Unfulfilled need for closeness and tenderness

The Swiss psychoanalyst Ralf Binswanger gives an example from his therapy practice in an article about the term perversion, in which a man reports on his relationships with men in childhood.

Source: Psychoanalyse und männliche Homosexualität - Beiträge zu einer sexualpolitischen Debatte, Psychosozial-Verlag, May 2019. Ralf Binswanger: Wiederholt sich die Geschichte? – Nicht wirklich! - Drei Verständnisschwierigkeiten einer Neuformulierung des Perversionsbegriffs, p. 125f. ISBN-13: 978-3-8379-2880-8

Translated by JUMIMA
Original German text


There are situations where children have important non-sexual needs that they may be able to accommodate with well-structured and loving pedophiles, perhaps without taking more harm than e.g. has already been caused by neglectful family relationships. That was the case with a married guy and another of my patients. The latter had a premature and very pronounced homosexual coming-out at the age of six and said of himself that – perhaps except for the first time – basically he would have seduced his pedophile partners as much as they would because he could accommodate a deep unfulfilled need for closeness and tenderness with them. Until the end, he did not feel traumatized by the sexuality with his partners, but rather by the consequences of being exposed by the mother at the age of 14: Among other things, he had to face the closest partner at a police confrontation. There he was standing broken in front of him, and he had to testify. However, he still felt cheated on something important: his sexual latency period.

On the other hand, I treated several patients who were severely traumatized by child abusers. I do not run the risk of trivializing possible trauma from child abuse.