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An Inside Look at S&M

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.2 
  • Words: 1115
  • Essay Grade: 3,50 /5 (2 Graders)
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Roy F. Baumeister explores the taboo lifestyles of sadomasochism.   The main theme and purpose of the piece is to find out who are masochists, and what do they put themselves through in the name of pleasure.   "Across the country, from sophisticated cities to subdued suburbs, men and women are acting out fantasies of sexual domination and submission." (Psychology Today 47) I believe that Baumeister describes a very accurate portrait of who one specific group of masochists is and what they do for pleasure, however, I feel that he fails to recognize the younger generation of masochists.   I also feel that on the issue symbolic of sex change, Baumeister does not elaborate enough.


Baumeister's findings show that the majority of those participating in sadomasochistic behavior come from the upper class.   He claims they come from high-powered jobs.   They are people who make decisions everyday that effect the lives of many of their workers.   Baumeister believes that the characters' occupations are the reasons for their submissive behavior.   He says, "Masochists seem to be drawn largely from the privileged classes; They are above average in education and income; Society's real victims do not seek out masochistic sex.   Rather it is often the rich, powerful, and successful, the people with the heaviest burdens of selfhood, who need the escape of masochism." (Psychology Today 47)


What Baumeister means by ".burdens of selfhood." is he believes that "the   self" is a very demanding entity.   "It requires constant upkeep and maintenance." (Psychology Today 47)   It requires that one be in constant control of one's self and surroundings.   Those individuals that are so consumed with shouldering all the pressure or being the one that everyone counts on, that they sometimes need an escape.   And for many of these people, their escape is masochism.   It is a situation that requires their submission; it is a total role...

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  1. Other Candidates
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    • Jan 09, 2011 - Evaluator: (andyO)
    • I thoroughly agree with Baumeister and yourself, but I think there's other young groups who can be interested in taking up S&M. Doesn't have to be the ones who are into Marilyn Manson and dress in leather. Regular people. Everyday people, if you will. Sometimes there's just an urge to change things up a bit, spice up the bedroom once in a while. So they resort to these techniques. I'm curious though...do YOU see it as a bad thing? Let me know what you all think!
  2. Lucidly Informative
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    • Jan 08, 2009 - Evaluator: (anujpathania)
    • I like the style of writing and the depth in which subject is analyzed.