Sadism refers to the tendency to derive pleasure or gratification from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others. 

It is a psychological disorder when it involves causing harm to others for one’s own pleasure or satisfaction. 

Sadism is highly correlated with the dark triad, but it predicts anti-social behavior beyond the dark triad.

Sadism shares common characteristics with psychopathy and antisocial behavior, including lack of empathy, readiness for emotional involvement, and inflicting suffering.

In consensual adult relationships, some individuals may engage in consensual BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, and Masochism) activities where power dynamics are explored, but all participants engage willingly and with clear boundaries and consent in place. 

It’s important to distinguish between consensual BDSM activities and harmful sadistic behaviors that are non-consensual and dangerous.

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