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Hurting Myself for Pleasure

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Hey there. I’m a teenage girl with an eating disorder and self-harm issues. At first I decided to cut myself because I was upset but now I do it because I enjoy the pain. Recently I’ve been exploring bdsm and I’ve realised that I’m a masochist. I’m single and only just past the legal age of consent, so I don’t have anyone to hurt me as I would like them to. I’ve been hurting myself for pleasure a lot more often and I’m worried because I can’t really talk to anyone about this. Is this a sexual disorder? Will I need medication or therapy to resolve this?

Hurting Myself for Pleasure

Answered by on -


This is a concerning issue. I am skeptical that you are a masochist, in the context of BDSM, because of your psychological issues. You may be, but this issue should be examined in counseling.

As many people do, you engaged in self-harm to relieve your psychological pain. Your exploration of BDSM might be a rationalization for your continued engagement in self-harm.

I would more likely, not characterize this as a sexual disorder but rather an extension of whatever is motivating your self-harm behaviors.

I would recommend that you consult a mental health professional to explore these issues. What’s most important is learning adaptive and healthy ways to deal with life problems. You may be lacking those skills.

Self-harm is self-destruction. Nothing good comes from your engaging in self-harm. Eating disorders are the most deadly of all mental health disorders. You need to do everything in your power to stop all forms of self-destruction. Counseling could help you a great deal.

Finally, BDSM seems to attract you. That’s true for many people. It might be a legitimate interest, but you can’t know that until you are no longer engaging in self-harm. Once your psychological problems are effectively addressed, then you may or may not be attracted to BDSM but for now, it’s best that you don’t engage in those behaviors. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Hurting Myself for Pleasure

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Hurting Myself for Pleasure. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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