From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Masochism, the sexual pleasure or gratification of having pain or suffering inflicted upon the self, often consisting of sexual fantasies or urges for being beaten, humiliated, bound, tortured, or otherwise made to suffer, either as an enhancement to or a substitute for sexual pleasure. The name is derived from the name of the 19th century author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, known for his novel Venus in Furs that dealt with highly masochistic themes. A lot has been written on masochism, from Freud to Reik, but one of the best descriptions is by Havelock Ellis:
- "The essence of sadomasochism is not so much "pain" as the overwhelming of one's senses - emotionally more than physically. Active sexual masochism has little to do with pain and everything to do with the search for emotional pleasure. When we understand that it is pain only, and not cruelty, that is the essential in this group of manifestations, we begin to come nearer to their explanation. The masochist desires to experience pain, but he generally desires that it should be inflicted in love; the sadist desires to inflict pain, but he desires that it should be felt as love...." --Havelock Ellis
- Psychopathia Sexualis
- In The Romantic Agony, Mario Praz describes the shift from female masochism towards male masochism that occurred in mid-19th century.
- Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty by Gilles Deleuze
- Sadism and masochism as medical terms
- In Masochism in Modern Man (1941), Reik argues that man is inherently masochistic
- Helene Deutsch (1884 – 1982), an Austrian-American psychoanalyst and colleague of Sigmund Freud postulated the now antiquated view that all women are masochistic by nature (Deutsch 1930), reinforcing Krafft-Ebing's and Freud's views.
- In the Realm of Pleasure: Von Sternberg, Dietrich, and the Masochistic Aesthetic by Gaylyn Studlar
Masochism in culture
- Sadism and masochism in fiction
- Phantom of Desire, a 2003 exhibition in Graz curated by Peter Weibel.
- Belle de jour
- Je... Ils...
- Laure: the Collected Writings
- The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
- The sadistic Petra and her masochistic assistant Karin in this film by Fassbinder
- Of Human Bondage
- In William Somerset Maugham's novel, Of Human Bondage- The main character Philip Carey becomes enticed by a woman named Mildred, who does not care an ounce for Philip. He becomes masochistic, willing to put himself in the line of pain to gain Mildred's affection. In the end, he realizes that this is a one-sided love and that he is controlled by his own passions.