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Arlow, J.A. (1949). Anal Sensations and Feelings of Persecution. Psychoanal Q., 18:79-84.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:79-84

Anal Sensations and Feelings of Persecution

Jacob A. Arlow, M.D.


Excerpts from the analysis of a nonpsychotic patient who had fantasies of persecution, confirm the observations of others that the persecutor may be unconsciously equated with the subject's feces in the rectum. Tormenting anal sensations are projected to the homosexual object in the external world, and transformed into feelings of persecution. The correlation of constipation and feelings of persecution with the analysis of the transference relationship leads to the belief that in this instance there occurred an unconscious form of anal masturbation in which the fecal mass arouses sensations in the subject's rectum in response to masochistic

feminine fantasies. The fecal mass also represented the homosexual object's penis, and, in a fantasy of pregnancy, the foetus. The material offers the technical suggestion that the analyst be alert to detect references or associations to anal sensations whenever patients in analysis are preoccupied with fantasies of persecution or assault.

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