This is our truth, tell us yours
This is an old post that I’ve amended by including a comment from Jem that improved it.
The etiology of desire was much of the focus of writers like Freud. He correctly identified the link between early development and the tastes we have in adult life. Unfortunately those insights got locked into an almost messianic system of psychoanalysis that dehumanized his patients and categorized tastes and desires in a way that medicalized them, and saw them as syndromes that required treatment.
That’s a very broadbrush description, but it’s at the heart of the ideas behind this strand of thinking on this blog, as antithesis rather than thesis. Erich Fromm categorized maturity as being the difference between loving someone because you need them, and needing them because you love them. Take that further, and you can argue that exploratory sex, the kind of sex Freudians would describe as fetishistic, is only a problem if you don’t know the difference between desiring someone because you need them, and needing them because you desire them.
Freud probably knew that, but it’s not publicly accessible because of the practice of Freudian psychoanalysis, more concerned with cures than the integration of desire and personality in a way that lets the individual be more than just their fetish. And that, to this writer, is about the difference between having sex with someone because you need them in your life, and having someone in your life because you like having sex with them.
Take that a step further, and you can explore the difference between calling your lover daddy because you never fixed that relationship in your life and you want to get him back any way you can, and calling your lover daddy because it gives you access to sex in which you’re liberated by a transgressive power exchange. Round these parts we’d probably argue that if you can do the latter you are probably capable of saying, as Susan Sonntag did, that most of the time the dream about a bearded bloke smoking a big cigar means nothing more than that you saw Fidel Castro on the TV last night. As Jem has said elsewhere “There are many reasons to have sex,and a few are even just for the fun of it.Seeing sex as just sex does not diminish it as some would claim,in fact it puts it exactly where it should be.Neither bargaining chip or central to your life,but a thing like good friends or a good book that makes life more pleasurable.”