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masochism

masochism

[mas-uh-kiz-uhm, maz-]
masochism, sexual disorder in which sexual arousal is derived from subjection to physical and emotional degradation. A type of paraphilia (see perversion, sexual), 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).

Psychosexual disorder in which an individual achieves erotic release by being subjected to pain or humiliation. The term is derived from the name of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, a 19th-century Austrian novelist who wrote extensively about the sexual enjoyment he derived from verbal and physical abuse. The amount of pain involved can vary; it is usually sought out and to some degree controlled by the masochist. Masochistic and sadistic traits often occur in the same individual.

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