, your significant other may be a more humble individual. But if he or she can’t take any compliments in the bedroom, this could be masochism at work.

… but they do like being humiliated

a heterosexual couple lie on their stomachs in bed while they have a discussion

This is a surefire sign your dating a masochist. | iStock/Getty Images

Where compliments don’t work, humiliation will. A surefire sign that your partner is a masochist is if he or she insists on being humiliated in the bedroom. This can be in the form of verbal insults made before sex, or during sex as a means of keeping arousal up. If your S.O. insists on being belittled because he or she is turned on by it, it’s masochism.

The desire to play ‘the martyr’

Frustrated couple in bed

Their requests in the bedroom may be a bit different. | iStock.com

A masochist’s need to be in pain can manifest into an obsession withe being a martyr. Mind Body Green points out that masochists are “driven by feelings of unworthiness” and are constantly on the hunt for validation or approval. (Although a masochists never actually likes the feeling of approval — they want to be in a constant painful state of searching for it.) Which brings us to…

They’re attracted to a state of chaos

couple arguing

Does your partner love to pick a fight? | iStock.com

A masochist’s desire to feel pain makes them seek out drama. And if your significant other is a masochist, he or she could be trying to create a constantly chaotic environment with you. Does your partner regularly start fights with you, and then try to have sex right after? This is definitely behavior fit for a masochist.

Sex has to be painful

Frustrated couple in bed

If your partner only likes painful sex then they are probably a masochist. | iStock.com

Sex is supposed to be enjoyable for all parties involved, right? So what happens when one person prefers to be uncomfortable? Perhaps your partner likes being scratched or bitten during sex, or put into a sexual position that makes his or her body uncomfortable. If this is the only way your partner will have sex with you, then your S.O. is a masochist.

They don’t know how to say ‘no’

Couple kissing in bed

It’s hard for a masochist to say no. | iStock.com

Mind Body Green also explains that masochists have a difficult time saying “no” to things. Remember, masochists are constantly seeking approval, so they will say yes to literally anything. If your partner is constantly seeking your approval, he or she may look at pain and humiliation during sex as a way of getting more of your love.

None of this is a ‘one-time behavior’

Couple lay cuddling on the bed

This behavior is likely to be ongoing. | iStock.com/Kuzmichstudio

If your partner wants to try bondage or humiliation in the bedroom, he or she may just be experimenting. But if the desire to be harmed and humiliated during sex lasts for more than six months, it is considered masochism. At this point, seeking professional help is the best chance for your partner to break these habits.

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