Sexuality and its energy (libido) could be found in different forms and different intensities. It is not all about genitals, but it also could be found in art.
In a previous posts I mentioned that Autism is connected to sexuality in an indirect form. Then I tried to explain what sexuality means. I think it was not a complete explanation and it was a bit confusing for some readers. Thus I decided to explain more about it.
Freud was the first one who argued about the important role of sexuality in functioning of human mental system. He tried to explain his new theory about sexuality in his book “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” (1905). Freud argued that popular opinion about sex (in science and in society) “gives a very false picture of the true situation.”
Nowadays a part of this “false picture” which Freud talks about is still remained. Freud stated that sexual activity of human doesn’t start in puberty (despite common beliefs) but it could be found in infancy. He mentions about “thumb sucking” as an example of sexual activity during infancy. Everybody can observe it in children. At that time Freud’s view about thumb sucking in infants had been repudiated by numbers of pediatricians and nerve-specialists. Freud replied to those critics:
“This is no doubt partly due to a confusion between ‘sexual’ and ‘genital’.”
The important point is here; we should consider that the ‘sexual’ matters don’t need involvement of ‘genitals’. Sexuality could be found in different forms or with different intensities.
There is an assumption in psychoanalysis, that there is a huge source of sexual instincts in our mental system. It simply could be characterized by seeking pleasure. An infant tries to acquire pleasure by thumb sucking. It is a general attitude in psychoanalysis that human mind system has a pleasure-seeking nature and it is what we call as sexual.
Freud called the source of instincts as Id. But this restless, wild source of instincts in real life confronts with many restrictions and limitations. It couldn’t acquire pleasure every time it wants and seeks. Freud says that Id works under the ‘pleasure principle’ but our mind system faces with ‘reality principle’ also. Mind system lives under the conflicts of these two principles. Mind system then – by ego – tries to regulate the relation of Id and outer world and to reduce conflicts. (In a post I informed a simple model for Id, Ego, and Superego.)
One of the functions of Ego is to change libido into other forms which are acceptable for the outer world. It Changes the face of libido and then let it out.
Freud in his book also mentions about sexual development stages of human. But apart from these sexual stages, he also mentions about the mechanism of “sublimation”. It means turning sexual energy (libido) into forms with higher values. These higher values are art, helping others or even sacrifice for society or family, physical activities, etc. It is a phase change in the state of sexual drive in which it transforms to different activities which most of them are productive and useful for society and gains many appreciations. You can find that these higher values give a sense of pleasure and satisfaction to the performer.
So the conclusions:
Sexuality is not only about puberty BUT it could be found in infants also.
Sexuality is not related only to genitals, IT has many forms and will be felt with different intensities.
Sexuality is not only explained by sexual acts (such as intercourse, etc.) BUT it should be explained by its pleasure-seeking nature.