163 Chapters
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23. The Effect on Women of Premature Ejaculation in Men (1908)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

THERE is already an extensive literature dealing with the mental and physiological causes of premature ejaculation and describing the nervous conditions that accompany it. On the other hand there is little or nothing about its consequences for the nervous and mental life of the female sex. A thorough investigation on Freudian lines of the marital or sexual life of women suffering from anxiety hysteria will, however, lead to the conviction that states of anxiety, oppression, and restlessness are almost invariably to be traced back to lack of, or to incomplete, sexual satisfaction; and that the most frequent cause of this is premature ejaculation in the male. But, apart from the definitely pathological cases of premature ejaculation(which normally appear accompanied by several other signs of sexual neurasthenia), and apart from the fact that on the whole the male sex suffers from relative premature ejaculation in comparison with the female, even in favourable cases, where the friction has lasted long enough for the man, orgasm does not occur in the woman; the woman either remains completely anaesthetic or feels only a certain amount of libidinous excitation, but before she could reach the stage necessary for orgasm, the man finishes the act, and she is left unsatisfied.

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8. Psychogenic Anomalies of Voice Production. [1915]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

I. IN 1910 a young man came to me accompanied by his mother; he wished to be cured of his impotence. Even at the first examination I recognized his condition as a combination of neurosis and paranoia. In the course of an analysis carried on tentatively for a time his peculiar megalomania became more and more apparent. He had the feeling and the certain conviction that he was possessed of supernatural (magical) power that compelled other people (especially men) to look round at him whenever he looked at them. He discovered this for the first time when at the theatre he looked fixedly through his opera glasses at the actors on the stage, whereupon they had at once to look in the direction where he sat in the audience. Later he became aware of his miraculous power over several other men, which alarmed him excessively, and finally compelled him to give up all social intercourse and to settle down with his long-widowed mother in a remote dwelling; he gave up his profession (although he had already progressed far in it) entirely. The neurotic element in his condition was the anxiety he endured when he noticed his own magical powers, especially when the magic extended to inanimate objects;’ for’ —so he said—’ if the inorganic world also obeys my will, the whole world can be destroyed through me’ . To prevent this, he had— when standing in front of people whom he wished to spare —to shut his eyes. Even after only a few hours of analysis, I was able to recognize as the true kernel of his megalomania his enormous self-satisfaction (nowadays we would call it narcissism) and the homosexuality associated with it. The unconscious wish to please the whole world, particularly men, returned from repression as on the one and an hysterical phobia, and on the other as an omni-potence phantasy. When the talk got on to homosexual ove, he told me spontaneously about his homosexual love affairs in the secondary school, where he thoroughly enjoyed the girl’s part that was given him by the professors and his school companions. He was given a girl’s name, and fun was made of his blushes at unseemly conversations and of his girlish soprano.’ These things are all over long ago! I don’t bother about men any more, I should like to have sexual intercourse only with women, but I cannot manage it.’ In arranging the occurrence of the facts in their chronological order we showed conclusively that the appearance of the insane idea synchronized with the cessation of love relations with men. The occasion for this change, however, was a change of dwelling-place and therefore, too, of school companions. From his native city, where everyone knew him and where he was quite happy amongst his teasing comrades in spite of the apparent annoyance, he went to a larger, quite strange town, where he sought in vain for a substitute for the’ consideration’ he had lost. He did not take the real content of his wishes into consideration, however; instead he believed himself quite free from his (previously quite apparent) homosexuality — as a result of which there presently appeared the symptom already described, dread of being observed and the idea of magical omnipotence. It is evident that the case offers nothing remarkable from the standpoint of psycho-analytic teaching about paranoia, as it only substantiates the view hitherto held by us of the pathogenesis of paranoia, and particularly of its genetic association with narcissism and homosexuality. The reason why I nevertheless report it is because of a peculiar symptom that the patient manifested. He had two voices: a high soprano voice and a fairly normal baritone voice. The larynx showed no abnormalities externally or internally; it was here only a matter of’ nervous disturbance’ , as one would say in circles where such fine-sounding names are taken for explanations. It was only on psycho-analysis of this case that it was shown that here one was dealing neither with’ subcortical’ nor’ cortical’ disturbances of innervation, nor with a developmental anomaly of the larynx, but with a psychogenic disturbance of the voice. It soon struck me that the patient only used his baritone voice when he was earnestly and objectively absorbed in something; as soon, however—in the transference—as he unconsciously wished to coquette with me or please me, so that he was more concerned with the effect of than with the content of his talk, he spoke with the feminine voice. As he only seldom succeeded in emancipating himself from the desire to please, his’ usual’ voice was the feminine one. This voice, however, was no normal soprano, but a falsetto of which he was not a little conceited. He once sang me a little song in falsetto, and he liked to use this voice in laughing. He could always alter the voice register voluntarily, but evidently felt more at home in the falsetto. As distinct from the sudden’ break’ of voice that occurs so frequently at puberty in men, and which is actually due to a disturbance in innervation, a lack of skill in the control of the rapidly growing larynx, our patient could speak for hours in one of the two voices without ever a’ break’ in a sentence or on a word.

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26. Exploring the Unconscious (1911)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

IT is not the rulers, politicians, or diplomats, but the scientists, who decide the future fate of mankind. Those who hold power are, in fact, only executives, or even rigid opponents, that is to say, mere puppets of the powers liberated by the ideas of the scientists, and ‘who knows’, asks Anatole France somewhere, ‘whether, somewhere in a little back room, some unknown research worker is not already engaged in a quest which one day will lift the world off its hinges?’

It is not only from the miracles of technique, from the ever-increasing harnessing of the forces of nature, that we may expect radical changes in the world, nor only from the experiments which attempt to make the life of the individual safer and more comfortable by a more equitable distribution of material goods, by better social organization; progress has a third possibility which is at least as promising, and this is the hope of developing man’s physical and mental powers and his adaptability. This is the aim of individual and social hygiene, and of eugenics, that ever-expanding movement which has as its aim the improvement of the race. A conspicuous phenomenon of this movement, however, is its marked onesidedness. The workers engaged in it are not able to detach themselves from the bias of the exact and natural sciences, i.e. physics, chemistry, and biology, and to look for improvement exclusively from that direction, that is to say mainly from better selection and better protection of the progeny.

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26. The Psychic Consequences of a ' Castration' in Childhood. [1916/17]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

IN the paper entitled’ The Little Chanticleer’,2 who in his earliest childhood suffered a quite negligible injury to the penis which then definitely influenced the whole of his impulsive life and mental development, I had to point out the great significance of the constitutional factor in the fear of castration, for which the actual experience only acted as a determining accident.

Chance brought me a patient about three years ago who could be considered as a counterpart to’ The Little Chanticleer’ . He actually did undergo’ castration’ when not quite three years old. Of course it was not castration in a medical sense, but another operation on the penis. The patient remembered exactly how it came about. He had trouble in passing urine (certainly due to a phimosis), whereupon it occurred to his father, a very headstrong country squire, in spite of his being a good Christian, to ask—instead of the district doctor—the advice of the village Jewish butcher, who suggested the only method of cure to be recommended from a medical point of view, namely, circumcision. The father immediately agreed; the butcher brought his long, sharp knife and carried out the removal of the foreskin on the desperately struggling boy, who, naturally, had to be forcibly held.

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21. Attention during the Narration of Dreams. [1923]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub

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