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Schiller, B. (2012). Representing Female Desire within a Labial Framework of Sexuality. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 60(6):1161-1197.

(2012). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 60(6):1161-1197

Representing Female Desire within a Labial Framework of Sexuality

Britt-Marie Schiller

Sexual experiences, rather than being neutral, are specifically male or female. Yet at present no conceptual framework exists for representing female sexual desire. This has resulted in frequent misrepresentations of female sexual experience. To correct this, a labial framework is proposed, not to replace or oppose a phallic framework, but to exist alongside it. The lips of the mouth and those of the genitals provide a felicitous doubling of sexuality and speech to represent female desire and sexual pleasure as labial. Phallic and labial rhythms are organized differently in sexual arousal and desire, since, as Simone de Beauvoir put it, “Man ‘gets stiff,’ but woman ‘gets wet.’” The labial framework therefore represents female psychosexuality more in terms of “wetware” than of “hardware.”

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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