Download Anatomy of Masochism by June Rathbone (auth.) PDF

By June Rathbone (auth.)

Are dominance and submission inevitable in human relationships? Believing that sadomasochism is turning into an ever extra glaring phenomenon in built nations, the writer surveyed forty eight self-declared sadomasochists (43 male, five lady) and 35 controls (26 male, nine lady) for you to elicit info on early kin relationships, morale, and sexual habit and delusion; she additionally seems on the philosophy of masochism and its destructive effects.

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Sample text

Masochistic' behavior is to be found both in normal people and in a variety of pathological syndromes. In practice it may be difficult to decide whether pain is covertly sought, whether self-injury is deliberate. Much depends on whether this is conscious or unconscious, whether character, perversion, neurosis or psychosis is under consideration, whether emphasis is placed on aggression or on sexual satisfaction. 'Masochistic' behavior has different consequences when it is found in different character types, and some of these never come to analysis or are not analysable when they do.

He opens The Economic Problem of Masochism: "The existence of a masochistic trend in the instinctual life of human beings may justly be described as mysterious from the economic point of view. For if mental processes are governed by the pleasure principle in such a way that their first aim is the avoidance of unpleasure and the obtaining of pleasure, masochism is incomprehensible. If pain and unpleasure can be not simply warnings but actually aims, the pleasure principle is paralysed-it is as though the watchman over our mental life were put out of action by a drug.

How do these "older, primary processes, the residues of a phase of development in which they were the only kind of mental process" (Freud, 1911, p. 219) become evident? In suspensions of logic, puzzling ellipses, glaring yet unperceived contradictions, bizarre associations which are meaningful only in the unconscious of the masochist (Lenzer, 1975). There is a belief in 'the omnipotence of thoughts' and an assumption that trivial details of personal background are not only of intrinsic interest but are common knowledge, requiring no explanation.

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