In the previous post it was mentioned that some sexual behaviour can be reflective of infantile fixations:
“Freud was able to show that the perversions represent fixations at levels of infantile sex adjustment”. (end quote)
In my view this is true. If a person is fixated at the oral stage of development that can cause all sorts of symptoms which reflect that level of fixation. The person may develop alcoholism or the habitual smoking of cigarettes. It can result in all sorts of problem emotions like depression and despair. It can result in relationship problems where the person has a fear of abandonment and that disrupts their ability to relate in a healthy way.
If an oral fixation can interfere in a persons life in the ways just described why should sexual behaviour be any different. Of course it is not and thus we have the basis for sexual behaviour being influenced by the psychology of the individual. Indeed one could argue that fixation in a person’s child development is more likely to effect their sexual behaviour than other non sexual behaviour. This is because sexual behaviour can involve high levels of emotional and physical intimacy between two people thus making it more susceptible to the influence of developmental fixations.
The diagram here shows how life script decisions form the basis of the personality and on top of that sit observable behaviours, feelings and reportable thinking patterns:
In Transactional Analysis terms as a child we make life script decisions. In CBT these are referred to as thinking errors. This makes us what we are, it is the foundations of our personality. These influence how we operate on a daily basis by influencing our behaviour, feeling and thinking which of course can include sexual behaviours and feelings. In this way the life script decisions will determine what a person finds erotic and what they do not.
This can be most useful diagnostically. If a client is willing to disclose in some detail what they find erotic in their sexual practices, in their sexual fantasies and in any pornography they may view one can make diagnoses about their underlying personality structures. Sometimes people are not willing to disclose such intimate things and the underlying personality structures can be ascertained by other means anyway. However what a person finds erotic can provide very useful information about a client which of course is helpful in their overall therapy.
For instance the female who finds the sexual position of being on top particularly erotic can indicate all sorts of things about the psychology of her relationships with males. That may be her feeling that she is the controlling one in the relationship or her feeling that she isn’t the controlling one but has a strong desire to be.
Even more descriptive is the fantasy life of the person. These can be very useful diagnostically and this does not only refer to sexual fantasies. When interviewing a client I often ask the question: “What daydreams do you have?”. I do not use the word fantasy because people will often assume I mean sexual fantasy. In my question I am referring to all fantasies, sexual and non sexual, as they can be a rich source of diagnostic information.
People have daydreams or fantasies about all sorts of things they would never actually do in real life and thus it can be a much richer source of diagnostic information. That includes both sexual fantasises and non sexual fantasies. Related to this is the viewing of pornography, although this tends to be relevant much more to males alone. With internet pornography so varied and accessible the male can get very specific about what he finds erotic at a fantasy level.
However getting back to the point at hand, what one finds erotic can be determined by childhood fixations and thus the quotations in the previous post do have a sound theoretical basis. Drug taking is a pathological behaviour that can result from a fixation at the oral stage of development. That same fixation can also result in man developing a highly erotic attachment to oral sex. Does this mean the oral sex is also a pathological behaviour? One could argue yes, as both behaviours originated from the same psychological process.
Adjunct to this is the idea that when one takes a drug habitually that supports and solidifies the underlying life script decision. The cycle is set up - the behaviour supports the script decision and the script decision supports the behaviour. The same could be seen with the erotic attachment to oral sex. The sexual behaviour supports the script decision and the script decision supports the sexual behaviour.
The idea presented in the previous post was that one could have sex in such a way that no pathology was supported by the sexual behaviour. I summarised it as such:
“Non perverted sex involves peno-vaginal intercourse with the female in the supine position. Penetration cannot be less than two minutes or longer than one hour. Orgasm should occur preferably simultaneously and leave both in a state of complete detumescence. Sex should occur less than twice a day and more than once every two months. The male can be semisadistic and the female may be semimasochistic. Foreplay is permitted as long as it does not involve any perverse touching or sucking and the end of the sex act must be with coitus”. (end quote)
An interesting idea indeed, that one can have sex without supporting an underlying script decision by engaging in sexual behaviour that does not fit with the cycle described above. As I said an interesting notion, but I would also say, the chances of it actually working are next to nil. What people find especially erotic is fixation based in the personality. I would imagine that even if people are aware of this there is very little likelihood of them stopping that sexual behaviour which they find most erotic.
This is not the end of the story. This provides the basis by which one can more accurately ascertain the prognosis of various abnormal states. But that is for the next post.