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Khan, M.R. (1974). Ego-Orgasm in Bisexual Love. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 1:143-149.

(1974). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 1:143-149

Ego-Orgasm in Bisexual Love

M. Masud R. Khan

Work of sight is achieved,

now for some heart-work

on all those images, prisoned within you;

for you overcame them, but do not know

them as yet.

Behold, O man within, the maiden within

you!—creature wrung from a thousand

natures, creature only outwrung, but

never as yet, belov'd. —R. M. RILKE, Turning

ARGUMENT

There has been little discussion of bisexual love in psychoanalytic literature because it has been confused mostly with latent homosexual love. Freud, in an early paper 'Hysterical Phantasies and their Relation to Bisexuality' (1908), did broach this subject. The argument offered here is that for certain persons bisexual love is an authentic and necessary human experience, which can become distorted through repressions and reaction-formations as much as heterosexual love. What characterizes bisexual love is that it is almost exclusively an ego-experience, that is, the ego's way of relating to and cherishing an object of the same gender identity. In such relationships the id-energy is neutralized and turned to use in the ego's passionate interest in the object. The climax of such cathexis of the object is ego-orgasm. The pathological distortions here can lead to ego-perversities in object-relating, just as in the area of id-experience they lead to perversions proper.

CLINICAL MATERIAL

I shall present material from a phase of the ongoing treatment of two patients. My emphasis will be on the phenomenology of the processes concerned and not their aetiology.

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