Psychosexual disorder in which an individual achieves erotic release by being subjected to pain or humiliation. The term is derived from the name of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, a 19th-century Austrian novelist who wrote extensively about the sexual enjoyment he derived from verbal and physical abuse. The amount of pain involved can vary; it is usually sought out and to some degree controlled by the masochist. Masochistic and sadistic traits often occur in the same individual.
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