Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch (27 January 1836 – 9 March 1895) was more than just the father of sexual submission (dubbed Masochism in his honor). This Austrian writer was also an early advocate for women’s rights, religious freedom, and racial/ethnic equality.
During a period in history where women were seen as “the fairer sex” and therefore weaker than men, Sacher-Masoch argued that it was women who held more power and influence over the world:
“Man is the one who desires, woman the one who is desired. This is woman’s entire but decisive advantage. Through man’s passions, nature has given man into woman’s hands, and the woman who does not know how to make him her subject, her slave, her toy, and how to betray him with a smile in the end is not wise.”
In 1869, he officially declared himself the slave of his mistress, Baroness Fanny Pistor, insisting that she beat him while wearing expensive furs. His infamous novel Venus In Furs was inspired by his peculiar relationship with the Baroness. Many of his peers saw his obsession with female empowerment and domination as a perversion, and as a result, much of his advocacy for civil rights was discredited, only to be fully respected many years after his death.
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is my history crush because, as a fem-dom, I am intrigued and turned on by guys who are willing to play the submissive role in a relationship. I really think this guy was born in the wrong era - if he were alive and writing today, he would be heralded for his progressive views and definitely not seen as some “weirdo” for wanting women to take charge.