Shall we talk about sex? I can see you are blushing. I am blushing too. Yes, sex seems to be everywhere these days. It is frequently mentioned or laughed about. But to talk about it, properly and seriously, face to face, to think about what it means and to whom — that’s an entirely different thing. Why is this so? This article will consider this question by looking at a little-known publication by a famous and controversial clinician and thinker.
The story starts around the turn of the twentieth century at the heart of continental Europe: Vienna, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (and now Austria). This was a considerably shyer age and place than our own. Even mentioning sex in public would be frowned upon. So when Sigmund Freud, a middle-aged Jewish doctor, started to write about his belief that our sexual fantasies play an important role in mental health and illness, his views were forcefully rejected and his career jeopardised.
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