From the s onwards, topics and practices such as premarital sex, sexual variations beyond the missionary position, unmarried cohabitation, adultery, fornication, extramarital affairs, jealousy, homosexuality, pornography, teenage sex, abortion, exchange of partners, paedophilia, incest and so on — all part of a wider process of sexualisation — implied repeated uprooting confrontations with the traditional lust-balance. People were confronted with the lust-balance question more frequently and intensely than ever before.
This question is first raised in puberty or adolescence, when bodily and erotic impulses and emotions that were forbidden from early childhood onwards except in cases of incest and paedophilia are again explored and experimented with.
The original need of small children for bodily contact and their subsequent frank and spontaneous explorations remain, without being reciprocated Fonagy , and they are restricted and stopped when adults begin to experience them as sexual. Sexuality and corporality are thus set apart from other forms of contact, and compartmentalised. More or less overcome by their new longing for sexual pleasure and gratification, young people have to integrate this longing into both their personality and their relations.
They have to learn how to become a sexual subject and a sexual object and to find a balance between the two. For most, this is a process of trial and error. In the process of sexualisation and eroticisation, especially since the Sexual Revolution, women collectively have come into a position similar to that of young people when becoming sexually mature: both entered the trial and error process of becoming more of a sexual subject.
In the twentieth century, especially since the s, this process of trial and error has been going on collectively. Allowing for differences in nationality and social class, the subsequent moments of collective learning processes determined to a large extent the range of available options with which individuals living in each moment saw themselves confronted.
It made for sexual relations that were not necessarily confidential, even between husband and wife. Sexual intimacy did not demand much relational or personal intimacy. This is typical of a lust-balance in which the longing for sex and the longing for enduring relational intimacy are not strongly integrated, and can even be highly segregated. This view of widening options and a collective process of trial and error seems in conflict with the fact that, in most Western countries, the old rule of sexual abstinence before marriage was formally maintained up to the s.
Dutch research shows that young people of the generation born at the beginning of the twentieth century postponed their first coitus on average until ten years after becoming sexually mature. The generation of about waited seven years, an average decline of ten months per ten years. This downward trend continued, for the generation of waited five years, which was a decline of seven months per ten years.
Apparently, this decline was at a slower pace than that of the generations before the Second World War Vliet However, as the balance of power between women and men as well as between parents and children became less uneven, possibilities for more frank and warm intimate relations increased — as did the necessity of developing such relations. Male sexual pleasure came to depend more strongly upon the sensual or erotic bond with the sex partner, that is, upon relational intimacy.
They also came to experience women not mainly as sexual objects but also more as sexual subjects. Together, these changes made for a single integrated process of sexualisation and eroticisation that permeated across the board of social life, private as well as public. As the part-process of sexualisation attracts much more attention, and because it also repeatedly provokes moral indignation, the significance of the part-process of eroticisation is often only partly acknowledged.
Until the s, the trial-and-error process towards easier and more comradely relations between women and men had many trajectories, but at least two that are differentiated by social class. In the s, young people from these social classes had limited opportunities to select a marriage partner —courtship activities being strictly controlled by parents. An example is dancing, which was held in high esteem as a courting arena. Only at a private ball or dinner-dance could a young man dance with a girl of his social class.
But first he had to ask her parents for permission, and when he was listed in her dancing programme he might opt for a second dance with the same girl — but opting for a third dance would create expectations and obligations, directly connected to getting engaged and then married. This scene changed as young women went out to work in such places as offices, libraries, hospitals and schools, and aimed at financial independence.
In addition, sports and bicycles and the dance craze of the s opened up less cramped opportunities for meeting. Young people were allowed increasingly to visit public dancing places and to organise private dance parties only for themselves. In the Netherlands, the informalisation of courtship activities and engagements in good society also entailed an erosion of this public pledge to marry and a trend towards young people more easily breaking off their engagements.
From the s onward, this more easy-going attitude is documented in Dutch manners books by increasing complaints about young people more casually breaking off their engagements, as well as by advice, based on this change, that the announcement of an engagement be scaled down to a relatively small gathering, rather than being the big ceremonious occasion with a formal and public pledge to marry that an engagement used to be.
Couples would form, and many a marriage was arranged after a young woman got pregnant van Hessen In their marriages, most husbands and wives followed traditional patterns of married life: strongly embedded in larger we-groups of families and characterised by a division of tasks and worlds between husbands and wives that in effect largely excluded confidentiality and relational intimacy Straver et al. These traditions ruled in most villages and working-class neighbourhoods. The trend in the direction of young people escaping from under their parental wings and experimenting with erotic relations on their own can be presented by focusing on new words and practices.
In the s, the word acquired a romantic connotation, particularly when it was transformed into the noun verkering. In Dutch good society, however, people looked down on verkering , both the word and the practice. In their view it was a disgustingly bad habit among the middle and lower classes, and they continued to perceive an engagement as the only proper arrangement that builds up to marriage. Throughout the twentieth century there was no [Dutch] word for a romantic relationship with sexual implications. A couple could be married or engaged, but there was no name for the preceding phase, at least not in manners books giving advice on these thorny problems.
