By Adriana Sommer da Costa
Psychologist and Sexologist
When our illustrious Freud, albeit father of psychoanalyses, says that the
majority-if not all, of our problems stem from infancy, there's needed, in principle
at least, agreement on some of his theoretical considerations. Let's take as
reference point, the infantile sexuality. As sexually charged beings, born with
sex-gender differential; whether as a male or as a female, sexuality grows along
with us and follows us until the end of our lives. How we'd deal with our sexuality becomes a side chapter in the whole sexual process that motivates the human
But one thing is for sure: it's at the beginning of our lives, in the infancy
that all begins, inclusive, with the discovery of sexuality, there and then,
at the wake of our sexual life, which may bring out or not, difficulty in our
adult life. As mishaps or difficulty encountered by us are, in their vast majority,
reflexes of certain ill-solved stages of our infancy.
This assortment will cover strictly the psychoanalytical standpoint of Freud;
after all, was him who devised principles about the theory of sexuality and
its intrinsic relation with our personality trait make up. The libido is anything
but, some sort of sexual energy that goes through phases of neurophysiologic
development of a child, up until one becomes fully-grown up for sexual intercourse.
Oral phase-from newly born to 1yr. of age. This oral phase of libido consists
of the very first moment of psychosexual development, on which point any given
pleasure would be felt through the mouth and so Freud swears by that the main
goal as far as satisfaction goes is the mother's breast, whose, each child establishes
a relation with defined by suction. Food, mother's milk and/or nipples can provide
sexual satisfaction, with deglutition, swallowing, or dissatisfaction by expelling
out. So, these two types of oral activity are the prototypes of many traits
of character that might crop up later on.
Anal phase-from 2 to 3 yrs of age, also have as core characteristics a search
for pleasure, however such pleasure at this point, shifts from the mouth to
the anus, in other words, pleasure is so felt at the moment of evacuation. It's
around the second year of life that a child not abandoning the oral pleasure
altogether, begins to prize anal bound stimulation, as a result of the fecal
and micturition game.
During evacuation, the child keeps the gluteus in contact with the lukewarm
urine and mushy excrements yielding soothing sensations. And the opposite also
exists, that is, the child denotes signs of disgust when urine and feces begin
to cool off on the body when the child's apprentice pertaining to personal hygiene
and education demand strict regularity from the child towards excretions, so
then, a two-fold pattern gets imposed: The child shouldn't let oneself get dirty
on excrements and urine; and excretions should take place in a somewhat pre-established
Therefore, there will be in most children as a net result of such process a
certain adaptation to norms, assumingly the figure of pleasure in the care of
Several are the traits of character with origins in the anal stage. Phallic
phase- it commences at the end of the second year of life, when a child begins
to refuse any pleasure derived from manipulation of fecal matter.
The threshold through the anal phase to the phallic phase does not take place
spontaneously. Hence, it occurs when a child finds oneself obliged for the sake
of an aesthetic notion-dirty, naughty, nasty, to abandon his/hers goal of fecal
pleasure. Nonetheless, there can only be put in place effectively, when the
mother/child minder, turns out to be of lovely nature, i.e., capable of replacing
the feces so far hold as the object of sexual satisfaction.
For boys and girls, the development of patterns of libido occurs, roughly,
in a somewhat identical manner, that is, by viewpoint, there's no sexual difference
as such. It's literally nonexistent the psychic detachment of both genders.
For a child, in the phallic phase, there is only one organ, more precisely,
only one sort of sexual organ; the phallus. Psychoanalytically speaking the
term phallus ingrains its Greek Latin significance. It takes figuring out that
the phallus isn't the penis. Meaning, accurately, a common genital organ of
a kind for the humankind, consequently, of a totally imaginary organ.
It's usual that boys and girls envisage, as it were, such a phallus on their
penises and clitorises.
Taken from there, though, being perceivable that a child begins to attribute
sexual pleasure to the genital region, as derived from excitement stemmed from
micturation, thus bringing in crucial manifestations towards sexuality. Last
but not least, comes the phase of Oedipus complex, the bottom line is, it's
the core foundation of the Freudian theory of personality.
The history of development phases, which emulate so distinctly the human character,
a history of such maternal-infantile bound: oral phase, anal phase and phalli's.
A child pass through a symbiosis-like in the oral-phase with the mother, since
such is the only alternative source of survival, owing that if there isn't care
given by others, we could die. This is so because we're obliged by one way or
another to create emotional bounds so that care will be given.
In addition, autism is one of the possible consequences of such process in
case of absence of emotional strings attached, such a symbiosis necessary for
the oral phase.
Already at two years of age, a child goes through the anal phase, whereupon
learns to relate with the outside world, much as intake as expelling of contents
through feces. As well in this phase, the child already posses the acquisition
of language, perceives others-although totally egocentrically. If going through
phase takes a ill-mannered approach, might turn children in adults with tyrannical-like
behavior with power streaks.
Approximately, the child goes through the phallic phase at three years of age,
at which point perception of societal roles takes outlining.
Though, begins a cultural instilling as well as pre-conception emulation of
what a boy or girl is. There takes root in this phase, the notion of power and
increasingly interest in own body, mainly genitals, manifesting itself through
masturbation, exhibitionism, and tendency to have longer contact with the opposite
sex. There appear sexual fantasies as well, which are usually masturbation-linked.
When ill managed, there might generate adults with bisexual behavior or even
With advent of the genital phase, otherwise known as Oedipus complex, each child
will mirror his/hers role, interacting with the same sex parent and acting in
rather hostile as seductive manner with the opposite sex's, in apprentice interplay.
When something is conflicting in this phase, as in hostile behavior or even
absence of parents/relatives, the apprentice process will be psychologically
jeopardize. By consequence, there will reflect directly on future relations.
Actually, when sexually attached to someone, we constantly re-discover ourselves
through this very person, as if there was a mirror, so taking on board, acknowledging
or even distinguishing this person from yourself. As it so happens, plainly
speaking, either we derive all that pleasure each phase generates, thus becoming
sexually healthy adults, or get stuck in one of then phases giving raise to
the lack of emotional reassurance and relationship fall outs.
Anyway, it boils down to our intimate relations in a continuous and unconscious
search and rescue of our oedipal resolution. Hence, becoming genuine humans
in search of the ultimate sexual pleasure and all out blissful satisfaction.