By June Rathbone (auth.)
Are dominance and submission inevitable in human relationships? Believing that sadomasochism is changing into an ever extra evident phenomenon in built nations, the writer surveyed forty eight self-declared sadomasochists (43 male, five woman) and 35 controls (26 male, nine girl) so one can elicit details on early family members relationships, morale, and sexual habit and fable; she additionally appears to be like on the philosophy of masochism and its destructive effects.
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Extra resources for Anatomy of Masochism
Similarly (another personal observation), a fervent aspiration, voiced whenever opportunity allows, that somehow the arts and the sciences should be brought together, derives from two childhood incidents: a painter once explained what he was trying to capture in his landscape, and father once explained the workings of the ship's engine-room, the intensity of both experiences lying in the respect the child received from a god-like father. Above all, there is the proclivity to phantasize, a predilection for ghost stories, for science fiction, for make-belief, for dressing up.
A personal observation I have made, and therefore not necessarily generally applicable, is that, in practice, when denied the punishing rituals he craves, the frustrated masochist will often nonetheless seek to damage his genitals or his eyes in a minor, nondefinitive way. He will, for instance, wear painfully tight trousers, rub soap into his eyes, read small print hour after hour by inadequate light. As Freud notes, "being castrated" is one of his aims. "A sense of guilt, too, finds expression in the manifest content of masochistic phantasies; the subject assumes that he has committed some FREUD'S WRITINGS ON MASOCHISM 19 crime (the nature of which is left indefinite) which is to be expiated by all these painful and tormenting procedures.
The actual father was often an ineffectual or absent figure. ), finally also unearthed an unconscious fantasy of being beaten by her mother. Her lifelong masturbatory fantasy of being beaten by her father was a screen. Thus, it may be that Freud's account was tinged by a Victorian patriarchal attitude. My own view is that he nevertheless put his finger on something extremely important when he pointed to an inverted oedipal attachment in the incipient male masochist. He also had a great deal more to say about masochism than his 1919 account of beating fantasies, and it is to critiques of his persevering attempts at conceptualization that we now tum.
Anatomy of Masochism by June Rathbone (auth.)