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For the medical condition in which pain/humiliation is required for sexual arousal and causes distress or impairment, see Sexual masochism disorder.
Activities and relationships within a BDSM context are often characterized by the participants taking on complementary, but unequal roles; thus, the idea of informed consent of both the partners is essential.
The terms "submissive" and "dominant" are often used to distinguish these roles: the dominant partner ("dom") takes psychological control over the submissive ("sub").
Such explicit sexual interaction is, for legal reasons, seen only rarely in public play spaces, and it is sometimes specifically banned by the rules of a party or playspace.
Whether it is a public "playspace"—ranging from a party at an established community dungeon to a hosted play "zone" at a nightclub or social event—the parameters of allowance can vary.
RACK may be seen as focusing primarily upon awareness and informed consent, rather than accepted safe practices. The consent and compliance for a sadomasochistic situation can be granted only by people who can judge the potential results.