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White, P. (1993). Discussion. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 1(1):144-145.

(1993). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1(1):144-145


Patricia White

The paper presented by Dr. Estelle Shane represents the work of herself and Dr Morton Shane She postulates that conscious fantasy serves as a protection against full intersubjective sensual-sexual sharing with another, the protection itself providing the conditions necessary for sexual satisfaction Thus the conscious fantasy, fetish-like, is required for the achievement of orgasmic discharge, but at the same time protects the patient (the Shanes refer in this paper to females) from the heterosexual intimacy for which she is not ready

This thesis implies something that I regard as very important, namely that heterosexual intercourse, conception, pregnancy, parturition, and motherhood do not in themselves guarantee feminine self-esteem A woman must feel complete in her female self-image before she can gain pleasure and fulfilment in these other facets of femaleness Indeed heterosexual activity may engender anxiety, intense disruption, even a dissociative response to the threat of intimacy, in a woman whose sense of herself as female is poorly integrated.

The somewhat exaggerated emphasis on orgasm in the popular as well as the psychoanalytic literature has tended to obscure other aspects of the sexual encounter, such as emotional closeness with mutual recognition, and coming to know the other person in relationship to the self in the love embrace.

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