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David Cluxton – The Super-Ego and Enjoyment


THE LETTER 27 (Spring 2003) pages 90-112




According to a new report one in four men under the age of forty have lost their libido and low testosterone levels are to blame.1 The ‘classic’ symptoms of this debilitating condition are loss of energy, drive and potency, which have the knock-on effect of ruining sexual relationships and can even affect jobs if men lose their competitive edge. The blame for this testosterone crisis is levelled at modem-living in the guise of excessive stress, binge drinking and even pollution. The proposed solutions? TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) or Viagra. Despite indicating that the main sign of ‘low testosterone’ is depression, anxiety and a lack of self-confidence the aetiology and treatment of this ‘condition’ forecloses upon any psychical component or involvement whatsoever but would sooner blame ‘tight underpants.’


Whether modern-living is now more stressful or libidinal levels now lower than they were in the past is a question that is open to debate. What seems certainly to have changed, however, is the manner of response taken to such issues nowadays. The inherent assumption of the above study and its subsequent reporting in a daily newspaper is that this ‘new problem’ should surprise and perhaps even shock us. For living in such a liberated and permissive society we should be amazed to find so many not enjoying. We are inclined to think that in having unburdened ourselves of the excessive prohibitions and taboos against sexual enjoyment that characterised Freud’s era, that we now have it easy, that…

The Super-Ego and Enjoyment

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