Updated: DECEMBER 24, 2018

Automasochism is the practice of inflicting pain on oneself for sexual gratification. Automasochists might hurt themselves while masturbating or during sexual activity with a partner to enhance their desire and sexual pleasure.

The term automasochism is a combination of the common prefix auto, meaning self, and masochism. The word masochism comes from the German word masochismus coined by the Austrian novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch who described the phenomena of experiencing sexual pleasure when hurt or abused.

Automasochism is sometimes called autosadism.

More About Automasochism

An automasochist’s best sexual experiences are likely to involve self-inflicted pain. They may be unable to feel aroused or climax without inflicting pain on themselves. Even if the sex doesn’t involve pain, they’re likely to be thinking about it.

When they’re not in the bedroom, automasochists may also find themselves spending a lot of time fantasizing about inflicting pain on themselves.

Most automasochists learn to accept their desire for self-pain as part of their sexual identity and find partners who accept the condition. However, if automasochism starts to interfere with personal relationships or even a person’s daily function, they may seek treatment. Psychoanalysis, behavioral and cognitive therapies, and hypnosis can all be helpful for automasochists wanting to manage their condition.

Some methods of inflicting pain also carry inherent risks automasochists should be aware of. Automasochists open themselves up to the risk of infection, serious injuries, or even death. They should exercise caution, sterilize all cutting implements, and if playing with a partner, ensure they’re monitored closely. Automasochists with mental health issues should also ensure their desire for pain stems from a sexual need rather than a desire to self-harm.


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