An eponym based on the name of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, an Austrian novelist who was fascinated by people who got sexual pleasure from being hurt. He wrote about it in many of his books, and his name was first used to describe it in 1893, two years before he died.

Masochism includes sexual pleasure from pain, humiliation, discipline and submission. People who gain sexual pleasure from dolling out such punishments are called sadists (another eponym), and they are often lumped together as sadomasochism or BDSM; these node have much more information.

masochism: a paraphilia of the sacrificial/expiatory type in which sexuoerotic arousal and facilitation or attainment of orgasm are responsive to and contingent on being the recipient of abuse, torture, punishment, discipline, humiliation, obedience, and servitude, variously mixed (named after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, 1836-1895, Austrian author and masochist). The reciprocal paraphilic condition is sadism.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

The traditional definition of masochism is enjoying something that brings pain. But a common definition of pain is something one doesn't enjoy. Enjoying the un-enjoyable is obviously a paradox.

According to Philip K. Dick in 'UBIK', masochism is in fact a need to have complete control over one's destiny. Dick theorizes that the masochist destroys whatever path they're taking through life as soon as they think of a possible hazard. It's when you stop or cancel something enjoyable because of some small problem that could occur.

Teen angst often takes the form of masochism, such as "I'm not going to the school dance because ___________. I'm just going to sit here and sulk instead."

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