Sex and relationships

What is the Masochism

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The term “masochism” means an inclination to derive pleasure as a result of physical suffering and moral humiliation on behalf of other people.

For the first time the term “masochism” was used by the Austrian psychiatrist R. Krafft-Ebing in his monograph “Psychopathia sexualis” published in 1886. There also exists the notion of “sexual masochism”. It implies a kind of sexual behaviour when a person can get aroused and have sexual satisfaction by means of suffering and humiliation inflicted upon them by a sexual partner.

Psychological or moral masochism is a particular form of masochism when a person derives pleasure from moral suffering, that is threats, insults, etc.

Masochism usually manifests itself in the early childhood, as a rule accompanied by sadism. Freud considers that painful sensations stir up a kind of pleasure (the so-called erotogenic masochism), that is why a certain degree of masochism is inherent in all the psychological structures, most frequently on a subconscious level. Mild forms of masochism can be frequently observed among adults, manifested in the form of erotic games.

This psychologic deviation got its name after the legendary writer L. Sacher-Masoch who first described its manifestations. But it was the sexologist R. Krafft-Ebing who introduced this term into extensive use.

Masochism can manifest itself quite differently, from a desire to dirty oneself with any kind of discharge to the aspiration for performing an operation. Psychiatrists claim that in fact masochism is not a desire to experience painful sensations, but an aspiration for having total control over oneself, over one’s body and soul.

Sometimes masochists can feel sexual arousal in the presence of any kind of danger, and also with the help of life-threatening stimulants as, for example, by means of using electric current.

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The famous psychoanalyst L. Eidelberg describes the following reasons for masochism development:

1.Deviations in sex identification (1,5-5 years of life). Exactly during this period a child develops such a feeling as guilt, provoked by parents and mother-infant relationship disorder. 

2.Inferiority complex.

3.The feeling of being weak or defenceless facing any kind of violence or humiliation endured in the childhood. Very frequently such an experience emotionally imprints on one’s consciousness and the further life of a child might be developed on its basis.

Similarly to sadism, masochism can manifest itself rather symbolically, that is a man can experience pleasure falling at the feet of his “sovereign”. In those couples where a man is a masochist one and the same scenario is usually performed: the woman, a harsh dominatrix, having tortured her partner preliminary, makes him submit. The man might perform the role of a servant, such a phenomenon is called “pageism”, or even a slave (servility). Quite often a man acts as a dog, a collar is put on him, he is given bones and commands.

From the point of view of social security masochism, of course, does not  present such a danger as sadism. A masochist has no need to inflict sufferings on others or kill them. However, masochism is a mental deviation able to ruin the sexual life of a person. It should be borne in mind while bringing up children, you should be caring and heedful of their needs, and certainly avoid severe punishment.

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Modern society has a misconception about Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. In fact, his book is completely harmless and very sensitive.

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