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Poll
I tend towards being:
A Male Masochist 30%
A female Sadist 15%
A Male Sadist 15%
A female Masochist 23%
Neutral, more or less (male) 7%
Neutral, more or less (female) 0%
None of these 7%

Votes: 13

 A paean to masochism: A new philosophy of life.

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Aug 02, 2001
 Comments:
Some of you may have read my article stating my difficulties with my masochistic tendencies. I have now been reflecting on masochism, and I think I have found a way to unite it into a whole world view, a way of life, superior to any other.

This article details my findings.

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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.

Imagine a masochistic civilization, a civilization which welcomes invasions and domination of other civilizations. Such a civilization would advance very quickly, for it would be constantly absorbing the fruits of many different cultures and forming them into a new whole. Such a civilization has never existed in its pure form, but certain areas of the world have certainly approached it. Look at Britain, for example; a country that was formed by countless invasions and counter-invasions, its language an amalgam of great, powerful civilizations of the past. This nation was masochistic, and this is why it, in the end, stamped its synthesized belief systems and morality upon the rest of the world. Masochism eventually leads to power.

Another good example might be modern Japan. Its culture is all about submission to superiors - everybody has a master but the Emperor himself. During the Meiji period, they became very masochistic in the economic sector, but remained with a dominant, sadistic military. It wasn't until 1945 that truly masochistic Japan was allowed to shine, and it did so, absorbing an entire economic system, technologies, and culture from the west, synthesizing and then exceeding. Little wonder that Japan is so powerful, and yet so small.

Even the great religions are masochistic, for all their insistence that theirs is the "one true path". Christianity has long had a core tradition of self flagellation - wasn't Jesus the ultimate masochist? He died to absorb our sins. Buddhists, taoists, hindus, all have a great tradition of masochism, often taken to a wonderful level of spiritual perfection.

All this holds true at the personal level as well. A masochistic man will be dominated by a succession of lovers, he will absorb the fruit of their minds, and will become a kind of superhuman after he has been dominated by as many people as possible.

Now some might argue that the perfect masochist may have issues with his identity, because he never produces anything truly new, preferring to absorb and co-opt already extant ideas, practices and beliefs. To an extent, this is true. But the perfect masochist will always have a new combination of absorbed ideas, and so will in that sense be unique. And truly original thoughts are supremely rare - most new things are merely a new synthesis of what has went before. For example, Einstein's theories weren't new in any real sense, they were just mathematical derivations and conjectures from what was already known.

I think that if we look at the history of recent times we can see that, with postmodernism and associated ideas of relativity, these ideas of masochism as a plausible lifestyle, philosophy and world view are already taking fruit, even if most people have no idea, as yet, or don't attach the label "masochism" to this.

Modern countries realize that the only way they are going to progress is by embracing masochism. Hence, countries around the world are absorbing as much knowledge and culture from each other as they possibly can. We are heading towards a new global culture, in which masochism is King.

At the interpersonal level, masochism is also on the increase. We already know that women tend towards masochism - 30 million women throughout America are in abusive relationships through choice. However, the masochistic tendencies of women allow them to shine educationally and in the workplace. The have taken on the qualities that have made men so successful in this arena, and synthesized them with their own unique feminine gifts to make an unbeatable new formula. Unless men too become masochists, they will be left far far behind in the world of work.

The brave new world of masochism is a land of opportunity for masochists such as myself. However, I have to wonder if there will be pressures for the nature of the sub/dom relationship to change. With the rising tide of masochism, dominators will become increasingly rare, and submissives will have a hard time finding domineering mates of sufficient social status. Perhaps the way forward is for doms to fulfill the traditional househusband/wife role - and as women are more naturally submissive than women, we can see that making it socially acceptable for dom males to be house husbands and dom females housewives is of the utmost importance.

Whatever happens, the 21st century will be remembered as the century of the masochist. Truly, we masochists are the conclusion of thousands of years of cultural development, and the future is ours.


I agree (none / 0) (#3)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Aug 2nd, 2001 at 01:35:08 PM PST
I'm a female masochist and my partner is a female dom. Although I am by far the more submissive of the pair in both social and sexual aspects, I am the more conventionally successful (career wise) of the pair of us.
Many other S&M couple I know seem to show similar characteristics, I think it is funny. Maybe the masochist way of thinking does make me more agreeable at work and generally.

