A Paean to Masochism: A New Philosophy of Life

Painful PleasuresVia Adequacy:

First of all, let us ask “What is masochism?”

Many people seem to think masochism is just a desire for pain. But it is so much more than that. Certainly pain is a large part of it – whether it be emotional or physical. Pain is inflicted through domination. The whip doesn’t just lash you, it dominates you, and brings a new awareness. Thigh high leather boots grinding into your face don’t merely inflict pain, but a value system too. Pain is the grease that lubricates the passage of higher types of civilized behaviour, values and ideas. I would define as masochistic any person, body, institution, country, whatever, that welcomes being dominated and taken over by another, and even seeks it out.

Why would a body want such a thing? Well, if one accepts that it is impossible to get anywhere in life without learning from another, we can see that already our culture is quite masochistic—we regularly herd the youngest into “schools” where they have their minds invaded and shaped. Curiosity is a form of masochism, under this schema—the desire to be changed by knowledge of things external to you.

Indeed, most masochists are very curious. The most curious people tend to be the most masochistic, and the most curious also the most intelligent. We can see that there is a clear relationship between masochism and intelligence…

Read More: Adequacy

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5 Responses to A Paean to Masochism: A New Philosophy of Life

  1. rus Archer May 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    wilhelm reich explained masochism as the need for release but the inability to achieve it without external influence/force

  2. Dr K May 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    The author noticably celebrates masochism and defends this view by appealing to some of the worst traits of humanity. Masochism seems nothing more than the old power plays of days gone by with a little sex thrown in.

    • Threedinium May 24, 2012 at 3:52 am #

      Well, that could be part of it too, but I think I can relate a little to the article here, that submissive people appear more easily inclined to admit mistakes whereas fairly alpha people seem to find it much harder because of their concern with maintaining their position. The submissive already knows they’ve lost such a game so it makes it easier to move on and learn. I’m not saying that either position is preferable to one another… just dealing with givens. But then, I’m someone who could be classified as submissive so I don’t really have the story from both sides and this article is kinda flattering to me lol.

      • Dr K May 24, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

         Yes I can see your POV. In this sense the sub person is somewhat superior to a dominant one. I guess you could substitute the term submissive with humble?

        • Threedinium May 25, 2012 at 3:34 am #

          Lol I suppose yes, if we were to link superiority with how much a person can learn, which I have to admit can be a bias of mine from time to time. Humble hmm… I don’t know about that, the term ‘humility’ if you’re not using some vernacular meaning is more about being balanced in the first place rather than the extreme that masochism implies. But I do guess that masochism seems on the whole more likely to lead to that sort of thing because of the initial lack of resistance. Really having to think about this one.

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