Sexual impulses

From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
Jump to: navigation, search

Freudian Dictionary

Observation of daily life shows us that most persons have the capacity to direct a very tangible part of their sexual motive powers to their professional or business activities. The sexual impulse is particularly suited to yield such contributions because it is endowed with the capacity of sublimation, i.e., it has the power to exchange its nearest aim for others of higher value which are not sexual. We consider this process as proved, if the history of childhood or the history of the psychic development of a person shows that in his childhood this powerful impulse was in the service of sexual interest. We consider it a further corroboration if the sexual life of mature years evinces a striking stunting, as if a part of the sexual activity had now been replaced by the activity of the predominant impulse. [1]

Most of the impulses of sexual life are not of a purely erotic nature but arise from alloys of the erotic instinct with components of the destructive instinct.[2]