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Selections from Dr. Roy F. Baumeister’s essays

Nancy first met Dr. Roy F. Baumeister in 1989 when both were summoned by lawyers to North Carolina (along with other S&M notables) as potential expert witnesses in pending court cases where XXX movie makers, if found guilty, were facing twenty-five to thirty years incarceration. Their crime? Producing and distributing films labeled “obscene.” The defendants were found not guilty on most charges; they served no prison time. In 1990, Dr. Baumeister, a landbreaking researcher and writer in the realm of sadomasochism, spoke at PEP–DC. Nancy and Dr. Baumeister have kept in touch over the years.

From “Masochism: An Alternative Intimacy”
by Dr. Roy F. Baumeister

Original publication: Spectator  vol. 22, no. 14 (June 30-July 6, 1989).

     How could someone enjoy being tied up and spanked? If you like whips and chains, does that mean you’re crazy?
     New research findings have changed our understanding of sexual masochism. Up until recently, psychology took a very dim view of S&M. Psychologists thought that masochists were mentally ill, probably dangerous individuals full of guilt. But a completely different picture has emerged in the last decade.
     It is now clear that most masochists live normal, well-adjusted lives. Apart from their sex lives, they are pretty much like anyone else. Masochism is not a sign of being sick or maladjusted. Masochism is certainly unusual, statistically speaking. Strange? Yes, probably. Weird? Maybe. But sick? No.

From Masochism: His and Hers”
by Dr. Roy F. Baumeister

Original publication: Spectator  vol. 23, no. 19 (February 2–8, 1990).

     Are there sex differences in masochism? For a long time, this question was asked in relation to Freud’s suggestion that women are more masochistic. Various thinkers, like Helen Deutsch and Theodor Reik, debated whether males or females were the more masochistic sex. This went back and forth for decades.
     In retrospect, the whole debate may have been stupid. It is now clear that there are masochists who are men, and there are others who are women. And neither is typical: That is, most men and most women are not masochistic. Masochists are a minority found among both men and women.


Slave Chris, PEP–Philadelphia (1990)

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r Inquiries Welcome! Please call Nancy Ava Miller at (505) 281-6262, any hour, or call PEP at (505) 260-1324, M-F 9-5 MT,
PEP's Inquiry LoveLine
(505) 255-9255, any hour, or email Nancy at nancy at nancyava.com.

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