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Kelman, H. (1985). A Fetishist's Dream. Psychoanal Q., 54:624-628.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 54:624-628

A Fetishist's Dream

Harvey Kelman, M.D.

The psychology of fetishism is associated with the childhood theory of the phallic woman. The fetishist is thought to substitute some symbolically related object for the absent maternal phallus in order to disavow his mother's "castration." The motive for the fantasy of the phallic mother is clear in this formulation. The source of her penis is not. The following fragment of a dream analysis suggests that the source of the maternal penis can be found in the genetic precursors of the fantasy of the phallic woman.

The patient, a middle-aged oral surgeon who had been a stocking fetishist since childhood, sought analysis shortly after bondage foreplay precipitated an anxiety attack. During the middle of his treatment, at a time when his homoerotic interest in the analyst was accompanied by increasing anxiety, he dreamed:

Paul Gracie built a pipe that went over to my house, down my chimney, and into my furnace. I somehow didn't even know about it.

Paul Gracie was an older colleague. A failure in his practice because he was argumentative with patients, he had turned to work in "tooth pulling factories" where teeth were indiscriminately extracted and replaced with ill-fitting plastic dentures. The patient had once seen the results of Paul Gracie's work on Mrs. Cagney, an elderly woman, whose appearance had been ruined by careless extraction. Although the patient had attempted some repair of Mrs. Cagney's mouth, he had not been altogether successful.

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