What Is Masochism?

Masochism is the belief that one is secretly deserving of punishment. Whilst sexual masochism can be fun, emotional masochism - which is much more common - often stems from unexamined trauma.
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“The word Masochism derives, somewhat unfairly for him and his family, from the Austrian 19th century aristocrat and writer, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. As a young man, Leopold made a conventional marriage to a fellow member of the nobility, Aurora von Rümelin, but he swiftly discovered that his sexual tastes could not be accommodated within the relationship. When he was contacted by an admiring reader, a Baroness Fanny Pistor, under the ostensible excuse of seeking help with her writing style, he was able to discover a whole new side to his sexual identity. What he wanted most of all was that Fanny would dress in a grand and imperious-looking fur coat, flog him, dominate him and treat him with haughty cruelty. He wanted Fanny to call him ‘Gregor’, at that time a popular servant’s name – and when they travelled, despite being far wealthier than her, insisted on being forced to sit in third class while she took her place in first…”


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Produced in collaboration with:

Gemma Green-Hope

Title animation produced in collaboration with

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