Freud was right about bisexuality

Repression of bisexuality

»... bisexuality! With that you sure have
Law. I also get used to every sexual
To understand the act as a process between four individuals. "

Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fließ

The bisexuality of men and women, along with the theory of the unconscious, the doctrine of instincts to which it is ultimately attributable, and infantile sexuality are probably one of Freud's most far-reaching discoveries, which bear witness to the boldness and fearlessness of his thinking. It is true that the suggestion came from Wilhelm Fliess, but only Freud was able to develop this thought, since he possessed the indispensable prerequisites for this with the instinct theory and his concept of the ego, which he developed at the same time. At the same time, the young Viennese philosopher Otto Weininger had in his philosophical treatise Gender and character also designed a theory of bisexuality, but it is, as it were, the exact opposite of Freud's view: The knowledge of bisexuality is turned against the drive and thus extinguishes sexuality itself in a monism of the phallus. According to Weininger, woman does not have an intelligible self, is a piece of nature that exists unconsciously. While man is identified with form, woman is just unformed matter. The matter, however, is as good as nothing to Weininger, that is: "Woman is nothing". The pure man appears as "the image of God", whereas the woman appears as a "symbol of nothingness". (With Lacan, this whole tangle of abuse purrs together into a single sexual existential judgment: La femme »n'existe pas«.) That it does exist after all, regardless of the threat of castration that determines the social relationship between the sexes, such as the man Regardless of the identification with the phallus, in this knowledge the Freudian doctrine proves itself against its corruptions in Lacan and his successor Judith Butler. Only in this way is it even possible to assume bisexuality, because it can only be spoken of if both sides, nature and society, exist.

What Freud alludes to in his letter to Fließ about bisexuality, mentioned at the beginning, are sexual preferences and preferences, so-called female and male characteristics such as activity and passivity, which get mixed up during pleasure, whereby the conventional psychosexual boundaries between the sexes appear to be abolished. The concept of bisexuality initially has nothing to do with homosexuality, however, it indicates that the drive is not fixed and shows the full strength of one thing open concept of naturewhich is otherwise almost only found in critical theory.

The significance of the assumption of a constitutive bisexuality for the psyche, according to which "all of our libido normally fluctuates lifelong between the male and the female object," is therefore always of extraordinary importance for both sexes. Every individual shows impulses and needs that seem to exclude each other, which can be seen either as masculine or feminine: "From the beginning of the subjectively perceived sexual arousal, the child must therefore, regardless of which path of manifest sexual object choice it later takes, with father and mother and it can only do so because it can identify itself bisexually. That is why Freud's beautiful and often misunderstood concept of the constitutional bisexuality not only on the biological constitution, but also on the choice of objects, which is always carried out in the unconscious ”(Reimut Reiche).

While Freud was well aware of the incompleteness and fragmentary nature of his investigations into female development, he seemed to be convinced of the concept of bisexuality, of its "unequivocally bisexual disposition" from an early age, and considered its acceptance to be inevitable in order to avoid the actually observable sexual expressions of men and women to be able to understand at all. Not so much because he was a man and the sexuality of women must remain a mystery to him to a certain extent, but because from the beginning of his research he was plagued by considerable doubts about what "feminine" and what "masculine" qualities actually were , he tried to be as open as possible and wanted to avoid a hasty determination and, in contrast to Weininger, an evaluation.

