Ernest Hemingway nearly defined machismo for many American men of the twentieth century. Yet, in recent years critics have discerned an "androgynous" sexuality beneath the surface stoicism of Hemingway's heroes. This study breaks new ground by examining the profoundly submissive and masochistic posture toward women exhibited by many of Hemingway's heroes, from Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises to David Bourne in The Garden of Eden. The discussion draws on the ideas of authors as diverse as Sacher-Masoch, Freud, Deleuze, and others, and reveals that despite Hemingway's rugged and hypermasculine image, a "masochistic aesthetic" informs many of the texts. This accessible treatment of a complex subject will appeal to readers with an interest in Hemingway, gender issues, and American literature.