Sexual Etymology: Sadism, Masochism, and Candaulism

by Jason Stotts

Today’s words are all etymologically interesting as they are not derived from other languages, but as a reference to the names of their originators.

Sadism – the enjoyment of another’s pain or suffering, usually in a sexual context.  The name is a reference to the Marquis de Sade, author of 120 Days of Sodom and Justine (among others).

Masochism – the enjoyment of pain or suffering being inflicted on oneself, usually in a sexual context.  The name is a reference to Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, author of Venus in Furs.

Candaulism – the enjoyment of sexually exposing one’s female partner to the view of others.  The name is a reference to King Candaules from Herodotus’s tale of Gyges (which is substantially different from Plato’s account of the myth of Gyges).

It should be obvious that the term “Sadomasochism” is a combination of sadism and masochism and is intended to encompass the whole of the enjoyment of pain in relation to sex (whether giving or receiving).

I’m still taking requests for words.  There are still the following words left:
-coitus
-procreation
-fetish
-paraphilia
-homosexuality
-heterosexuality
-sodomy
-annilingus
-erotic
-hysteria
-kiss

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