Sadism and Masochism: The Psychology of Hatred and Cruelty - Vol. 2

By Wilhelm Stekel; Louise Brink | Go to book overview

XVI
ANALYSIS OF A MASOCHIST

Nature does not know vice. It is education which has invented it.

CAMILLE MAUCLAIR.

The analyst has repeated opportunity to observe how the will to be sick makes the analytic work of no effect. It is precisely the masochistic paraphilias which betray to us the deceptive double game of the patient. The latter begs in moving tones of distress for health and fears he might be compelled through analysis to give up his former attitudes. The resistance against the cure begins to act even on the first day of treatment. It already shows itself in the tendency to put off the treatment as long as possible. Only the smallest number of the sadomasochists who visit me and beg and implore me for help come for analysis. These patients usually plead pressing professional duties, want of money, lack of time, and so on, and postpone the time of the analysis. They express at the very beginning their doubt of the possibility of cure. Nothing can help them. They thus disclose the will to illness. Naturally they are very ready to believe in an organic disturbance. They blame hereditary conditions, discover similar cases among their relatives, and seize with enthusiasm every therapeutic suggestion which lies outside analysis.

Investigation into their history then shows that they have avoided in life the opportunities to become normal. Their passion is described as physical love and they are fond of asserting that they are not capable of any other love. Or they find themselves forever searching for the partner who shall free them from the "hell of the paraphilia." If they have found this partner, they begin to depreciate such a one and attempt to suppress the love in the germ. If they do not succeed, they take to flight or arrange misunderstandings, quarrels, or

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