d) Fixations of Preliminary Sexual Aims

Appearance of New Aims

These are generally the preparatory activities which can take the place of the normal one.

Touching and Looking

Whilst a certain amount of both of these is indispensable among humans, before the sexual aim, a lingering stage of touching or looking can only be counted a perversion in the rare cases that the sexual act is not carried further. With respect to 'looking' it is also noteworthy that these perversions can be of either form - active or passive. Furthermore the force opposing scopophilia (the perversion of the sexual aim concerning looking) but which may be overridden by it is shame.

Sadism and Masochism

This is the most common and most significant of all the perversions - the desire to inflict pain upon the sexual object - sadism and masochism being the active and passive forms respectively. Sadism can be seen as an exaggerated and independent correspondent of the aggressive component of the sexual instinct. Masochism is more removed from the sexual aim, and cases have shown this perversion to represent many factors combining to exaggerate and fixate the passive sexual attitude. In both cases pain is the opposing force.

The Perversions in General

i) Variation and Disease

Freud disposes of the view that perversion are indications of disease and degeneracy, since many of these are present in less sever versions in the lives of healthy people. However Freud does note that some are sufficiently abnormal to warrant the title 'pathological' where the libido goes to extreme lengths to override the resistance of shame, disgust, horror or pain. Therefore this pathological character can be seen to take over when the perversion, actually replaces the normal sexual aim in all circumstances.

ii) The Mental Factor in the Perversions

Freud argues that the mental factors must therefore play the largest part in the most repulsive perversions, since they must transform the sexual instinct to some extent.

Two Conclusions

Freud concludes that our libido has to struggle against various mental forces of which shame and disgust are the most prominent. Secondly some perversions are best explained as a convergence of motives, which implies that normal libido has been put together from components, the failed amalgamation of which results in perversions.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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