Select Page


Summary: The common sense idea about sexuality is at odds with Lacan’s counterintuitive formula that ‘there is no sexual relationship’. But there is also a common sense idea about how to understand Lacan’s formula: sexuality will never be fully satisfying, it will forever remain an ideal or even a private affair, it is only a momentary event that will never stand the durability of a long relationship, … Such a moralizing reading is at odds with psychoanalysis. Sexuality is indeed not without limit. But sex happens, not despite, but because of its limit. Moreover, satisfaction happens. It happens where we least expect it. And even more so in the attempt to avoid it. This is precisely why sexuality is so surprising. If Freud points out anything, it is that sexuality and satisfaction are far more widespread than people think. Moreover, there are relationships, quite a few, and some even quite enduring, that are endowed with symptomatic formations that are neither without satisfaction nor without sexuality. By making some cross-links between the rather conceptual and formal character of Lacan’s later conceptualizations, Freud’s theory of infantile sexuality and some anecdotes, this paper aims at highlighting the stakes of sexuality in psychoanalysis, both in practice and in theory, up until how it grounds its most fundamental concept – the unconscious.

The Space of Play and Psychoanalysis

Many psychoanalytic theories address the question of the space of play. Based on Freud, the author first of all tries to show that the originality of psychoanalysis lets us consider the space of play as a scene (Bühne) which opens onto the Other Scene, the unconscious. A structural analogy between play space and tragic scene will be considered. Next the author will study the Winnicottian invention of potential space which allows us to explain the experience of play from a psychogenetic point of view. In this perspective it will be important to locate the area in which play takes place, an area of illusion that Winnicott describes as paradoxical. Finally a third perspective considering how play constitutes its own symbolical space will be considered. The author will propose that play institutes a third space allowing something to be said and at the same time a subjective division.