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With Valentines Day done and dusted for another year, most of us will feel loved and needed. After all; love, sex, fantasies and relationships are on our minds at this time of the year, consciously and unconsciously.
If we’re being honest, when it comes to sex and love, Sigmund Freud got some things wrong (i.e. there is no such thing as a clitoral orgasm), BUT he did get some things right. The American Psychoanalytic Association shares with us what they are:
1. Sexuality is Everyone’s Weakness and Strength
Sex is a prime motivator and common denominator for all of us. Sexuality is one of the most primal human natures, whether we are playing to our strengths or not, it is still there as a backbone of our lives as humans.
2. Every Part of the Body is Erotic
Freud knew that human beings were sexual beings right from the start. He took his inspiration from the baby nursing at the mother’s breast to illustrate the example of a more mature sexuality. He knew, too, that sexual excitation is not restricted to genitalia, as pleasure is achieved through erotic attachment to potentially any idiosyncratically defined area of the body.
3. Homosexuality is Not a Mental Illness
He noted that gay people are often distinguished by especially high intellectual development and ethical culture. Freud famously penned a letter to a mother wishing to cure her son of homosexuality, Freud wrote, “Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation; it cannot be classified as an illness.” This was in 1935.
4. All Love Relationships Contain Ambivalent Feelings.
Among Freud’s various discoveries was the ambivalence involved in all close and intimate relationships. In the world of the unconscious, beneath even the most loving and caring involvement are feelings, fantasies, and ideas that are negative, hateful, and destructive. Freud recognized that this mixture of love and hate in close relationships is part of human nature and not necessarily pathologic.
5. We Learn to Love from our Early Relationships with Parents and Caregivers
Our early relationships with parents and caregivers help us to form a “love map” that persists throughout our lives. Freud pointed out that when we find a love object we are actually “re-finding” it. Hence the often-recognized phenomenon of individuals who select partners that reminds them of their mother or father. We’ve all seen it.
6. Our Loved One Becomes a Part of Ourselves
Freud noted that the characteristics, beliefs, feelings and attitudes of those we love become incorporated into ourselves–part of the psyche.
7. Fantasy is an Important Factor in Sexual Excitement
Freud observed that sexual excitement comes from three directions: the external world (relationships, sexual history), the organic interior (sex hormones) and mental life (sexual fantasies). In our sexual fantasies we often conjure up all kinds of strange and “perverse” scenarios, which add to sexual excitement and hopefully lead to climatic pleasure.
Read on at Psych Central for the full and captivating article