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Keiser, S. (1954). Orality Displaced to the Urethra. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 2:263-279.

(1954). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2:263-279

Orality Displaced to the Urethra

Sylvan Keiser, M.D.


Three male patients are discussed who were obsessively preoccupied with the demand to appear normal. Their concept of normalcy included the denial of all human needs which embraced the physiologic functioning of their orifices. All three patients had dreams which endowed women with an external tube at the pubic area. For them the hollow tube signified a urethra and was a reassurance that their own urethra could serve their orality and receive a penis without annihilation. Possible destruction of the penis image was equated with destruction of the body image.

All three patients had mothers who had undergone a gastric resection for ulcers. The maternal orality blighted any hope that the child's normal orality could be gratified. All three patients had fathers who nursed only their wives. The sons identified with the mother and competed with her for the father. Both parents presented contradictory pictures which forced the child to utilize the mechanism of denial. Their denial was used to avoid knowledge of the orality of the mouth, anus and urethra.

It is proposed in this discussion that the urethra itself may also serve as a locus for the displacement of orality.

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