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Kohout, E. Nissen, B. (2004). The breast in female sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(5):1235-1238.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(5):1235-1238

The breast in female sexuality

Reported by:
Eva Kohout

Moderator Bernd Nissen

Bernd Nissen (Karl Abraham Institute) replaced Mme Lanouzière as Moderator, although some of Lanouzière's ideas were discussed.

Friedl Früh (training analyst, Viennese Psychoanalytic Society) started her presentation ‘The breast and female sexuality’ by hinting that the word ‘bosom’ and its arousing and irritating connotations to pleasure are often denied with concern to the breast. Following Laplanche's concept of the breast as an important female erogenous zone that not only feeds but also excites infant, woman and man, she delineated why the ‘sexual’ breast is not designated as a female sexual organ and plays such a little role in psychoanalysis.

The concepts of ‘eroticism’ and ‘sexuality’ are incongruent, said Früh. Concerning ‘mature’ vaginal female sexuality the stimulability of the breast and the nipples are seen as an erotogenic starting point of the vagina's sexual arousal or as defence against it (Freud, Kestenberg). Although Freud considers that ‘perhaps, the discovery of the genital zone (clitoris or penis) could have something to do with the withdrawal of the mother's nipple’, male phallic thinking excludes ‘the idea of multiple excitability’ in regard to female sexuality. Chasseguet-Smirgel stressed the importance of anal and oral excitement and of unconscious fantasies concerning the vagina. She presented ‘an independent theoretical conception of the female body,’ but persisted in the idea of “one specific pleasure from one specific source”’.

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