~Kathleen~


Sarcasta, is that you? (none / 0) (#6)
by Peter Johnson on Thu Aug 2nd, 2001 at 06:08:25 PM PST
Nice to see you on this board.
--Peter
Are you adequate?
--Peter
Are you adequate?

 
My personal brush with masochism (none / 0) (#4)
by localroger on Thu Aug 2nd, 2001 at 04:13:59 PM PST
LOL Glad to see your self-esteem has improved in the last couple of days, bc.

A couple of years ago I was in Las Vegas and the person some will know as Y and I were staying at the Tropicana, I heard the roller coaster go by around New York, New York and got a wild hair. To Y's great amusement I marched into the arcade, past 2.3 x 10 ex 5 children, and bought a ticket. Y held my wallet as the heavy clamps were adjusted to hold me in the seat and the train of cars rolled slowly out of the station.

To the rear of the casino, behind the 1/3 size New York skyline where you can't see it, is an AMAZINGLY TALL STEEL STRUCTURE. As the train of cars climbed it the people on the ground pointing up at us (and laughing, were they laughing?) looked like mice, then like roaches, then like ants. Just about the time only the Hubble Telescope could make them out we crested the top and faced what looked like a sheer vertical drop of about four thousand feet tall.

About half way up the incline it hit me that there was no way off. There was no bailout switch, no big red button, no emergency stop cord, nothing. My pulse hammered in my ears and my eyes bulged and the train began downhill at what felt like about mach .5 and what I'm told actually is about 65 miles per hour.

About half-way down something odd happened.

In a quick flash I realized that this was a totally artificial experience. It wasn't really as dangerous as it felt; a whole team of maintenance guys and engineers had put their time in making sure it wouldn't kill me. In that moment I surrendered to them. One thought blew through my mind, obliterating my fear and raising in me a very strange sense of euphoria: I WILL TRUST THE ENGINEER.

I trusted the engineer as the train bottomed out and crested the next hill, as it whipped around 3g turns and turned us upside down. I didn't even have the urge to scream. Each wild twist and lurch reaffirmed my faith in the enginner. And when the cars pulled back into the arcade to pick up the next load of victims, I had an uncharacteristic urge to perform this senseless and inexplicable ritual again.

Every sexual fetish is the sexualization of some normally nonsexual element of life, and what I learned from the roller coaster is that it is possible to take a kind of elemental joy in the act of surrender to a higher force. This is probably why masochists outnumber sadists so much; even outside of sexuality, only a few people are naturally dominant, and you form fetishes around things you experience. It was an interesting and unexpected piece of a puzzle that has always interested me.


Lovely (none / 0) (#5)
by bc on Thu Aug 2nd, 2001 at 04:54:34 PM PST
A very nice allegory there. This is the thing with s&m generally, the tabloidish impression is that it is all wild and out of control, (and on the surface I suppose that it can appear so sometimes:) when in fact it requires a lot of trust.

Regarding the masochists outnumbering sadists, I'd imagine that most novices tend to be masochistic at first (it is easier) and only later discover or give in to sadistic tendencies. And with the great majority of us being brought up in a highly stratified, hierarchal society, masochism is kind of natural for most people, in a sense.

And, for a masochist joy can be found when your dominant partner knows precisely how to take you to the edge, and bring more out of you, such that you can let go exactly as you describe. So self knowledge intimate knowledge of your partner is an absolute must for enhanced pleasure.

Anyway, yeah, trusting the Engineer is very apt. And as you say, once you can do that you can let go and enjoy the experience in a heightened state.

It is interesting to note the tradition of "surrendering to a higher force" in the West. I am particularly fascinated by the flagellants, the medieval monks who were fond of thrashing themselves (often for many hours, and they would go on long marches, thousands at once have been recorded) until the point of physical collapse, but they would reach a kind of rapture. Of course the higher power they were wishing to be dominated by was God, and much of the masochism of that time is wrapped up in religious fervour.

Anyway, surrendering to a higher power is the thing, a blissful release from responsibility and choice, for me at least :)


♥, bc.

 

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