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Number 1: Spring 2008

Homosexuality: Why Psychoanalysis?

Stephen Gee

His patient attempts to rework the trauma in various exaggerated and unsatisfying ways in sadistic, dismissive sexual encounters with other men. In a reaction-formation, he idealises relationships–opposing them to a denigrated view of cruising. Dalagija takes this up in the analysis and contests it. An important breakthrough occurs when the analyst, having come out of the frame at the end of a session to complain about his door being slammed, opens the door in later discussion and interpretation to a recuperation of hatred and aggression as a vital and separating force under a law which can now protect rather than persecute.

The last paper I think would probably never be heard in another venue or psychoanalytic grouping. Why? Because what Philip Derbyshire brings out, in restoring to our attention the liberationist theories of the 1970s, is the idea that homosexual desire has nothing to do with whole persons or identities at all. Instead, we have the celebration of bodies, part objects, intensities; flows of desire and a recovery of the anus as a vital site of pleasure. The delirium is no longer confined to the poetics of unconscious phantasy in the mind of the lonely psychoanalyst, but lived out in a gay club in King’s Cross. The whole with a ‘w’, Oedipalised and correctly gendered, restricts the possibilities and is nothing more than a regulating force for commodity capitalism. Better the sexed-up paranoid-schizoid heaven/hell of the cellar bar than the melancholy consulting room, in which confessions of the flesh are exchanged for flows of cash. This is a provocative caricature, but one which dramatises the tension which thrives between psychoanalysis and homosexuality–a tension which has produced a great deal of creative thinking today.