[Imagination and desire: reflections on the determination of male sexuality]

Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 1994 Dec;44(12):403-10.
[Article in German]


Imagination and desire are looked upon as major determinants of male sexuality. In its various facets imagination represents one of the fundamental dimensions of human cognition. During the early phases of development the close interaction of imagination and erotic desire leads to the formations of psychical representatives of experiences of satisfaction that influence sexual and nonsexual behavior by establishing an internalized structure of blueprints for satisfaction. These blueprints can also be viewed as an important step in the development of autonomy. Sex differences can be found primarily in the function and employment of erotic fantasies. Compared to women men tend to use their erotic imagery to a much higher degree as a compensation for a lack of sexual satisfaction. Proceeding from the conceptual distinction of erotic and everyday realities, reflections on the zeitgeist of male sexuality and the relationship between the sexes are put forward focussing on the ambiguity of erotic imagination and the border crossing between the two realities. Based on these reflections therapeutic aspects of imagination and desire are touched upon and the problems of integrating erotic reality and everyday reality in long-term male-female relationships are discussed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Erotica
  • Fantasy*
  • Female
  • Freudian Theory
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Imagination*
  • Libido*
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior*