What is a masochist?

We explain what a masochist is and what this practice consists of. In addition, how masochism in culture is considered.

  1. What is a masochist?

It is called masochist who practices masochism, that is, the practice of infringing pain at will  (physical or emotional) by their own hand or by the hand of others, thereby obtaining pleasure or enjoyment of some kind, especially of a sexual nature. It can be used together with the term “Sado” (  sadistic ), that is, sadomasochist, when pleasure is also obtained from the infringed pain and not only from the sufferer.

The word masochist comes from the surname of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch  (1836-1895), Austrian writer whose novels, especially  Venus of the skins  (1870), generated scandal in the society of the time to represent characters addicted to physical pain and emotional suffering, humiliation or oppression, by their female consorts. The first time this term was used with this meaning was in the essay  The Sexual Psychopathy  (1886) of the German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing. 

In general, masochistic people enjoy the pain or domination that others can subject them to. Otherwise, your sexual experience is incomplete or unsatisfactory. This often involves situations of physical and / or emotional submission, such as bonds, physical abuse, gagging, immobilization or simply aggressive sexual relations.

Therefore, the ideal partner of a masochist is  usually  a person with sadistic tendencies, since one enjoys the pain received and the other the pain it causes. These types of couples or relationships are usually called  sado-maso  or  bondage , and in their meetings it is usual to use sex toys such as chains, whips, ropes, candles, etc.

Orgasm, finally, is usually given to the subject as a reward, after having endured the punishment. In some cases, members of this type of sexual bond exchange their positions, which is known in the sadomasochistic slang as a  switch .

The masochism in the culture

Masochism  has existed since ancient times , as seems to indicate the presence of flagellation scenes in the sexual field in Ancient Greece and in the Italian Etruscan period. Some of them seemed dedicated to specific gods (Artemis, for example). These representations often went hand in hand with sadism, as is the case with the work of the Marquis de Sade, a French writer whose name comes precisely from that term.

The logic of masochism  has been widely studied by the various schools of psychoanalysis, which have given various explanations and possible treatments for this, but over time society has become more tolerant towards this type of sexual paraphilia , disincorporating them from compendium of psychological diseases or disorders that merit urgent attention.

The masochistic meetings are currently relatively accepted by public opinion. They usually vary in intensity, sense and specific narrative , often reproducing traumatic situations of childhood or adolescence , giving the subject subject the opportunity to purge guilt, to give up control or simply to relive situations of oppression that were secretly pleasurable. However, each specific case is due to reasons and a particular logic. One of the best known masochists in history was Lawrence of Arabia, a famous English military, adventurer and archaeologist.

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