Algolagnia (pronEng|ælgəˈlægniə) (from the Greek άλγος, "algos", "pain", and λαγνεία, "lagnia", "lust") is a sexual tendency which is defined by deriving sexual pleasure and stimulation from physical pain, particularly involving an erogenous zone.cite book |last=Kelley |first=Kathryn |authorlink=Kathryn Kelley |coauthors= Donn Byrne|title=Alternative Approaches to the Study of Sexual Behavior |year= |pages=13-38 |publisher= |location= |isbn=0898596777 ]

Studies conducted indicate differences in how the brains of those with algolagnia interpret nerve input. ]

History of research

Havelock Ellis was one of the first researchers to look into algolagnia, in the early 1900s. [ Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 by Havelock Ellis - Project Gutenberg ] ] With such titles as "Analysis of the Sexual Impulse, Love and Pain, The Sexual Impulse in Women" and "The Evolution of Modesty, The Phenomena of Sexual Periodicity, Auto-Erotism", he described the basics of the condition. Eugen Kahn, Smith Ely Jelliffe, William Alanson White, and Hugh Northcote were other early psychological researchers into algolagnia.

Most early research placed algolagnia in the same category as masochistic tendencies and other "deviancies of sexuality", but William Alanson White believed that algolagnia was primarily a motor function or nerve disease.fact|date=December 2007

Current research

Currently, most psychological researchers feel that algolagnia is a physical phenomenon in which the brain interprets pain signals as pleasurable leading to psychological effects. cite book |last=Sullivan |first=Harry Stack |authorlink=Harry Stack Sullivan |coauthors= |title=Clinical Studies in Psychiatry |year= 1992 |publisher= W. W. Norton & Company |location= |isbn=0393006883 ] In particular, the research conducted by Dolf Zillmann indicated that:

...most algolagniacs see their actions as an active lust, not a motivational one. Patients with algolagnia could lead normal lives, enjoy normal arousal sequences, and indulge in fairly normal sexual intercourse, but when exposed to sexual pain, were unable to control their reaction. One woman described it as being unable to prevent her arousal or subsequent orgasm due to pain, even if she was not aroused when it began. cite book |last=Zillmann |first=Dolf |authorlink=Dolf Zillmann |coauthors= |title=Connections Between Sexuality and Aggression |year= 1998 |publisher=Lawrence Erlbaum Associates |location= |isbn= 080581907X ]

This, along with other research cite book |last=Bancroft |first=John D.|authorlink=John D. Bancroft |coauthors= |title= Human Sexuality and Its Problems|year=1989|publisher=Elsevier Health Sciences |location= |isbn=0443034559 ] , often links algolagnia to aggression, or hypersexuality, or other control psychoses.

More recently, modern researchers using MRI and computer models of neuron firing patterns show that most algolagniacs experience pain differently from others. Algolagniacs may have DNA errors such as SCN9A, causing inaccurate nociception to occur. cite book |last=Bloch |first=Iwan |authorlink=Iwan Block |coauthors= |title= The Sexual Life of Our Time: In Its Relations to Modern Civilization|year=2006|publisher=Kessinger Publishing |location= |isbn=1428615431 ]

At least one researcher in the 1900's cite book |last=Von Schrenck-Notzin|first=A |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= [ Therapeutic Suggestion in Psychopathia Sexualis with Special Reference] |year=2006|publisher=Kessinger Publishing |location= |isbn=1428625445 ] thought that algolagnia was a psychological disorder. Dr. Schrenck-Notzin's assertion of this contributed largely to the blurring of the lines between algolagnia and such true psychological conditions as masochistic tendencies and the like. The result is that very little ongoing research has been conducted, with most nerve researchers focusing on nerve diseases and most physioneurologists concentrating on neuropathological reasons for such reactions. [Pg 197,"Therapeutic Suggestion in Psychopathia Sexualis with Special Reference" ]

Algolagnia and paraphilia

Algolagnia is not a paraphilia as defined by conventional medical literature. While many people, especially those unfamiliar with paraphilias (specifically, physical masochism) and algolagnia, tend to conflate the two as equivalent, this is in error. Paraphilias by definition include mental urges where the activity must be the sole means of sexual gratification for a period of six (6) months.Fact|date=December 2007 Whereas in algolagnia typical pleasure responses are still sought while seeking pain for pleasure might be avoided or be an addiction. In the case of masochism there is a psychological desire for pain and humiliation which may result in sexual arousal. On the other hand algolagnia is a physiological reaction to pain that doesn't involve desire or psychological aspects directly. In other words a person with algolagnia enjoys the pain but might wish they didn't, and a masochist wishes for the pain but might not actually be wired to enjoy it.

ee also

* Sadism and masochism
* Mortification of the flesh


External links

* [ The Psychology of Sex]
* [ Ellis, on algolagnia]
* [ A 1900's book on algolagnia]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Algolagnia — Algolagnia: Palabra proveniente del griego antiguo (algos: dolor; lagneia: placer), que constituye una de las definiciones usuales en Medicina para referirse al erotismo del dolor, al placer sexual relacionado con las sensaciones dolorosas.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • algolagnia — Forma de perversión sexual caracterizada por el sadismo o el masoquismo. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • algolagnia — s. f. 1.  [Psicopatologia] Perversão na qual o prazer está ligado ao sofrimento experimentado pelo paciente ou infligido a outrem. 2. O mesmo que sadismo. 3. O mesmo que masoquismo.   ‣ Etimologia: grego álgos, ous, dor + grego lagneía, as,… …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • algolagnia — [al΄gō lag′nē ə, al΄gəlag′nē ə] n. [ModL < ALGO + Gr lagneia, lust] abnormal sexual pleasure derived from inflicting or suffering pain; masochism or sadism algolagniac n. algolagnist algolagnic adj …   English World dictionary

  • Algolagnia — La algolagnia es la parafilia que consiste en obtener placer sexual mediante el dolor. Es importante subrayar que la algolagnia no es lo mismo que el masoquismo, ya que hay menos connotaciones psicológicas para la algolagnia, que puede limitarse… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • algolagnia — noun Etymology: New Latin, from Greek algos pain + lagneia lust, from lagnos lustful more at slack Date: circa 1900 a perversion (as sadism or masochism) characterized by pleasure and especially sexual gratification in inflicting or suffering… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • algolagnia — algolagnic, adj. algolagnist, n. /al geuh lag nee euh/, n. Psychiatry. sexual pleasure derived from enduring or inflicting pain, as in masochism or sadism. [1900 05; < G Algolagnie, equiv. to algo ALGO + lagnie < Gk lagneía lust] * * * …   Universalium

  • algolagnia — noun A physical condition that causes a person to gain sexual pleasure by suffering pain, particularly to erogenous zones. Syn: sadomasochism …   Wiktionary

  • algolagnia — Obsolete term for algophilia. [algo + G. lagneia, lust] * * * al·go·lag·nia .al gō lag nē ə n a perversion (as masochism or sadism) in which pleasure and esp. sexual gratification is obtained by inflicting or suffering pain al·go·lag·nic nik adj… …   Medical dictionary

  • algolagnia — al·go·la·gnì·a s.f. TS psic. perversione sessuale per cui si prova piacere solo nell infliggere o nel subire il dolore fisico {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1955. ETIMO: comp. di 2algo e lagnia …   Dizionario italiano