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Abraham, G. (2002). The Psychodynamics of Orgasm. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 83(2):325-338.

(2002). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 83(2):325-338

The Psychodynamics of Orgasm

Georges Abraham

Translated by:
Elaine Bolton

Orgasm itself, along with its specific psychodynamic, has stimulated few reflections and little research in the psychoanalytical field to date. In this regard, perspectives relating to orgasm are generally placed within a wider context covering desire, arousal and, of course, satisfaction. Freud himself seemed to show no particular or systematic interest in an orgasmic psychodynamic per se. This article, the aim of which is to consider the specific nature of orgasm, proposes a two-stage reflection. First, it considers the specific aspects of orgasm in order to arrive at a phenomenology of the orgasm itself—within a clearly defined framework. Second, it explains this phenomenology from a psychoanalytical point of view. These reflections lead us to suggest that while the erogenous zones in men and women respectively are at the root of the sexual arousal that leads to orgasm, it is most probably in fantasy that the female orgasm finds its major trigger. This is all the more relevant given that the existence of a real qualitative difference between clitoral and vaginal orgasm is now being challenged. This would tend to confirm the idea of a predominance of fantasy over bodily location, given that, quite clearly, it is not possible to attribute the former role to a precise area of the body. In this respect, only the analytical process is able to lead us to the primary sources of orgasmic problems—both male and female—and, above all, to reconstruct the origin of a satisfactory or unsatisfactory orgasm.

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