Infants have a richer Xual* life than adults

Infants have a richer Xual* life than adults.

[b]*Freud defines sexual instinct as an energy or desire with which the human being pursues pleasure. The pleasure sought is the pleasurable activity of all aspects of the human body, including all internal organs. The organ may be the stomach, the genitals, the thumb, the eyes, the mouth, the toes, and etc. Infants are in love with all aspects of themselves.

It is clear from Freud’s definition of sexual instinct that he is aiming at something very general and something very fundamental. I suspect that much of the antagonism toward Freud throughout his historical presence is due to this word ‘sex’ that appears often in his work. This abhorrence of everything explicit regarding sex tends to be received with a good deal of antagonism by Christianity and perhaps other religions. But I think it is worthwhile to control this reaction in order to comprehend the message of this great thinker. To focus upon the thought of Freud rather than the inhibiting taboos of culture I will replace the word ‘sex’ with the letter ‘X’.[/b]

Xual instinct is the energy or desire that drives the human pursuit of pleasure. This is meant to include all organs of the human body whereby the individual finds pleasure or encounters pain. The pattern of normal adult Xuality, love between man and woman, is merely a specific organization of a general energy biologically generated in all humans.

Human Xual organization and his or her social organization are deeply connected; it is assumed that both organizations have evolved simultaneously. Parenthood, the prolonged maintenance of children, represents the important aspect of the ape to human transition that binds these two organizations. Family organization is the nucleus of all social organization is an accepted axiom Freud has built into his matrix of theories.

Adult Xuality, “in so far as it is restricted by rules designed to maintain the institution of the family and in so far as the desire for Xual satisfaction is diverted and exploited for the purpose of maintaining a socially useful institution, is a clear instance of the subordination of the pleasure-principle to the reality-principle which is repression; as such it is rejected by the unconscious essence of the human being and therefore leads to neurosis.”

Prolonged dependency of the human infant has far-reaching consequence. This prolonged infancy creates two major consequences: a subjective omnipotent indulgence in pleasure free from the confines of reality and on the other hand, and an objective powerless dependence on others. These conflicting forces constitute a trauma from which the child become adult never recovers psychologically. This conflict between actual impotence and desires for omnipotence is a basic theme throughout history.

Infants have a Xual life and adults have a Xual life but both are much different. For the infant this energy is directed at all aspects of the body while the adult has narrowed this energy thrust almost totally upon the genital activity. The infantile Xuality pattern evolves into the adult Xuality pattern. Therein we can see why Freud took this path for defining the infant pleasure-principle as he did because it provides an explanation for the adult pleasure-principle and shows both wherein there is constant conflict with the reality-principle. The adult Xual pattern, which is a perversion of infancy, is a well organized tyranny. Children explore indiscriminately all erotic potentialities of the human body; by adult standards this is a perversion and by the same token judged by infantile standards adult Xual behavior is a perversion.

Questions for discussion

Do you think, as I do, that Freud’s use of the s-word has made his thoughts repulsive to many fastidious people?

Do you have a problem in comprehending Freud’s concentration on the infantile pleasure-principal?

Do you think it is a good idea to do the ‘X for sex’ change?