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Grotjahn, M. (1941). General: Theodor Reik. 'The Characteristics of Masochism.' The American Imago, 1939, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 26–59.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 22:73.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: General: Theodor Reik. 'The Characteristics of Masochism.' The American Imago, 1939, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 26–59.

(1941). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 22:73

General: Theodor Reik. 'The Characteristics of Masochism.' The American Imago, 1939, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 26–59.

Martin Grotjahn

Even to-day the phenomenology of masochism has not yet been adequately investigated. There is still no description of the peculiar features of masochism in its usual forms. The author describes three main elements which can be demonstrated in masochism as a perversion as well as in its desexualized forms. They are: the peculiar importance of phantasy, the necessity for a distinctive course of excitement (the suspense factor), and the demonstrative (exhibitionist) character of the phenomena. The essence of perversion is indeed that the phantasies linger on the preparatory activities instead of progressing to genital satisfaction. In the perversion with a passive instinctual aim there is a particular necessity for a preliminary phantasy in order that sexual excitement may be obtained. Masochistic practices are only an acting out of preceding phantasies. In masochism the end pleasure is avoided because it involves anxiety. The preponderance of this anxiety factor and the tendency to prolongation of the act is significant for masochism. The orgasm is feared because it brings the threat of castration and death. If the masochist has experienced pain or discomfort, he is capable of having the orgasm and of feeling intensive pleasure. Masochism is not characterized by pleasure in pain, but by pleasure in the expectation of pain.

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Article Citation

Grotjahn, M. (1941). General. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 22:73

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