Masochism


Masochism
   , MASOCHIST
   The word masochism comes to us courtesy of Chevalier Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (.1836-1895), Austrian novelist. Sacher-Masoch did not invent masochism, but it was a recurring theme in his novels and he can certainly be credited with bringing the concept into the open. He wrote The Legacy of Cain, which he had begun in 1870 and finished in 1877, and False Ermine, published in 1873. His heroines were large, domineering, Brunnhilde-type women dressed in furs and wielding nailstudded whips on their "slaves," timid men. His best-known and most widely read book was Venus im Pelz (Venus in Furs), published around 1890, which explicitly described the pleasure received from the infliction of pain through a nail-studded whip and the sexual gratification that ensued, and the need for the partner to wear furs to stimulate the masochistic sufferer, the central character in the book. Sacher-Masoch gained widespread notoriety, and he was much sought after as a lecturer. Sacher-Masoch's father was a respected chief of police in Graz, in southern Austria, and Sacher-Masoch's education was solid. He received a doctorate in law at the age of nineteen and became a lecturer at the university. On his twenty-first birthday he celebrated with the publication of his Rebellion in Ghent under Charles V, a good accounting of the times, but a book not well-received.
   Submission to physical abuse was the central theme of SacherMasoch's life and his books. He had numerous lovers and two marriages — all relationships that ended in disaster. A mistress named Fanny Pistor entered into a contract with SacherMasoch, which read in part:
   Herr Leopold Sacher-Masoch gives his word of honor to Frau Pistor to become her slave and to comply unreservedly for six months, with every one of her desires and commands. For her part, Frau Fanny Pistor is not to extract from him performance of any action contrary to honor ... is also to allow him to devote six hours a day to his professional work, and agrees never to read his correspondence or his literary compositions. . . . Frau Pistor, on her side, promises to wear furs as often as possible, especially when she is in a cruel mood.
   He met his first wife under bizarre circumstances. Using a pretext, the woman arranged for a rendezvous under a street lamppost in Graz. She came dressed in furs, and a black veil covered her face. She said her name was Wanda, a name Sacher-Masoch had used in a novel. When later she produced a whip and beat him with it, Sacher-Masoch arranged to marry her. At the private ceremony the groom came dressed in white and the bride in furs. After Wanda left him, several mistresses later, he remarried. This wife did not tolerate her husband's peculiarities very long. After he tried to strangle her, she had him committed to the Charenton Lunatic Asylum, where he spent the rest of his days. The prominent German neurologist and psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing studied the career of Sacher-Masoch and named his malady masochism.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • masochism — MASOCHÍSM s.n. Perversiune sexuală caracterizată prin apariţia plăcerii sexuale numai în urma producerii unei dureri fizice. – Din fr. masochisme. Trimis de RACAI, 30.09.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  masochísm s. n. [ so pron. germ. zo ] Trimis de siveco …   Dicționar Român

  • masochism — sexual pleasure in being hurt or abused, 1892, from Ger. Masochismus, coined 1883 by German neurologist Richard von Krafft Ebing (1840 1902), from name of Leopold von Sacher Masoch (1836 1895), Austrian utopian socialist novelist who enshrined… …   Etymology dictionary

  • masochism — ► NOUN ▪ the tendency to derive pleasure from one s own pain or humiliation. DERIVATIVES masochist noun masochistic adjective. ORIGIN named after Leopold von Sacher Masoch (1835 95), the Austrian novelist who described it …   English terms dictionary

  • masochism — [mas′ə kiz΄əm, maz′ə kiz΄əm] n. [after Leopold von Sacher Masoch (1835 95), Austrian writer in whose stories it is described] 1. the getting of sexual pleasure from being dominated, mistreated, or hurt physically or otherwise by one s partner 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Masochism —    See also Sadism.    In our own time, masochism has taken on three meanings: (1) the voluntary acceptance of suffering; (2) in psychoanalysis, an intrapsychic mechanism for dealing with anxiety; (3) a kind of sex play among consenting adults… …   Historical dictionary of Psychiatry

  • masochism — [[t]mæ̱səkɪzəm[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Masochism is behaviour in which someone gets sexual pleasure from their own pain or suffering. The tendency towards masochism is however always linked with elements of sadism. Ant: sadism Derived words: masochist… …   English dictionary

  • masochism — masochist, n. masochistic, adj. masochistically, adv. /mas euh kiz euhm, maz /, n. 1. Psychiatry. the condition in which sexual gratification depends on suffering, physical pain, and humiliation. 2. gratification gained from pain, deprivation,… …   Universalium

  • masochism — noun … OF MASOCHISM ▪ act PHRASES ▪ a form of masochism, a kind of masochism …   Collocations dictionary

  • masochism — mas|o|chis|m [ˈmæsəkızəm] n [U] [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: Leopold von Sacher Masoch (1836 95), Austrian writer who described such sexual behavior] 1.) sexual behaviour in which someone gains pleasure from being hurt or punished →↑sadism, sado… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Masochism — Pleasure from one s own pain. Masochism is considered a sexual disorder, or paraphilia. Named after the 19th century Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher Masoch (masoch ism). * * * 1. Passive algolagnia; a form of perversion, often sexual in nature …   Medical dictionary