Bonaparte reviews the development of Freud's theories of sado-masochism contained in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), Instincts and Their Vicissitudes (1915), Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920), and The Economic Problem of Masochism (1924). She quotes the Marquis de Sade, in his Histoire de Juliette: Les Prospérités du Vice, on the theory of erotogenic masochism; he noted that any excess quantity of excitement, even painful excitation, produces erotic pleasure and such pleasure is reproduced when the sadist inflicts pain on an object and concomitantly identifies himself with it, experiencing the painful pleasure himself in the masochistic version. The Marquis also spoke of life and death instincts which are part of nature and cannot be gainsaid, so that pain, suffering, and destruction are natural necessities, beyond good or evil. His disquisitions offer interesting points of agreement with Freud on the subject of Eros and Thanatos.
Bonaparte goes on to consider the biological fact that mammalian physiology, particularly its nutritive and reproductive aspects, is characterized by penetrative necessities. In the human imagination, psychic confusions arise about the consequences of these biological facts. Such confusions receive a further contribution from childhood perceptions or fantasies of the primal scene. The fact of internal propagation is a sado-masochistic fact, phylogenetically, biologically, and later ontogenetically and psychically, and is the archetype of erotic aggression.
The paradox of pain associated with pleasure is in part also accounted for by experience of life itself which spares no creature some suffering. Bonaparte also points out that self-preservation sets limits to masochism, and sadism is likewise inhibited since, through identification, it is experienced masochistically. 'The less [one is] masochistic, the less sadistic.' Moralization and sublimation further limit or refine sado-masochism, but a sufficient amount remains unmodified to make any true aversion to war unlikely.
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Altman, L.L. (1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952. Psychoanal. Q., 23:138