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Table of contents
CONTENTS
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-1
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-2
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-3
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-4
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-5
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-6
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-7
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-8
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-9
ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL IMPULSE-10
FOOTNOTES
LOVE AND PAIN-1.1
LOVE AND PAIN-1.2
LOVE AND PAIN-1.3
LOVE AND PAIN-1.4
LOVE AND PAIN-1.5
LOVE AND PAIN-1.6
LOVE AND PAIN-2.1
LOVE AND PAIN-2.2
LOVE AND PAIN-2.3
LOVE AND PAIN-2.4
LOVE AND PAIN-3.1
LOVE AND PAIN-3.2
LOVE AND PAIN-3.3
LOVE AND PAIN-3.4
LOVE AND PAIN-4
LOVE AND PAIN-5.1
LOVE AND PAIN-5.2
LOVE AND PAIN-6.1
LOVE AND PAIN-6.2
LOVE AND PAIN-7
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.1
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.2
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.3
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.4
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.5
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-1.6
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-2.1
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-2.2
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-2.3
THE SEXUAL IMPULSE IN WOMEN-3
APPENDIX A-1
APPENDIX A-2-3
APPENDIX B HISTORY-1
APPENDIX B HISTORY-2
APPENDIX B HISTORY-3-4-5-6-7
APPENDIX B HISTORY-8-9-10
APPENDIX B HISTORY-11-12
APPENDIX B HISTORY-13
APPENDIX B HISTORY-14-15
APPENDIX B HISTORY-16
APPENDIX B HISTORY-17
APPENDIX B HISTORY-18
APPENDIX B HISTORY-19
INDEX OF AUTHORS

V. 

 

Pain, and Not Cruelty, the Essential Element in Sadism and Masochism--Pain 

Felt as Pleasure--Does the Sadist Identify Himself with the Feelings of 

his Victim?--The Sadist often a Masochist in Disguise--The Spectacle of 

Pain or Struggle as a Sexual Stimulant. 

 

 

In the foregoing rapid survey of the great group of manifestations in 

which the sexual emotions come into intimate relationship with pain, it 

has become fairly clear that the ordinary division between "sadism" and 

"masochism," convenient as these terms may be, has a very slight 

correspondence with facts. Sadism and masochism may be regarded as 

complementary emotional states; they cannot be regarded as opposed 

states.[128] Even De Sade himself, we have seen, can scarcely be regarded 

as a pure sadist. A passage in one of his works expressing regret that 

sadistic feeling is rare among women, as well as his definite recognition 

of the fact that the suffering of pain may call forth voluptuous emotions, 

shows that he was not insensitive to the charm of masochistic experience, 

and it is evident that a merely blood-thirsty vampire, sane or insane, 

could never have retained, as De Sade retained, the undying devotion of 

two women so superior in heart and intelligence as his wife and 

sister-in-law. Had De Sade possessed any wanton love of cruelty, it would 

have appeared during the days of the Revolution, when it was safer for a 

man to simulate blood-thirstiness, even if he did not feel it, than to 

show humanity. But De Sade distinguished himself at that time not merely 

by his general philanthropic activities, but by saving from the scaffold, 

at great risk to himself, those who had injured him. It is clear that, 

apart from the organically morbid twist by which he obtained sexual 

satisfaction in his partner's pain,--a craving which was, for the most 

part, only gratified in imaginary visions developed to an inhuman extent 

under the influence of solitude,--De Sade was simply, to those who knew 

him, "_un aimable mauvais sujet_" gifted with exceptional intellectual 

powers. Unless we realize this we run the risk of confounding De Sade and 

his like with men of whom Judge Jeffreys was the sinister type. 

 

It is necessary to emphasize this point because there can be no doubt that 

De Sade is really a typical instance of the group of perversions he 

represents, and when we understand that it is pain only, and not cruelty, 

that is the essential in this group of manifestations we begin to come 

nearer to their explanation. The masochist desires to experience pain, but 

he generally desires that it should be inflicted in love; the sadist 

desires to inflict pain, but in some cases, if not in most, he desires 

that it should be felt as love. How far De Sade consciously desired that 

the pain he sought to inflict should be felt as pleasure it may not now be 

possible to discover, except by indirect inference, but the confessions of 

sadists show that such a desire is quite commonly essential. 

 

I am indebted to a lady for the following communication on the 

foregoing aspect of this question: "I believe that, when a person 

takes pleasure in inflicting pain, he or she imagines himself or 

herself in the victim's place. This would account for the 

transmutability of the two sets of feelings. This might be 

particularly so in the case of men. A man may not care to lower 

his dignity and vanity by putting himself in subjection to a 

woman, and he might fear she would feel contempt for him. By 

subduing her and subjecting her to passive restraint he would 

preserve, even enhance, his own power and dignity, while at the 

same time obtaining a reflected pleasure from what he imagined 

she was feeling. 

 

"I think that when I get pleasure out of the idea of subduing 

another it is this reflected pleasure I get. And if this is so 

one could thus feel more kindly to persons guilty of cruelty, 

which has hitherto always seemed the one unpardonable sin. Even 


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