Friday, Jan 30, 2009, 2:45 PM

Felix de Mendelssohn

Psychoanalyst, Vienna

Desire Caught by the Tail, or: Why We Don’t Do It in the Road…

Pace the philosophers – who in general have the most reasonable approach to the subject of sex and morality but are unfortunately seldom listened to – the theologians, who once occupied this topic in public discourse have, in our Western culture, now ceded pride of popular place to psychologists, psychotherapists and pharmaceutical internet spammers. Good sex or bad sex has become less a question of morality and more a matter of genital potency, healthy well-being, or at best, maturity, as in „capable of mature relationships“, in other words, a developmental problem (requiring, for example, a satisfactory resolution of the Oedipus complex).
For contemporary psychoanalysis there is a lot up for grabs: Freud thought that Antiquity ennobled Desire itself, but had less regard for its Object, while in his own day the Object (the „tail“ of the desire?) was valued much higher than the simple Lust for it. How does today’s rapid expansion of medical sexual technology affect such a dialectic? And don’t we still want to know what is Good sex and what is Bad sex?

Felix de Mendelssohn is a psychoanalyst and group analyst in private practice and Head of the Department of Psychoanalytic Studies at the Sigmund-Freud University in Vienna.

The event will be held in English