Its contentious reputation was not due, in all likelihood, to the first of Freud's three essays, which concerned perversions.
Either path might be taken in consequence of the anatomo-physiologic and psychic bisexuality that characterizes every human being, a hypothesis that Freud explicitly attributed to Wilhelm Fliess.
Freud sustained his argument with the concept of component instincts several independent impulses, each related to an erotogenic zone or somatic source without being integrated with each other.
From this reasoning emerged Freud's concept that "neuroses are, so to say, the negative of perversions " (p.
165, Freud's italics), an idea which he had previously taken up in a letter to Fliess (January 24, 1897; 1950a).
This is psychoanalysis freed from ideas that have often brought it into conflict with the ethical and political convictions of modern readers, practitioners, and theorists.
The non-Oedipal psychoanalysis Freud outlined in 1905 possesses an emancipatory potential for the contemporary world that promises to revitalize Freudian thought.One can thus better understand why numerous perversions are characterized by sexual behavior that preferentially involves the oral, and especially the anal, erotogenic zonesthey are, that is to say, the result of psychic functions controlled by component instincts.(Component instincts and normal gratifications of childhood would be further discussed in the second essay.) Whereas neurotics repress the desire for instinctual gratification, the anomaly of perversion in adults resides in the fact that their sexual practices are permanently and predominantly based on satisfying component instincts.He similarly understands puberty as the sum of modifications acting upon infantile sexuality.These ideas were clearly spelled out in the first edition of the Three Essays in 1905.The development of self is no longer rooted in the assumption of a sexual identity; instead the imposition of sexual categories on the infant mind becomes a source of neurosis and itself a problem to overcome.The new edition of Three Essays presents us with the fascinating possibility that Freud suppressed his first and best thoughts on this topic, and that only today can they be recognized and understood at a time when societies have begun the serious work of reconceptualizing sexual identities.According to James Strachey, the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality should be considered, after The Interpretation of Dreams, to be Sigmund Freud's "most momentous and original contributions to human knowledge" (Freud, 1905d, p. Published soon after the turn of the twentieth century, the book's somewhat scandalous profile heightened its impact. The immediate influence of the Three Essays was profound, and fostered change in the way that people thought, behaved, and learned about sexuality; this influence abides today.Such events comprise the only available material for psychoanalytic work.In effect, the etiology of neurosis that Freud had previously proposed, as early as 1896 with reference to hysteria, was here reasserted and further developed.