Differences between love, sadism, masochism and sadomasochism

Masochism is defined as the sexual perversion of a person who likes to be humiliated or abused by another person (From L. von Sacher-Masoch, 1836-1895, Austrian novelist). Sadism is defined as the sexual perversion of one who provokes his own arousal by committing acts of cruelty on another person (From DA François, Marquis de Sade, 1740-1814, French writer).

Differentiate between sadism, masochism and sadomasochism

These behaviors, which we have always reported as something unhealthy and linked to sexual perversion, turn out to have a psychological basis, which is not very different from the basis that unites couple relationships, which are supposed to be based on emotional factors.

psychological profile

Erich Fromm (1900), a German psychoanalyst, considered that couples, emotionally dependent on others, they tend to have masochistic and sadistic impulses towards their partner, Due to the fear of being left alone, he explains it as follows:

The goal of the masochist is to give up his own individual identity, which is free, because he considers the individual’s condition of freedom to mean loneliness, something that terrifies him, so he looks for something or someone to whom to link up. Sadism shares with masochism this fear of finding itself only when it loses its object of submission. Thus the masochist and the sadist, create the union of an individual self with another, capable of causing each to lose the integrity of his personality, making them mutually dependent, with a common objective, of not being alone.

We must therefore differentiate between sadomasochism, sadism and masochism. By Fromm, in his book Fear of freedom [1]Masochistic character traits like sadists tend to help the individual escape his unbearable sense of loneliness and helplessness. And this fear manifests itself in three different possible ways.

masochistic behaviors

  • The person feels small and helpless: The person tries to subdue another, to whom he grants an overwhelming force over him, is able to convince himself that he can do nothing to prevent it, because he is recognized as smaller and helpless.
  • Let yourself be overwhelmed by the pain and agony, People think that you have to pay the price of suffering, but that in the end will come inner peace and quiet, we think that is the price that you have to pay for not being alone, while knowing that this end of happiness is not to happen.
  • Give up to get drunkz: the person prefers to give up his own personality, his own personality, to entrust it to another individual who will make the decisions for him, will take responsibility for it, but being part of a person, he will not feel alone and will not will not feel alone have to assume doubts in decision making.

sadistic behavior

The person is trying to dominate and have power over another, But not to destroy him but to keep him by his side.

In people, masochistic and sadistic behaviors fluctuate over time, these masochistic behaviors are present in relationships and are seen as expressions of love, sadistic behaviors are seen as expressions of jealousy and obsession of the couple.

So now we can reflect on ourselves and ask ourselves if we prefer individual freedom and facing loneliness or if we prefer to submit to someone or manipulate a third party so as not to be left alone.

If you think you are being abused, we recommend that you read this article: “The 30 Signs of Psychological Abuse in a Relationship”

Bibliographical references:

  • Fromm, E. (1993). The fear of freedom. Masterpieces of contemporary thought. Barcelona. Planeta-Agostini

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