Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To open articles without exiting the current webpage…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To open articles without exiting your current search or webpage, press Ctrl + Left Mouse Button while hovering over the desired link. It will open in a new Tab in your internet browser.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Bader, M.J. (1993). Adaptive Sadomasochism and Psychological Growth. Psychoanal. Dial., 3(2):279-300.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 3(2):279-300

Adaptive Sadomasochism and Psychological Growth Related Papers

Michael J. Bader, DMH

This paper argues that some forms of sadomasochistic fantasy and enactments can represent a developmental and therapeutic advance for some patients. Playful fantasies of dominance and submission, when enacted, function to reassure the patient that the other can survive the full expression and power of his or her sexual desire. Sadomasochistic scenarios can mitigate guilt and worry and free the patient for an experience of sexual ruthlessness. The apparent differences in the manifest roles of the man and woman in this situation are belied in a paradoxical way by underlying commonalities. A woman can use her consensually scripted domination as a reassurance that the man can withstand the full force of her excitement, and the man can experience his partner's excitement in submission as a condition of safety for the consolidation of his phallic strength. Two clinical examples illustrate these paradoxes and the affirmative dimension of certain kinds of sadomasochistic play. The suggestion is made that blanket critiques of sadomasochism as either perversion or misogyny are misguided and potentially repressive.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.