“A sadist is always at the same time a masochist.”

The idea of a connection between the sadistic and masochistic perversions had already been noted by Krafft-Ebing. Freud stresses it as early as the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), treating sadism and masochism as the two faces of a single perversion whose active and passive forms are to be found in variable proportions in the same individual:

‘A sadist is always at the same time a masochist, although the active or the passive aspect of the perversion may be the more strongly developed in him and may represent his predominant sexual activity.’
 ― Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905)


Excerpted from The Language of Psychoanalysis


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