Masochistic Personality Disorder
Masochistic personality disorder, also called self-defeating personality disorder, can be defined as a pattern of self-defeating and self-distracting behavior which generally begins in the early stages of adulthood and is present in various stages. Masochists are persons who get excited when they feel pain and like to get humiliated and they often submit to their partner. The submission is for example through the use of shackles, whips, collars and punishment instruments. The counterpart of masochism is sadism. There exists the desire to torment and humiliate others.
Even though sadism and masochism are counterparts, they belong always together. But one form usually prevails, either the passive form of masochism or the active form of sadism.
Who thought men suffer more from Masochistic Personality Disorder?
Most masochists are women, but still numerous men have the desire of oppression and infliction of pain. The only goal is pleasure through pain.
While women are from nature more submissive and therefore more likely to enjoy masochism and sadism, men on the other hand show a contradiction. There are many male masochists with leading professional positions of high power structure and occupy their free time by taking into masochistic acts, exactly the opposite. They want to feel suppressed, helpless and small.
What are the causes of this desire?
Psychologists haven’t found any triggers of this sexual preference yet. They suspect that a genetic predisposition and the personality of the masochists are an important part of this desire. But the origin is not sufficiently clarified, and there is also the theory that the desire to feel pain or to inflict pain may also lie in childhood experiences.
But does every person with a masochistic character like pain?
According to psychoanalyst Lowen, you cannot say that masochism is synonymous with the desire to suffer. People with a masochistic personality disorder don’t necessarily need to be persons with masochistic perversions like the common idea of masochists as described above, people who need to be defeated in order to feel sexual pleasure. But still they actually suffer, because they are not able to change their situation. People with a masochistic character structure can also refer to people who suffer and complain, but remain submissive. Obsequiousness is the dominant masochistic tendency.
A person with masochistic character shows a submissive attitude outwardly but is entirely contradictory internally. The emotions are mostly hate, pessimism, hostility and feelings of superiority. But these feelings are blocked by the fear that they might erupt into violent behavior. Therefore, you will mostly only hear lawsuits or complaints.
What are some typical characters of masochists?
Because of the strong curb, the aggression is reduced considerably. The self-enforcement is restricted similarly. In place of self-enforcement actions, wailing occurs. Instead of aggressiveness, a challenging behavior that is expected to stimulate the partner or opposite a strong reaction is observed, which allows the masochist to react violently and explosively in turn. This applies to sexual as for other situations.
Typical for the masochistic behavior are a submissive, coquettish attitude. On the conscious level, the masochist attempts to please others, on the unconscious level he or she denies this attitude. However, the person does this by rebelling, negativism and hostility. These suppressed feelings must be unloaded before the masochistic person can fully and freely respond to situations of daily life.
Here is a summary of typical behaviors and characteristics:
- They tend to avoid pleasurable experiences.
- Masochists like relationships where he or she is suffering.
- Respond to positive events with depression, and a feeling of guilt.
- They reject people who treat them well.
- Find love, care and other affections unattractive.
- Reject great opportunities for pleasure.
- They refuse to be helped.
- They provoke anger and reject responses from others and then feel rejected and hurt.
Does “masochist” lose its negativism?
While people with masochistic characters are to be seen as people with a disorder, psychologists and doctors start to see it not as a disorder anymore as long as the masochist can control it and doesn’t harm any other persons.
A therapy is also mostly unsuccessful, not only because of the fact that most masochists don’t want to get help, but also because it is a sexual desire which can’t get changed. And it is up to each person to decide how he or she wants to live out the sexual desire.
Legally speaking, there is also nothing against masochism if it is done voluntarily and not under duress. But the situation changes if the masochist is injured.
But exactly because masochists are subject to the risk of serious injuries such as bruises, burns, broken bones and as this desire still not socially accepted, in such cases it can also be a legal problem. Thus, most masochists are unlikely to be open with their special preference in public.