Sexuality: Thoughts on Perversions and Sexual Dysfunctions

In this talk, Prof. Don Carveth addresses the notion that there is a ‘normal’ when it comes to human sexuality, referring to his previous talk on the nature of human sexuality. Prof. Carveth provides a working definition of the idea of ‘perversion’, looking at where sexuality might be said to be perverse, drawing on the works of Sergio Benvenuto and Robert Stoller which consider and define perversion. Prof. Carveth looks at the multiply determined nature of sexual dysfunctions. There is no singular cause of these difficulties, which include erectile dysfunction and inability to achieve orgasm or experience sexual pleasure. Prof. Carveth discusses how these difficulties are underpinned by unconscious conflicts from a psychoanalytic perspective, which may include forms of castration anxiety, superego inhibition, masochism and unconscious hostility. The task of psychoanalytic work is to discover unconscious determinants of these difficulties. 

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