The Fascinating Link Between Alien Abduction Reports and Sadomasochistic Fantasies — Sex And Psychology

What masochists fantasize about and desire sexually holds a lot of parallels to the activities that abductees describe. As Newman and Baumeister argue: “The main features of masochism—both actual activities and fantasies—are pain, loss of control, and humiliation. All three of these themes dominate UFO abduction accounts.”

For example, when you look at the scenarios that abductees describe, pain is often one of the main features—people frequently say they were subjected to unpleasant and painful activities aboard UFOs. They also often report being restrained—tied or pinned down—in a way that makes them lose their sense of control. They say they are frequently subjected to humiliating sexual acts, too, such as being led around by the genitals or having unwanted devices inserted in their rectums. 

Incidentally, my own research on sexual fantasies is consistent with this: I surveyed more than 4,000 Americans about their sexual fantasies for my book Tell Me What You Want, and among the many things I asked about were fantasies involving aliens. Alien fantasies were correlated with having more fantasies in general about receiving pain, being humiliated, and being tied up. 

Newman and Baumeister go on to claim that: “Abductees overall seem to fit the profile of people who would be expected to be drawn to fantasies of escaping the self. These people would thus be especially likely to construct a classic UFO abduction narrative when hypnotized.” 

Thus, they are not suggesting that masochists in general tend to believe they have been abducted by UFOs or aliens; rather, their claim is really that this is a subgroup of persons who might be especially prone to false memories or dream-reality confusion involving UFO abduction. The motivation to escape the self that underlies many masochistic desires may predispose masochists to construct such scenarios and, under the right circumstances (e.g., recovered memories during hypnosis), they might even come to believe them as true. 

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[1] Newman, L. S., & Baumeister, R. F. (1996). Toward an explanation of the UFO abduction phenomenon: Hypnotic elaboration, extraterrestrial sadomasochism, and spurious memories. Psychological Inquiry7(2), 99-126.

[2] Wamsley, E., Donjacour, C. E., Scammell, T. E., Lammers, G. J., & Stickgold, R. (2014). Delusional confusion of dreaming and reality in narcolepsy. Sleep37(2), 419-422.

Image Source: 123RF/imogi 

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