I am not a masochist …

… I just enjoy receiving pain from my wife. 😉

I do have a problem with being labelled as a masochist, and feel slightly awkward using that word in a positive sense, as it stems from the etymology of the word – masochism – from the author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Von Sacher-Masoch, wrote a number of books, but only one is available in English, Venus in Furs, and I loathe it. I hate the wimpy character, Gregor; I hate the prose; I hate the presumption that because I like to submit to my wife, I am weak. I am not.

There would be no domination without my submission; there would no play if I utter the safeword. By submitting it does not make me weak, and I resent the implication that it does. And yet every time I utter the word “masochism” it’s what it means and conjures up for me: I am weak. Using this word so readily, I believe only serves to perpetuate the myth that I have no choice but to yield.

To me, it flies in the face of what BDSM is about, and certainly what it means to me. I am loved by my wife and I love her; our play is risk-aware and she is always highly aware of all the risks, and my state of mind. She may cause me pain but she never hurts me, yet in the book Wanda does not care for her partner, and becomes oblivious to his needs. It perpetrates just as much ignorance as a recent yet highly popular BDSM-based trilogy. I despise it.

I do adore the work of the Marquis de Sade: 120 Days of Sodom is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, so to me, sadism works well, and while the Marquis wrote about extreme forms of sadism, I understand the rationale behind using this word. But for some reason we chose the author of Venus in Furs to title the practice of receiving pain and not one of the myriad of other talented authors who write fantastic tales about submission and erotic pain in a positive way.

There is no alternative in the English language that I know of to indicate I get sexual pleasure through receiving pain and I don’t know what term I would prefer to someone who likes the act of spanking, caning and receiving impact play. Answers on a postcard please ….

But I am not ever going to be a masochist!

Wicked Wednesday

 

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10 Comments

  1. I have never read a book of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch or of the Marquis de Sade, but I do have the latter on my list of ‘to read’. I may understand your negative feelings towards the word ‘masochisc’ better had I read the same book. I consider myself a masochist and when Master T tells me that I am one, I feel pride. I know this is one word that describes me and it does not make me feel weak at all.

    It’s good to see that there are different feelings to the same word.

    Rebel xox
    Marie Rebelle recently posted…Sinful Sunday: Itsy Bitsy SpiderMy Profile

  2. I too struggle with the term, if i must be labeled it prefer pain slut, then I shriek or wriggle and wonder if i am entitled to that term either. I orgasm from pain tho, when my Master causes it, so it seems I am a classic masochist. Or maybe just me :)
    jemima2013 recently posted…In his hands…My Profile

  3. I do not like the label either but I do love me some bdsm time with the Hubby!!

  4. I am definitely NOT weak, either. I am actually quite the opposite in my work environment. I have to direct others and therefore I am in charge. But, not at home, because it is there, and with my Master that I CHOOSE to submit. This choice takes a lot of strength. It is much easier to just be a doormat versus CHOOSING to give up my own power and giving it to my Master. My Master sees me as a strong person. He says having a doormat is just not as much fun, either! 😉

  5. As I am often want to say define the label for you, do not define yourself by the label. I call myself submissive. People make assumptions about what that means but I don’t care as I know exactly what it means for me. Likewise, I am also a masochist, I enjoy receiving controlled pain… I get off on not just the sensation but the action, the mental interplay with my partner and the marks on my skin afterwards. None of this makes me weak. It is my title, my definition, my understanding.

    Mollyxxx
    Molly recently posted…Crossing The LineMy Profile

  6. As a slightly lengthy counter point both in orientation and term. I have often felt the same way about defining myself as a sadist. Where to you masochist is associated with weak and yielding it has never struck that chord with me. Perhaps because I don’t identify as one so I’m less sensitive to the perception or maybe because it could be applied to so many that I love and I understand their choice, preferences, and it’s meaning.

    Until recent years I shuddered at defining myself as a sadist for fear of being perceived as brutish, cruel, and perhaps even abusive or mentally disturbed by those who didn’t understand. Each part of the equation comes with its own challenge and both require strength and insight those who are no so inclined will never understand. I do on occasion hide behind other labels such as Top or Dominant because they are more comfortable.

    Thanks for inspiring the thoughts and perspectives.
    -Mal
    Malflic recently posted…Thank you for Flying Sadist Airlines – An Epic PoemMy Profile

  7. Very thought provoking piece.

    I am certainly a pain slut (when submissive) and love how pain makes me feel and how it turns me on.

    Personally I am not fussed either way over the term “masochist” as for me personally feeling of the pain and enjoyment of the pain is what I need at times in a controlled and trusting environment. As you say there is no alternative literal translation for the term so for me, at times, masochist it is!

    I have read the book Venus in Furs and like you I did not appreciate the way the characters were portrayed. The books by Marquis de Sade are on my “to read” list.

    Labels are something that I do not, as a rule, like so I do not, personally, hold any attachment or otherwise to a particular term. That’s the way I roll!!

    Great post and love the discussion that it has provoked!

    Mia xx
    Mia recently posted…Pleasure, Pain And Back AgainMy Profile

  8. You know, I’ve been bad and never read Marquis de Sade’s work…may have to yet. As for labels…so long as we all find our pleasures, what does it matter?

    Stranded
    Stranded recently posted…Blowjobs and CleavageMy Profile

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