Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Masochism is a general paraphilia, and is an abnormal or unnatural sexual attraction. It is recurring sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors in which the person is beaten, bound, or humiliated in order to achieve sexual excitement (Sexual Disorders 2001). Bondage, blindfolding, and use of urine and feces are some methods used by people with sexual masochism. These urges or behaviors must last at least six months for a diagnosis to be made. The most common fantasy is that of being raped while restrained, so escape is impossible. A potentially dangerous or even fatal form of masochism is asphyxiating the partner with a noose or plastic bag at climax to enhance the orgasm (Bobrin, D. 2002). Most patients admit to having masochistic fantasies in early childhood and many of them have fetishes (handcuffs, leather masks, and whips). They have begun to engage in masochistic acts by early adulthood. There are several different theories about the cause of sexual masochism such as childhood sexual abuse or other childhood experiences that may influence later exhibitionist behavior. The need to give or receive pain for sexual gratification stems back to when one was a child. If the only attention a child received from their parents was punishment, then being punished was a pleasurable thing. The child might continue to do things in order to get punished because he/she knows they will finally get attention. There are three other explanations why people engage into masochism, and they are behavioral, compensation, and physiological models. Behavioral models imply that if a child is subject to inappropriate sexual behavior they learn to imitate such behavior later in life. Compensation models imply that if deprived of normal social/sexual experiences, people will seek gratification via less socially...