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The Problem of Sexual Weakness

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Abstract

According to Freud (1926), the normal performance of the sexual function can only come about as the result of a very complicated process and disturbances may appear at any point in it. In men, the various stages at which inhibition occurs are shown by: a turning away of the libido a the very beginning of the process (psychic unpleasure); an absence of the physical preparation for it (lack of erection); an abridgement of the sexual act (ejaculation praecox), an occurrence which might equally will be regarded as a symptom; an arrest of the act before it has reached its natural conclusion (absence of ejaculation); or a non-appearance of the physical outcome (lack of a feeling of pleasure in orgasm). The commonest sex problems which we have come across are 1. Various degrees of impotency, extending from complete failure to obtain an erection with no interest in coitus, a partial or inadequate erection with limited interest, periodic failure of erection coupled with limited libido, ability to establish erection but lack of sexual gratification with ejaculation in coitus. 2. Premature ejaculation and loss of semen in the urine. For the successful completion of the sexual act there is needed a certain drive (libido), an attractive partner, a situation that provides freedom from distraction and anxiety. These allow in turn erection, penile insertion and the muscular activity that provides penile friction and stimulation to mount to eventual ejaculation accompanied by a distinctive pleasure and climatic orgasm (Noyes, 1963). Importance may follow when there is either lack of attraction to the partner, or when the coital environment is threatening or distracting. Much more common however, are those often unconscious and conflictual loves, due either to persisting infantile attachments to the mother, sister or some other important succouring woman in early life or to instances of latent homosexual attachments. Guilt, anxiety or shame may lead to impotency in which the sufferer fears disapproval by parents or society, or impotence may result when he has unconscious wishes to damage the partner or considers exposure of his body or his sexual performance as subject to ridicule (Benedek, 1959; Gutheil, 1959).

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