Main  Contacts  
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

VI. 

 

Why is Pain a Sexual Stimulant?--It is the Most Effective Method of 

Arousing Emotion--Anger and Fear the Most Powerful Emotions--Their 

Biological Significance in Courtship--Their General and Special Effects in 

Stimulating the Organism--Grief as a Sexual Stimulant--The Physiological 

Mechanism of Fatigue Renders Pain Pleasurable. 

 

 

We have seen that the distinction between "sadism" and "masochism" cannot 

be maintained; not only was even De Sade himself something of a masochist 

and Sacher-Masoch something of a sadist, but between these two extreme 

groups of phenomena there is a central group in which the algolagnia is 

neither active nor passive. "Sadism" and "masochism" are simply convenient 

clinical terms for classes of manifestations which quite commonly occur in 

the same person. We have further found that--as might have been 

anticipated in view of the foregoing result--it is scarcely correct to use 

the word "cruelty" in connection with the phenomena we have been 

considering. The persons who experience these impulses usually show no 

love of cruelty outside the sphere of sexual emotion; they may even be 

very intolerant of cruelty. Even when their sexual impulses come into play 

they may still desire to secure the pleasure of the persons who arouse 

their sexual emotions, even though it may not be often true that those who 

desire to inflict pain at these moments identify themselves with the 

feelings of those on whom they inflict it. We have thus seen that when we 

take a comprehensive survey of all these phenomena a somewhat general 

formula will alone cover them. Our conclusion so far must be that under 

certain abnormal circumstances pain, more especially the mental 

representation of pain, acts as a powerful sexual stimulant. 

 

The reader, however, who has followed the discussion to this point will be 

prepared to take the next and final step in our discussion and to reach a 

more definite conclusion. The question naturally arises: By what process 

does pain or its mental representation thus act as a sexual stimulant? The 

answer has over and over again been suggested by the facts brought forward 

in this study. Pain acts as a sexual stimulant because it is the most 

powerful of all methods for arousing emotion. 

 

The two emotions most intimately associated with pain are anger and fear. 

The more masculine and sthenic emotion of anger, the more passive and 

asthenic emotion of fear, are the fundamental animal emotions through 

which, on the psychic side, the process of natural selection largely 

works. Every animal in some degree owes its survival to the emotional 

reaction of anger against weaker rivals, to the emotional reaction of fear 

against stronger rivals. To this cause we owe it that these two emotions 

are so powerfully and deeply rooted in the whole zooelogical series to 

which we belong. But anger and fear are not less fundamental in the sexual 

life. Courtship on the male's part is largely a display of combativity, 

and even the very gestures by which the male seeks to appeal to the female 

are often those gestures of angry hostility by which he seeks to 

intimidate enemies. On the female's part courtship is a skillful 

manipulation of her own fears, and, as we have seen elsewhere, when 

studying the phenomena of modesty, that fundamental attitude of the female 

in courtship is nothing but an agglomeration of fears. 

 

The biological significance of the emotions is now well 

recognized. "In general," remarks one of the shrewdest writers on 

animal psychology, "we may say that emotional states are, under 

natural conditions, closely associated with behavior of 

biological value--with tendencies that are beneficial in 

self-preservation and race preservation--with actions that 

promote survival, and especially with the behavior which clusters 

round the pairing and parental instincts. The value of the 

emotions in animals is that they are an indirect means of 


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