For most people, a whip-wielding, leather-clad sexual subculture comes to mind when they hear the phrase
sadomasochism. But as the author, a psychiatrist, explains in this book, sadomasochism is generally about power, control, dominance, and submission, dynamics that are subtle and pervasive in all of our lives, from home life to work life to social interactions including political arenas. The bottom line: sadomasochism is about the giving or receiving pleasure from the infliction or reception of pain or humiliation and both pain and pleasure can be purely emotional, no sexual or physical context necessary. He deconstructs sadomasochism to show us how it affects each of us, consciously or not, and explains the
life phases of sadomasochism, the role early trauma plays in this self-defeating action when it reaches a neurotic level, and the damage it does to individuals, loved ones, and society. For psychology students, researchers, and general readers interested in psychology.