- "What all these people are doing is not aggressive; they are inventing new possibilities of pleasure with strange parts of their body - through the eroticization of the body. I think it's...a creative enterprise, which has as one of its main features what I call the desexualization of pleasure."
- Quote in Aldrich, Robert and Wotherspoon, Gary (Eds.) Who's Who: In Gay and Lesbian History from Antiquity to World War II (2001), in reference to S/M.
- In principle there is a difference between violence which is incidental and violence which is inflicted for the indulgence of cruelty. The violence of sadomasochistic encounters involves the indulgence of cruelty by sadists and the degradation of victims. Such violence is injurious to the participants and unpredictably dangerous. I am not prepared to invent a defence of consent for sadomasochistic encounters which breed and glorify cruelty . . . . Society is entitled and bound to protect itself against a cult of violence. Pleasure derived from the infliction of pain is an evil thing. Cruelty is uncivilized.
- Lord Templeton, Judgement in the Operation Spanner case
- [N]o one appeared to wonder whether this S-M proliferation was a lesbian copy of a faggot imitation of patriarchal backlash against feminism.
- Robin Morgan, "The Politics of Sado-Masochistic Fantasies", in Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist, p 235.
- Sadomasochism has always been the furthest reach of the sexual experience: when sex becomes most purely sexual, that is, severed from personhood, from relationships, from love. It should not be surprising that it has become attached to Nazi symbolism in recent years. Never before was the relation of masters and slaves so consciously aestheticized. Sade had to make up his theater of punishment and delight from scratch, improvising the decor and costumes and blasphemous rites. Now there is a master scenario available to everyone. The color is black, the material is leather, the seduction is beauty, the justification is honesty, the aim is ecstasy, the fantasy is death.
- Susan Sontag, "Fascinating Fascism" (1974), The New York Review of Books (1975-02-06), reprinted in Under the Sign of Saturn (1980), p 105.
- Sex without pain is like food without taste.
- Attributed to Marquis de Sade
- The safeword is the word you use in S/M sex that means "stop"; ... it's something innocuous, like "red", "blue", "tree", "table", whatever, so I said to my friend Bucky, who was teaching me about safewords, "But Bucky, what happens if you forget the safeword? Red, blue, green, yellow, onomatopoeia, front-loading dishwasher, what?!" She said, "Maggie, you say 'I forgot the safeword, you idiot!'" ~ Maggie Cassella
- "Those who can't hear the music think the dancers are insane."