It's still common for people to claim that power exchange is inherently abusive or the result of psychopathological problems. Thus I was happy to see this study of BDSM practitioners:
It has been generally thought that the practice of bondage-discipline, dominance-submission, sadism-masochism (BDSM) is in some form associated with psychopathology. However, several more recent studies suggest a relative good psychological health of BDSM practitioners.
Compared to the control group, BDSM practitioners were less neurotic, more extraverted, more open to new experiences, more conscientious, less rejection sensitive, had higher subjective well-being, yet were less agreeable.
We conclude that BDSM may be thought of as a recreational leisure, rather than the expression of psychopathological processes.
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