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Bychowski, G. (1954). The Structure of Homosexual Acting out. Psychoanal Q., 23:48-61.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:48-61

The Structure of Homosexual Acting out

Gustav Bychowski, M.D.

The alternation between working through on the one hand, and the mobilization of various defense mechanisms with outbursts of homosexual gratifications on the other, is a striking feature in psychoanalysis of homosexuals.

The defense mechanisms most frequently encountered are introjection leading to total identification, denial, turning against the self, narcissistic withdrawal, and pseudosublimation. True sublimation in the course of the therapeutic process becomes possible only after these defensive measures of the ego have been successfully analyzed. Yet this progress is far from continuous. To a much greater extent than in the analysis of a neurosis, defenses which have seemingly been abandoned are reinstated, and outbursts of gratification of the perversion demonstrate time and again the reluctance of the ego to renounce its habitual mode of libidinal discharge.

After the patient has been for some time in analysis and has in consequence considerably restrained his homosexual activities, the defensive and regressive processes bring about a revival of the perversion. Data are selected from a study of two patients.

The first is a professional man in his thirties, with a long history of promiscuous homosexuality. Two consecutive dreams illustrate the interplay between narcissistic pseudosublimation and autoerotic gratification. In the first dream, the patient is worried about Bobby, an unhappy boy of ten whom he would like to help. In the dream the patient wears a wig to cover his baldness. This, according to him, symbolizes his own weakness (castration and feminine identification).

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