To begin with...

Jacques-Alain Miller's Perversion

The Uses of the Fantasm

The Weight of Words

Believe It or Not

Psychoanalysis and Literature

Solo (Prelude)

Interview with
Guillermo Kuitca

Interview with
Cheri Samba


The Uses of Fantasy*


Eric Laurent


I must first account for my title "The Uses of the Fantasm." I used it to stress that it seems to me that Lacan's teachings in regard to perverse eroticism are best approached through that concept: the uses of the Fantasm — in contradistinction to the uses of drive, for instance, whether aggressive or death drives. Actually, for Lacan, drives were discovered and are best found in neurosis. They were first isolated by Freud in neurosis and then extended to perversions and not the reverse. The uses of drives, I could say, are best found in neurotic eroticisms. Nor can perversion best be approached through the concept of the use or abuse of an object, or through the choice of the object — as negative theology of object relations can be stressed through the destruction of the object.

Noe image
Homosexuality connotes the choice of the same — it can be neurotic, normal, perverse, psychotic. That does not lead us to the core of what perverse eroticism is. Neither can it be found through the use of a symptom, but through the use of the Fantasm. That syntagma — the use of the Fantasm — can be found in Lacan in his "Direction of the Cure" when he differentiates between the fundamental use of the Fantasm and the neurotic use of Fantasy, where the general formula of the Fantasm is transformed with the replacement in the formula of the object by the Demand.

So I would like to develop some consequences of this approach which opposes itself — to summarize — with another one that could be best defined as the pre-œdipal approach to perverse eroticism.


Beyond the question marks, what exists are answers, and if someone has an absolute answer to his orgasm reward, if he has an absolute definition and certainty about it, he would have nothing to ask for from the psychoanalyst. So it is not our business anymore, we don't have to cure him, we are not the envoys of society as such. But if someone is uncertain — I can say that in my practice, people who have certain sexual practices which are the answer to their way of obtaining rewarding orgasm, but at the same time have neurotic symptoms, that is to say question marks, marked in the body and the flesh — if this symptom intrigues them sufficiently, it can lead to a cure. A modification of the practice is not then the main issue.


* Paris-New York Psychoanalytic Workshop, April 2, 1989. back to top

Illustration: Luis Felipe Noé "One Passion...", 1982

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