If the anatomical bisexuality, which is characterized by the simultaneous presence of male and female genitalia, albeit in completely different forms, forms the starting point for Freud's considerations, then the psychological dimension, that is, that of the prerequisite for bisexuality in this respect, is still there Only possible choice of object at the center of his investigation: To psychoanalysis, the independence of the choice of object from the sex of the object, the same free disposal over male and female objects as can be observed in childhood, in primitive states and early historical times, appears to be the original ... In the sense of psychoanalysis, the exclusive sexual interest of men in women is a problem in need of clarification and not a matter of course, to which a fundamentally chemical attraction is to be subordinated. "At this point, however, Freud forgot to add that the same thing Conversely, the exclusive sexual interest of women for men is also in need of clarification. In any case, it was only through a thoroughly violent process of civilization that the initially polymorphic-perverse system succeeded. »Further perspectives open up when we consider the fact that the human sexual instinct was not originally intended for reproductive purposes, but rather aimed at certain types of pleasure. It manifests itself in man's childhood, when he achieves his goal of gaining pleasure not only in the genitals, but also in other parts of the body (erogenous zones) and is therefore allowed to refrain from objects other than these comfortable. "Freud throbbing clearly at this point on this pleasure bound to the erogenous zones (partial instincts), which could be helped to achieve its right. Pregenital experience is not simply done with the oedipal conflict, »but remains in place in parallel, is in general constitutive for psychological events in general and cannot be limited to 'sexual foreplay' and its meaning can accordingly be misunderstood. In this respect, adult sexuality is necessarily always compromised by infantile sexuality that opposes genital primacy ”(Susann Heenen-Wolf).

A discussion between Adorno and Horkheimer ties in with the idea of ​​lust that also offers space for polymorphic sexuality: "Isn't genital sexuality a terrible impoverishment in relation to the possibilities of experience?" - asks Adorno, and in response to Horkheimer's objection: " The genital is not simply mastery, "he continues:" The partial instincts report something correct to the genital ... I believe that the ideal of the genital character is very bad. Its typical representative is Siegfried, conceived as a proletariat by the young Wagner. The wrongness of happiness that can be achieved in bourgeois society is closely related to this. «The wrongness of happiness means the wrong goal orientation, the effort, and ultimately the performance that is socially required of the individual and even before the sexual act does not stop. »Closely related to the 'primacy of the genital zone' is a change with great consequences for male sexuality. The new sexual goal established with the primacy of genitality, which consists of 'the discharge of sex products' or, in other words, the penetration of the penis into the vagina, desexualizes the man's body and makes the penis his only sexual organ. This change thought by Freud is prepared by the eminent importance of the penis for the development of both sexes in his theory. At the end of this development, according to Freud's ideas, we have a man in front of us who has a highly significant sexual organ, but not a sexual body that can be occupied, which at the same time means that he offers little space for the woman's desire. "(Martin Dannecker In other words: the woman has a "sexual body", while the man primarily has a sexual organ, but not a "sexual body". In this way the primacy of the phallus would not be determined as a signifier, but as a social relationship even in the most intimate. And this is the name given to all the misery that usually characterizes adult sexuality and from which to really free oneself is tantamount to liberation from domination.

In any case, it is completely unclear what genital sexuality actually means - apart from the fact, however, that only through it the unity of the separated is established, which, however, according to Adorno's judgment, must at the same time be understood as false and contrary to reconciliation. In Freud's sense, on the one hand, there is the definition of an anatomical gender (through birth and not through male / female-Checking in the birth certificate), and on the other hand, a commitment to irrevocable constitutional bisexuality. That means to be physically bound to a certain biological gender (or in the case of hermaphroditism - according to today's diction: intersexuality - to both) as one's own - and at the same time not to be bound. This independence is made possible by the socially established unity that is experienced in genital sexuality. This unity is a false one, but it is a unity, that is: through it mediation is established with the object of desire and thus homosexuals, no different from heterosexuals, are possible instinctual goals directed towards one or both sexes.

The 'transsexual' conversion of gender through surgical intervention and hormonal treatment, on the other hand, opens up, at least in part, the possibility of redefining gender from a fixed homosexual instinctual goal. It thus appears like a withdrawal of the choice of object, i.e. the constitutive indeterminacy of the instinctual goal - although this often takes place under great social pressure or political coercion: In the Islamic Republic of Iran, where homosexuality is punished with death, transsexuality is not only permitted , it is consciously promoted and used in this way as a weapon against homosexuality.