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(măs`əkĭzəm), sexual disorder in which sexual arousal is derived from subjection to physical and emotional degradation. A type of paraphilia (see perversion, sexualperversion, sexual,
in psychology, sexual behavior deemed pathological by its deviation from "normal" sexual desire. The definition of sexual perversion has shifted considerably over time: indeed, it has never been an uncontested category of meaning.
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), masochism is explained in psychoanalysis as a destructive attitude in which the individual turns inward upon himself instead of outward upon others. It is coupled with sadism, in which sexual pleasure is derived from the infliction of pain or humiliation. The word masochism was suggested by Austrian novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose books depicted this abnormality. In recent years, a number of theorists have suggested that sadomasochism can be a healthy form of sexual arousal among consenting individuals.


See T. Weinberg and G. L. W. Kamel, S & M: Studies in Sadomasochism (1983); R. Glick and D. Meyers, Masochism (1987).



a sexual perversion in which an individual cannot reach orgasm unless his sexual partner abuses or humiliates him. Masochism is named after the Austrian writer L. Sacher-Masoch (1836-95), whose novels led the Viennese psychiatrist R. von Krafft-Ebing to diagnose the condition in him.

What does it mean when you dream about masochism?

Masochism can represent a desire to punish oneself out of guilt for a crime committed. Physical masochism in a dream can also represent psychological masochism.


Pleasure derived from experiencing physical or psychological pain.


1. Psychiatry an abnormal condition in which pleasure, esp sexual pleasure, is derived from pain or from humiliation, domination, etc., by another person
2. Psychoanal the directing towards oneself of any destructive tendencies
References in periodicals archive ?
56) Rather than desiring her father and wishing for her mother to be out of the way, Helen's problem, Gordon believed, was that she remained masochistically tied to her mother; this, despite the fact that Helen had been involved in an incestuous relationship with her father over the course of many years.
In the third stanza the young man then vengefully and even masochistically harnesses himself to a cart, presumably replacing one of the exhausted horses he has been counting, and actually handles his father's corpse.
Quite why we treated ourselves so masochistically is a mystery.
The hallucinatory visions of the Circe episode intensify and exaggerate Bloom's androgynous (that is, partly feminine) fascination with strong-willed, manly women, as he masochistically submits to their taunts and chastising.
Crash, his masterpiece of obsessive focus, which had been building up throughout the stories in The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), suddenly masochistically erotic with its gyres of hurtling metal reflection and swollen flesh.
As he writes, "Perversely, masochistically, shamefully, procrastination has that productive effect of producing in the absence of productivity" (23).
In the face of this controlling power, the dream character masochistically submits to the misuse.
In the same way as Jerry Lewis, by masochistically making embarrassment and self-humiliation the basis of his comedy, Jim Garrey turns the entire process of bourgeois subject formation inside out.
39) In other words, the beauty of Salkeld's poems lies, for this reviewer, in the manner in which they express the essence of his ideal woman: mysteriously unfathomable, mercurial, colourful in a mild, pastel sort of way, pleasingly, masochistically suppliant, humble, and, of course, fragrant.
Consider their criticism of the phallic fantasy, which they say "embodies the thrill of power, but here it is power either masochistically or sadistically experienced.
Speaking at the rally, organised by Cardiff People's Assembly, the 29-yearold singer said: "This week the UK masochistically condemned itself to five years of Tory rule.
Speaking at the rally, organised by Cardiff People's Assembly, the 29-year-old said yesterday: "This week the UK masochistically condemned itself to five years of Tory rule.