The problem of how to explain sadomasochism has tormented psychiatrists, appropriately enough, ever since Krafft-Ebing drew attention to the phenomenon in his widely influential Psychopathia Sexualis (1885; 1965). Sadism (so named after the notorious Marquis de Sade, 1740-1814) KrafftEbing described as the experience of pleasurable sexual sensations produced by acts of cruelty and bodily punishment, which reflected ‘an innate desire to humiliate, hurt, wound or even destroy others in order thereby to create sexual pleasure in one’s self’. By contrast, masochism (named after the novelist and historian Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, 1836-1895) represented ‘a peculiar perversion’ in which the affected individual is controlled, both in sexual feeling and in thought, by ‘the idea of being completely and unconditionally subject to the will of the opposite sex; of being treated by this person as by a master, humiliated and abused. This idea is coloured by lustful feeling; the masochist lives in fancies, in which he creates situations of this kind and often attempts to realize them.’