The word verkering was used only in the vernacular and just did not apply to people in higher or bourgeois circles. Verkering or vaste verkering was something the kitchen maid had with her soldier. Wouters repeatedly uses the term in his book, perhaps also in an attempt to get it accepted as neutrally descriptive, but for me it is saturated with insufferably petty and chiefly vulgar associations Ritsema Another new practice and neologism of the s is scharrelen literally: searching or groping movements, like chicken scratching, rummaging , a word used to indicate a relation with a girl for flirting and for fooling about in an affair that was not intended to become a serious love relationship.
A similar negative word was the amatrice female amateur. From the s to the s, it expressed the moral concern of Dutch upper and middle classes about the morality of girls in the younger generation. These girls had sex, which should not happen, and if it did, it should be kept secret or denied — for even the suspicion of indulging in having sex could damage their reputation and respectability and, therefore, their future chances of a good marriage.
But when denial became impossible, for example because more and more girls came to visit physicians and clinics with venereal diseases, the word amatrice was invented:. The appearance on the scene of the amatrice as a dramatis personae [ This figure of the amatrice evaporated completely in the Sexual Revolution. Parents were advised to give freer rein to their adolescent children by gedogen , conditionally allowing of such a practice, usually combined with a policy of cautious deterrence.
A significant one is that, in comparison with girls and boys from the middle and upper classes, their young counterparts from lower social classes generally got married at an earlier age. It is one of the traces of a traditional pattern that persisted among them.
When Love and Lust are Split
This policy is directly related to an understanding of the budding sexuality of boys and girls as a natural force that will out, and that among them acquiring sexual experience is highly regarded and status enhancing. Belonging to the same traditional pattern are the findings that these youngsters usually start tentative sexual relations at an earlier age than their contemporaries of higher social classes and that they proceed more quickly from first contact to full intercourse.
These and other examples of greater sexual directness are reported in sociological and sexology studies and they are discussed in Wouters Young people from higher social classes report more reserve in developing relational and sexual trajectories. Among them, masturbation is reported more often. This reticence is most probably related to an upbringing that focuses less on obedience to parents and other authorities and more on learning to decide for oneself. At the same time, increasing parental trust in the self-steering abilities of children has reduced the old fear among parents that their offspring would lack self-control and let themselves go sexually when social control was absent.
It seems obvious that these differences between the classes concur with differences in the development of self-steering.
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Particularly in the collective quest of how to connect sexual with relational intimacy, prominent moments can be distinguished. Five such moments will now follow. The first moment is the Sexual Revolution. At that time, young people were breaking the taboos of previous generations to such a degree that there was an acceleration in the emancipation of sexual emotions and impulses — allowing them into consciousness and public debate.
Women rejected their traditional submissiveness towards male superiority to the extent that it became socially accepted for them to participate in public discussions on sexuality and a more gratifying lust-balance. They subjugated their traditional shame and shame-triggered counter-impulses involving lustful and sexual feelings; they stopped answering questions regarding sexuality in a more traditionally conservative way than men; and in the early s, they silenced men who were still complaining about their wife getting an orgasm too slowly by venting complaints about husbands having their orgasm too fast.
In a short period of time, the relatively autonomous strength of carnal desire came to be acknowledged and respected. For both genders, sex for the sake of sex changed from a degrading spectre into a tolerable and thus acceptable alternative, allowing more women and men to experiment with sex cheerfully and outside the boundaries of love.
At the time, the spirit of liberation from the straitjacket of older generations prevailed, and did not allow much attention to be given to the demands of liberation. From the late s onward, as living together without being married became socially accepted and marriage receded as the only acceptable aim in initiating a trial relationship, the number of people getting formally engaged declined markedly and the word verkering lost much of its function and tended to become obsolete.
The period between and was one of rapid major transitions. An indication is that the reported sexual experience of young people in the Netherlands doubled while their attitudes in matters of sexuality became twice to three times more permissive. Around , massive anti-pornography demonstrations were held by women, thus clinging to their romantic relational ideal of love. At the same time, however, there were discussions about women who enjoyed only one-night stands, thus excluding sexual intimacy from other forms of intimacy; their longing for relational intimacy had come to be experienced as an obstacle to sexual pleasure.
They avoided any emotional commitment in having sex. According to tradition, a woman should have sexual desires and fantasies only within a romantic relationship that was meant to last a lifetime. As an undercurrent, this lust-balance formed the negative of that propagated by the anti-pornography movement.
This fear of an old danger was expressed in the anti-porn movement as well as in sexual separatism, and either way, the opposite sex was seen as the origin as well as the solution of all difficulties. No woman will have been able completely to withdraw from this development and its inherent ambivalence, if only because, before the sexual revolution the social code allowed women to express only one side of the lust-balance.
