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Davies, J.M. (2006). The Times We Sizzle, and the Times We Sigh: The Multiple Erotics of Arousal, Anticipation, and Release. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(6):665-686.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(6):665-686

The Times We Sizzle, and the Times We Sigh: The Multiple Erotics of Arousal, Anticipation, and Release

Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D.

This paper explores the perspective that an optimal degree of sexual frustration is an absolutely necessary and irreducible dimension of sexual excitement and pleasure. The pleasure, in fact, is predicated on actual enjoyment of the frustration, of being able to tolerate mounting bodily arousal, excitement, and tension without any guarantee of immediate satisfaction and release. The author explores the particular object relational implications of this unique aspect of sexual experience, elaborating a model that suggests two different interacting but separate subsystems of erotic fantasy, in interaction with very different self/ other configurations. The first of these self/other organizations is organized and defined by moments of sexual arousal and yearning, whereas the second occurs around those defined by satisfaction, pleasure, and release. An extended clinical example is provided.

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