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Keiser, S. (1949). The Fear of Sexual Passivity in the Masochist. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:162-171.

(1949). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30:162-171

The Fear of Sexual Passivity in the Masochist

S. Keiser, M.D.

The Oxford dictionary defines masochism as a form of sexual perversion in which one finds pleasure in abuse and cruelty from his or her partner or associate. Hinsie and Schatzky (1) in their dictionary cite Freud and give the following definition: 'When the sexual satisfaction depends upon the subject himself suffering pain, ill treatment, and humiliation, the condition is known as masochism.' In our presentation we hope to demonstrate that masochists apparently do not enjoy real sexual satisfaction, and that the pain and humiliation are more apparent than real. At present the term connotes anything from flagellation, physical abuse of any kind, to any form of self-injury, whether it is self-inflicted or apparently accidental. Freud in 'The Economic Problem in Masochism' (2) described three types—the erotic, the feminine, and the moral masochist. But he also states it is only a matter of classification of the clinical syndromes since all three have a common root in the early sexual life of the individual. It would therefore be appropriate again to study the sexuality of human beings in the hope that a clue will be discovered that will help explain the ubiquitous masochistic drives.

Whenever the sexual lives of individuals in our society are surveyed we are always shocked at the incredible suffering that exists instead of the pleasure that nature has provided. Our civilization carries with it an endless struggle to repress a free sexual life. However there can never be a total suppression of the biological drive for sexual activity and thus we see people torn by their incomplete satisfactions.

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