Masochism has often been categorised among the endless list of perversions developed by psychiatry since the late nineteenth century. Similarly, an almost fixed link between masochism, perversion and femininity persists within psychoanalysis. By asserting that female masochism is a male fantasy, Lacan opens a radically different perspective. This article unfolds this idea by drawing on philosophy, and courtly and masochistic literature. I argue that masochism is a male fantasy and try to open a way for a rigorous separation from perversion.