Friday, September 26, 2008

4 - paraphilias - part 2

  • Sexual masochism


    • Over a period of at least 6 months, patients have recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the act of being humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer.
    • The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
    • This variant is named for the activities of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (not part of the DSM-IV-TR criterion). Sacher-Masoch was born in Lemberg, Austria in 1836. As an author he is most known for his book Venus in Furs. This writing is reportedly based on true events from his life.


  • Sacher-Masoch's novel is said to be one long masochistic fantasy in which the principle male character desires and encourages his mistress to treat him as a slave. This story appears to parallel his relationship with his wife. He used to plead with her to treat him as a slave, and his outlandish requests would progressively become more demeaning to satisfy his sexual appetite. However, she was not interested in partaking in his deviant self-deprecating fantasies. Eventually they met other partners and parted ways.
  • Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was the eldest son of a couple in the town of Galacia, where his father was the Director of Police and his mother was a little Russian lady of noble birth. As an infant, Leopold was very frail and sickly, and not expected to survive. To increase the infant's chances of survival, his parents hired a robust Russian wet nurse who was able to nurse him back to health. Leopold later spoke of the strong bond between the 2 of them. The woman shared strange and melancholy legends about her people with the boy, and he formed a love of the Russians that remained constant throughout his life. He reportedly said that not only did he gain his health from her, but also his soul.
  • As a child, Leopold was fascinated by various representations of cruelty. He was especially drawn to pictures of executions, and some of his favorite reading materials pertained to legends of martyrs. At the onset of puberty, he had a recurring dream that he was under the power of a cruel and torturous woman. The term dream is used in this context as opposed to nightmare.
  • In the town of Galacia, where Leopold was born, women were said to either rule their husbands or vice versa. At the age of 10, the boy witnessed a sadistic scene that left a permanent impression. The scene involved a female relative from his father's side of the family. This woman was referred to as Countess X. Prior to Leopold witnessing the life-altering event, he was enamored by the Countess and was impressed by her beauty and costly furs. He used to help her with various duties, services, etc. On one occasion, as he was putting on her shoes, he bent down to kiss her feet and she smiled at him and then kicked him. Instead of being hurt, he experienced a perverse sensation of pleasure.

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