Masochism is defined as the sexual perversion of those who enjoy being humiliated or mistreated by another person (by L. von Sacher-Masoch, 1836-1895, Austrian novelist). Sadism is defined as the sexual perversion of those who provoke their own arousal by committing acts of Cruelty to another person (by D. A. François, Marquis de Sade, 1740-1814, French writer).

Differentiating between sadism, masochism, and sadomasochism

These behaviors that we have always related as unhealthy and related to sexual perversion, it turns out that they have a psychological basis, which is not very different from the basis that unites relationships, which are supposed to be based on emotional factors.

Psychological Profile

Erich Fromm (1900), a German psychoanalyst, considered that couples, emotionally dependent on others, tend to have masochistic and sadistic impulses towards their partner, as a result of the fear of being alone, explains it as follows ;

A masochist’s aim is to abandon his own individual identity since a person considers that the individual’s condition of freedom means solitude, something that terrifies himself; therefore person seeks something or someone to chain himself. Sadism shares with masochism that fear of meeting only when it loses its object of subjugation. So the masochist and the sadist create the Union of one individual self with another, capable of losing each other the integrity of their personality, making them mutually dependent, with a common goal, not to be alone.

Masochistic Behaviors

The person feels small and helpless: the person tries to submit to another, to whom he gives an overwhelming force over him, can convince himself that he can do nothing to prevent it since he recognizes himself as smaller and helpless.

Let yourself be overwhelmed by pain and agony, and people think that you have to pay a cost of suffering, but that in the end will come inner peace and tranquility, we believe that it is the price to pay for not being alone, even knowing that this end of happiness does not usually come.

To abandon oneself to the effect of drunkenness: the person prefers to give up his own self, his own personality, giving him to another individual who will make decisions for him, he will take responsibility for it, but when he is part of a person, he will not feel alone and will not have to assume doubts in the decision-making.

Sadistic Behaviors

The person tries to dominate and have power over another, but not to destroy it but to keep it by his side.

In persons, both behaviors masochists and sadists are oscillating in time, these masochists behaviors are presented in the couple relationship and are considered as expressions of love, the sadists behaviors are considered as expressions of jealousy and obsession with the partner.

So now, we can reflect on ourselves and question whether we prefer individual freedom and face loneliness or whether we prefer to submit to someone or manipulate a third party so as not to find ourselves alone.


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