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Moore, B.E. (1956). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 25:302-304.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:302-304

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Burness E. Moore

June 14, 1955. THE CLOSED CIRCLE. Hilde Lewinsky.

Of the various infantile sexual theories concerned with birth and the hidden activities of the parents, combinations of oral and phallic fantasies have received most attention in analytic literature. The acting out of these fantasies in cunnilingus and fellatio is widespread and occurs from a relatively early age. The author believes that the preference for such activity is due to a fixation to an early fantasy, an ideal image of sexual intercourse. This image is founded after the first recognition that the breast does not belong to the infant, when the disappointed desire for unity and omnipotence is soothed by another image, slightly nearer to reality. Mother and child are separate, but each sucks the other and each gives to the other. The two are in a 'closed circle' in which the infantile penis or clitoris and the maternal nipple have the same function: milk becomes urine, urine becomes milk again, or milk remains milk and flows in an unending stream through mother and child—a perpetuum mobile. This concept combines in a concrete picture the following accepted psychoanalytic tenets. 1. Activity-passivity: Observations have been made of the baby putting or trying to put the fingers into its mouth even while sucking the nipple. As the infant is already actively occupied in sucking the nipple, Mrs. Lewinsky believes that the passive satisfaction of being sucked is sought in the additional finger-sucking. The active-passive trend is also shown in the reported attempts of patients to suck their own genitals or their own breasts. As acted out in cunnilingus and fellatio, the closed circle combines a modified form of eating and being eaten.

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