Talk:Formulae of sexuation

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

Sexuation is not about biological sex but about the sort of jouissance one is able to obtain.[1]

The term jouissance cannot strictly be translated as "pleasure".

According to Freud, pleasure is produced through a decrease in tension.

Jouissance can be thought of as an increase in tension that is often experienced as painful.

Translating the term as "pleasure" (or "enjoyment") can thus be misleading.


Biological men and women can occupy either side of the diagram of sexuation.

That is, there can be women who are organized according to the masculine form of jouissance and men who are organized according to the feminine form of jouissance.

(This begs the question as to why Lacan sees fit to refer to these positions as masculine or feminine at all.)

The phallic function should be taken to denote castration or a limitation of jouissance.


Lacan is clear that the phallus -- and the phallic function -- should not be associated with the organ of the penis (but is a particular signifier signifying the desire or lack in the Other).

Form1.5.jpg "There exists an x determined by its saying no to the function of castration."

Lacan equates this at-least-one (au-moins-un) who says no to castration with the mythic father-jouisseur of Totem and Taboo.

In effect, for this exception to fulfil its totemic function, it must be something non-human; it must not be a speaking subject, which by definition would be constitutively divided--castrated--by the signifier by the signifier--reduced to what is represented by a signifier for another signifier.

But for this exceptional existence, or ex-sistence, to "be something other than a myth," we must conceive of it terms of a structural logic in which it serves as "the inclusive function: . . . this existence plays the role . . . of the complement, or to speak more mathematically, of the edge" to the contradictory universality of the possible.

Form35.jpg "All are subject to the law of castration."
Form2.5.jpg "No x exists which is determined as subject by the saying-no (dire-non) to the phallic function."
Form45.jpg "Not all are subject to the law of castration."
Form6101.jpg The divided subject (subject of lack).
Form6121.jpg The Phallus.
Form6211.jpg The object a.

In his Seminar at Barcelona, Jacques-Alain Miller states, "The object a is only the elaborated part of jouissance, it is the fantasmatic or semantic part of jouissance, the part of jouissance already drawn into the fantasy . . . Object a is a false real."

Form6231.jpg The signifier of the barred Other.
Form6121.jpg The Phallus.
Form6251.jpg "The woman does not exist."
  1. Fink, Bruce. Lacan to the Letter: Reading Ecrits Closely. p.158.