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Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: On So-Called Unconscious Homosexuality. Joyce McDougall. Pp. 675-685.. Psychoanal Q., 59:166-167.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: On So-Called Unconscious Homosexuality. Joyce McDougall. Pp. 675-685.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:166-167

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: On So-Called Unconscious Homosexuality. Joyce McDougall. Pp. 675-685.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

The author discusses the vicissitudes of normal bisexuality and the fate of the homosexual component of bisexuality as adulthood is reached. She draws on her experience with patients in analysis and on her self-analysis. The homosexual component finds expression in normal adult life in enrichment of the narcissistic self-image; it is involved in the ability to identify with the desire and pleasure of the sexual partner in the sexual act, in which, if only briefly, we transcend the narcissistic limits that our monosexuality has imposed upon us. Our relationship with our children is a rich mine and resource of homosexual expression. The author recognizes the vicariously phallic relationship she has with her son. And the intensity of mother-daughter conflicts she has had to deal with would suggest that here too are to be found normal expressions of homosexual feelings and impulses. The pleasure found in intellectual and artistic work is impregnated with homosexual and narcissistic elements, even though the homosexual dimension is rarely conscious. In this process of creation we are both male and female at the same time, and difficulties and blocks in creativity may come from conflicts around this bisexual parturition. Finally, the homosexual investments that link us to friends and colleagues of the same sex are important. McDougall's thesis is that the unconscious homosexuality that finds normal expression in these areas springs from the same sources as that in the unconscious of the active homosexual. What is striking, however, in the analysis of homosexual patients is the violence unveiled in the course of the analysis, directed first against the image of the homosexual's own body, which is attacked in

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imagination and experienced in a persecutory mode as monstrous, stinking, ill, or dead. Homosexual attachment presents itself unconsciously as a cannibalistic love, in which the other is sought not so much as an individual in himself or herself, but as essential nourishment for the subject. The aim is the recuperation of the self at the expense of the other, the repair of a sexual self that is viewed as damaged, which must be repaired through a narcissistic mirror image of the self. The homosexual who enters analysis is surprised to discover, underneath the idealization of his or her own sex and the idealization of the partner, hatred for one's own sex and an envious and destructive attitude toward the opposite sex. The problems of an unresolved or unintegrated homosexuality will show up in treatment in the patients' distortions of their narcissistic self-image, in problems with their children, colleagues, friends, in their intellectual work, and in their sexual relations and love relations. In order to be sensitive to this homosexual element in the analytic work, the analyst must come to terms with her or his own homosexuality, avoiding either complicity with the analysand or countertransferential deafness.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 59:166-167

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