and their relation to 'theories', politics and clinical practice
Petruska Clarkson
Professor Petruska Clarkson, D. Litt. et Phil, Ph.D., Ph.D (submitted), FBPS, FBACP, C. Psychol. is a Consultant Philosopher, BPS Chartered Psychologist (organisational, counselling and clinical), UKCP registered Psychotherapist, (qualified in individual, child, couples, sex and group psychotherapy), Research Psychologist, Recognised Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic Supervisor (BAPPS) and Chartered Management Consultant (IMC) with some 30 years' international experience, who has more than 200 Professional publications (23 languages) in these fields. She is also a poet, a qualified Reiki Master, a parfumier and is extremely skilled in facilitating others into writing and publishing their work - as well as achieving their other unique personal and professional goals.

Petruska will soon have three academic doctorates ­ one in Relationship Psychology. (The next one is in Positive Sexology.) She leads a Transdisciplinary Professional Doctorate Programme and other trainings and supervision as well as educational workshops (individual and groups) for the general public.

Petruska died in 2005 and Ipnosis includes this article in memory of her courage in confronting the distortions of the psychological status quo.

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Extract from War, Bystanding, and Hate ­ Why Category Errors are dangerous.
© & moral rights asserted P. Clarkson, 2002, PHYSIS
No wonder Freud wrote that he didn't know what women wanted. He insisted: "the elimination of clitoridal sexuality is a necessary precondition for the development of femininity."

A 'transference' must be 'effected' by the clitoris, of "transmitting the excitement to the adjacent parts ...[like] pine shavings can be kindled to set a log of harder wood on fire." Freud believed his theories were true in a factual sense: ""the truth of the theories of analysis." I call it coitocentrism.

Some female analysands, for example, Marie Bonaparte, even had surgery (more than once) to have her clitoris 'repositioned' in vain attempts to 'overcome' her Freudian-defined vaginal 'frigidity'. (Her clitoris refused to make the 'transference'.)

The operation unsurprisingly failed. Freud's personal physician (Max Shur) was in attendance at the 'operation'. Marie had been 'psychoanalysed' by Freud and he was personally supervising her analysis of three patients at the time of 13 April 1930 ­ 14 May 1930.

In her book on Female Sexuality Marie wrote that a woman's masochism, "combining with her passivity in coitus, impels her to welcome and to value some measure of brutality on the man's part." (Please read that quote again.) Marie Bonaparte became the leader of the psychoanalytic movement in France. (And her influence was then superseded by that of Lacan - who simply pronounced that the woman doesn't exist!)

"I blow on the hour.
Have sweetness.
It is tomorrow somewhere.
The wound will sleep."

Marie Bonaparte died without ever having experienced 'a vaginal orgasm'. No surprise here either. Even Freudian apologists such as Appignanesi and Forrester are obliged to admit:

'It is almost inconceivable that Freud was not aware of the orthodox views of contemporary anatomists and physiologists, who had, from well before the early nineteenth century, demonstrated that the clitoris was the specific site of female pleasure...[and that] in the medical writing of his time, had asserted that the vagina had virtually no erotic functions at all ... virtually the entire vagina could be operated on without the need of an anaesthetic'.

But Freud writes: "This anaesthesia [of the vagina] may become permanent if the clitoridal zone refuses to abandon its excitability." See also Bonaparte, et al. for only one other example where Freud actually observes correctly (anatomically and phenomenologically) that childhood sexuality seems to be concentrated in the clitoral zone of both girls and boys:

"What I have in mind is the male genital zone, the region of the clitoris, in which during childhood sexual sensitivity seems to be concentrated in girls as well as boys." [Notice how Freud mis-names the clitoris as "the male genital zone" "The 'excitability' of which is, in fact] "partly or wholly extinguished ..." in females at puberty. (Oh yeah?)

He concludes - as if it were a fact (or as if it logically follows?): "This accounts for the flood of shame by which girls are overwhelmed at that time..." [Compare with Freud's Diary 1929 ­ 1939, pages 106 &107, and see Benvenuto,1995, on 'the Rites of Psychoanalysis' for colour illustrations (my emphasis). He writes that the vaginal anaesthesia lasts "until". "till the new vaginal zone is awakened, whether spontaneously or by reflex action."

Come again? How ­ except by some miracle - can a largely anaesthetised sac of tissue be 'awakened'?

The average clitoris is, according to scientific evidence known to doctors for hundreds of years, actually the size of the penis which is anatomically homologous to it. The woman's ejaculate just does not contain sperm. Furthermore, the clitoris is the only human organ exclusively devoted to pleasure. Compare, for example, Freud's writing on this topic with publications of the anatomist Kobelt's 1844 - published in German sixty-one years before Freud! Listen to their different kinds of metaphors: Freud referred to the clitoris as "kindling" for the "log of hard wood" of the vagina. Kobelt called the clitoris: "this sexual heart".

"For here indeed was the unassailable kingdom of the heart itself.
Under his fingers her warm, human flesh was alive in the sun
And across that living bridge they Godsped."

A 2002 survey of Cosmopolitan women readers found that two-thirds of their respondents 'faked' orgasms. From a massive survey Hite found that around 70% of women could not orgasm from penile penetration alone. One woman, who, "worried about not having orgasms during intercourse, discussed the problem [of filling in Sher's questionnaire item about it] with her analyst. He assured her that she could say she had 'climaxes' during intercourse, since she did reach a peak of feeling ­ even though she didn't really 'orgasm'."

Hite's research findings, ranging around 7 to 8 out of every ten women in the population - who cannot orgasm from penile penetration alone - have been replicated numerous times since. Much other evidence supports this.

British research published today reports:

Experienced by up to 43% of the female adult population, female sexual dysfunction [FSD] is a condition with high latent, but low realized, potential . From the onset of symptoms to diagnosis of FSD, patients withdraw at multiple points from the treatment flow. [Are you still wondering why?] Fulfilling FSD's commercial potential will hinge critically upon translating patient potential into a diagnosed and treated population. (my emphasis)

Think and feel about this renaming of statistically and anatomically normal female sexuality as "Female Sexual Dysfunction", FSD for short, in the light of the following quote from Freud:

"This anaesthesia may become permanent if the clitoridal zone refuses to abandon its excitability," Apart from the 'commercial potential' of all this individual human suffering - might this have anything at all to do with what has been called 'the gender war'?

Contemporary British Lacanian psychoanalysts still write and teach that women not only don't 'run the risk of being castrated', women cannot be castrated ­ as if these authors have never heard of either 'Real' or 'Symbolic' female genital mutilation. (e.g. "only men have something that can be castrated"-" (I leave the Imaginary to your imagination.)

'Theories', presented as 'facts' - which are in themselves false - are still taught and practised today on thousands of women patients/clients in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy as if they were 'true'! - instead of providing people with the anatomically and psychologically accurate information.

Even worse, the millions of women who cannot orgasm from heterosexual intercourse (as result of being penetrated in an anaesthetised sac of tissue) are labelled mentally ill. By the diagnostic criteria of the widely used DSM IV-TR they 'suffer' from psychiatric disorder number 302.73: Female Orgasmic Disorder.

Why give men and women a little accurate information about female sex organs if so much money can be made from making them feel bad about themselves by keeping them in ignorance?

This is an anatomically correct drawing of the clitoris seen from the left reproduced from Kobelt, G.L. (1978) The Female Sex Organs in Humans and Some Mammals. (First published in German, 1844) in Lowry, T.P (Ed) The Classic Clitoris ­ Historic Contributions to Scientific Sexuality. Chicago; Nelson-Hall p.19 ­ 56, p.47C