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Celenza, A. (2013). Maternal Erotic Transferences and Merger Wishes. Rivista Psicoanal., 59(4):821-838.

(2013). Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 59(4):821-838

Maternal Erotic Transferences and Merger Wishes

Andrea Celenza, Ph.D.

The sexual is not the genital…

It is what causes [one] to have a history

provides a key to [one's] life,

It is because in his sexuality

is projected his manner of being towards the world.

M. Merleau-Ponty

There is an amusing story of two friends in a nudist colony. They are walking, naked, together around the grounds. One has a band-aid on his upper arm. The other asks: «Can I see what's under that band-aid?» We are drawn to the hidden and mysterious; we are tempted to push boundaries, even in the most permissive contexts. Erotic experience exemplifies this urge (Stein, 1998) and we are ever curious about a person's sexuality. But because of its mystery, its essentially unknown aspects of the other, it is threatening and ever-elusive.

As the epigraph states, one's sexuality goes beyond the anatomical to the very nature of our beings. To encounter another person is to experience their being, to perceive their way of relating to others and the world. This includes their sexual being, the nature of their desires. It is to engage their humanity in their own particularized manner and style.

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