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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 ?
Indeed Greven's thesis on Narcissism and Masochism could have been demonstrated using Fight Club as the only example needed, so perfectly does it fit the structure.
In fact, various theorists such as Krafft-Ebing, Freud, Reik and others identified a degree of masochism as a fundamentally normal and healthy state for women and only considered it a disorder when it was observed in men.
She has no place in the Deleuze's account of masochism, where the objective is to submit to a cold woman whose body scarcely exists except as a series of fetishes--boots, furs, corsets.
Subsequent chapters then extend these analyses, explaining in more detail how masochism works in many of the novels and considering related topics, such as the relationship between sodomy and homophobia in several novels and the role of masochism in the colonialism of the later work.
After 1920, in "The Economic Problem of Masochism" (1924) and, subsequently, in Civilization and Its Discontents (1930), Freud appears to contemplate a possible rapprochement between his theses on primary masochism and "bad conscience" in Nietzsche's sense of a self-punishing second nature that results from a repression of "animal" instincts.
A recent political and cultural re-evaluation of masochism reveals that sadism, unlike masochism, is a perversion that compliments conventional heterosexuality.
Scholte says there is an "essential masochism at the heart of why I became an actor, and Bruce provides an opportunity for all of us to really suffer.
were enticed by the sexual masochism in Reni's representations of martyred men and that the images were effective in receiving their erotic projections.
Bowles has put up with so much relentless, tortuous interrogation--lest it be that he has a streak of masochism.
The critical implications for psychoanalysis of Foucault's sado-masochistic paradigm are particularly evident when one turns to a text from the middle of Freud's career, "The Economic Problem of Masochism.
As to specifically southern practices, Carroll concludes that these stem from a prevalent masochism which in turn is a result of "father-ineffective" families, machismo, and the tie between male honor and female chastity.