Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web can be reviewed at any time. Just click the “See full statistics” link located at the end of the Most Popular Journal Articles list in the PEP Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Sadger, J. (1929). Genital and Extragenital Libido. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:348-356.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:348-356

Genital and Extragenital Libido

J. Sadger

The fundamental difference between the sexual life of human beings and that of all other creatures is that, while the latter serves exclusively the purpose of reproduction, the former is principally directed towards the attainment of pleasure and sublimation. In animals the sexual instinct proper makes itself felt at the time of heat and leads almost always to impregnation; where human beings are concerned, however, only a pharisaical hypocrisy can identify the sexual instinct with that of reproduction. I have but to mention how seldom the union of the sexes takes place with the intention of procreation; indeed, in most cases there is an endeavour to guard against this possibility with every kind of device and precaution. The aim of pleasure is almost alone as a determining factor in the act. Nor does sexual feeling begin at puberty, but is already present in childhood, and does not disappear even quite late in life, although the capacity to produce semen or accomplish erection may have long since ceased. Finally, the sexual act itself is no longer connected with the rutting season, but may be practised at any time. The reason is not merely that human beings in general have liberated themselves by their technical progress from anxious care about the means of subsistence, but (and this is far more important) that their sex-instinct is far stronger, more differentiated and more many-sided than that of any of the animals. One could go so far as to say that in civilized man of the present day the sexual instinct has become quite insatiable, constantly pressing for fresh gratification. It harnesses all the mental energies in the service of the libido, and since it is so far more complicated than it is in animals, it ever renews itself in changing forms which condense together all the possible modes of gratification.

For the purpose of this paper I think it will be useful to divide sensual desire, i.e. the libido, into the genital and the extragenital. What I have just said about the insatiability of human libido applies less to that associated with the sexual parts proper than to the extragenital libido. The former has a definite onset at four separate periods: in infancy; at the time of the first maturing of the sexual instinct, between the third and the sixth years of life; then round about the eighth year; and finally when maturity is reached.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.