These are the questions that any theory of sadomasochism must answer. After each question I make a comment about
what I think I know about what the answer is.
1. Does sadomasochism have a biological purpose, i.e. does it increase reproductive success under at least some circumstances, and if so, how?
2. Why is the occurrence of sadomasochism strongly correlated with clothing fetishes involving leather, rubber, PVC and any other shiny fabric?
3. What is the full range of sexual preferences and activities associated with sadomasochism?
4. Is there one basic phenomenon that underlies all those preferences and activities?
5. Is there some part of the brain specifically devoted to sadomasochism? Is there some specific neurotransmitter involved?
6. What effects do psychoactive drugs have on sadomasochism, and can they be distinguished from effects on overall sex drive?
7. Is there a group of people who are sadomasochists distinct from those people who are not sadomasochists, or is it variation along a continuum?
8. Are there any genes that determine sadomasochism?
9. What is the concordance rate for identical twins?
10. Are there environmental causes or triggers for sadomasochism? If so, do they relate to the biological purpose (if any) that sadomasochism has?
11. Is anything like sadomasochism observed in non-human animals?