While we are dealing here with pain, it is a pain the masochist is capable of transforming into pleasure; a suffering which he, by some secret alchemy he alone possesses, can turn into pure joy.
—Jean Paulhan, Preface to Pauline Réage’s "The Story of O" (1954)
Jesse Bering, Ph.D. is a frequent contributor to Scientific American and Slate. His writing has also appeared in New York magazine, The Guardian, and The New Republic, among others, and has been featured by NPR, Playboy Radio, and more. The author of "The Belief Instinct," Bering is the former Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at the Queen's University, Belfast, and began his career as a professor at the University of Arkansas. He lives in Ithaca, New York.