In some respects, men appeared to be in a similar transition.
Sexology studies from the early s indicate, for example, that many married men still reported a preference for keeping an emotional distance from their wife when having sex; this preference for sexual separatism was probably connected with an experience similar to that of women who separated sexual intimacy from other forms of intimacy, because of the experience that emotional intimacy disturbs their sexual appetite.
By , however, a sexology study showed that the number of men reporting a preference for an emotional distance when having sex with their wife had strongly declined. Apparently, they no longer wanted her mainly as a sexual object, but also as a sexual subject. It had dropped from 50 percent in to 20 percent in Vennix A third prominent moment in the collective trial and error process consisted of a lust revival.
The change among men was again in the direction of experiencing women less as sexual objects, and more also as sexual subjects. In , half of the men reported the practice of giving oral sex as a regular one Vennix The fourth moment in the process of sexualisation and eroticisation was from the late s into the s, when both longings of the lust-balance were becoming integrated on a higher level, allowing more sex and expecting more love, which implied that female emancipation was not only expressed in acknowledgement of the principle of mutual consent but that of mutual attraction as well.
The traditional observation that girls love boys more than sex and boys love sex more than girls was eroding quickly. During these years there was a love and lust revival. The emancipation of female sexuality, and its counterpart the eroticisation and bonding of male sexuality, were expressed and propelled by literature such as feminist publications , by protest activities like those against sexual violence and harassment and by changes in the law such as making rape in marriage liable to punishment.
On closer inspection, however, these protests predominantly symbolise a new emphasis on the love side of the lust-balance, for in comparison with love, sex had become relatively easy. If the old anti-porn movement symbolised an attempt at blending more sex with love, the new one symbolised an attempt at combining more love with sex. There is abundant social ena. Are can prime love. However, this does neither mean that passionate people more creative when in love? Are they more likely to take risks? We hope ure or that people cannot think separately about the two.
Overall, and to Klaus Boehnke for his invaluable advice on the analyses however, they seem to agree that all of the brain systems for passion- and halo measures. Our question is more as to when love and lust produce different psychological effects.
Anderson, B. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, — With respect to our studies, one may then predict that for those Aron, A.
Love as expansion of the self: Understanding attraction who think that, for whatever reasons, love and lust are closely re- and satisfaction. New York: Hemisphere. Note Baas, M. A meta-analysis of 25 years of mood-creativity research: Hedonic tone, activation, or regulatory focus? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, — Similarly, for people that do not connect love Bartels, A. The neural basis of romantic love. NeuroReport, 11, with foreverness maybe because they had bad experiences with — Strength Beeman, M. Coarse semantic coding and discourse comprehension.
Chiarello Eds. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Berscheid, E. Interpersonal attraction. New York: Addison- Notably, in our studies no such differences were found. Re- Wesley. Brickman, P. Sexual strategies theory: An evolutionary publication , showing that the effects are more universal than perspective on human mating. Psychological Review, , — Moreover, relationship status and experiences Carstensen, L. At the intersection of emotion and cognition: Aging and the positivity effect. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, e. Automatic activation of impression formation experiences drove the effects.
While this is mere speculation, fu- and memorization goals: Nonconscious goal priming reproduces effects of explicit task instructions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, ture research may disentangle between the two possibilities. Therefore, we may suggest that although priming fails to establish Diamond, L. What does sexual orientation orient?
A biobehavioral model the entire complexity of the phenomenon of lust and love, a mar- distinguishing romantic love and sexual desire. Emerging perspectives on distinctions between romantic cognition and relationship research can produce reliable results. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13, — Notably, even though in real life the overlap between lust and Dion, K. Romantic love: Individual and cultural perspectives. Barnes Eds. Creative realism. Smith, T. Finke Eds.
This, however might The creative cognition approach pp. Relations between perceptual and conceptual scope: How global have repercussions for real life. European Journal of Social Psychology. Automatic effects McNulty, J. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35, and global evaluations of a relationship. Personality and Social Psychology — Bulletin, 27, — Temporal construal effects on McNulty, J.
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Finkel Eds. Connecting intrapersonal and interpersonal processes pp. New York: Kruglanski, A. A theory of goal systems. Zanna Ed. Advances in Showers, C. Organization of partner knowledge: experimental social psychology Vol. Personality Academic Press. Journal of effects on social judgment. Lang, F. Time counts: Future time perspective, goals Smith, P. Psychology and Aging, 17, — Journal of Personality Liberman, N. Perceptual Level of Construal. Cognitive Science. Sprecher, S. Passionate and companionate love in courting Liberman, N.
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The role of feasibility and desirability and young married couples. Sociological Inquiry, 68, — A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review, 93, construal theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 5— Liberman, N. The psychology of transcending the here and now. Swann, W. Authenticity and positivity Science, , — Psychological distance.