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Orientation Toward Eroticism: A Critically Based Proposition for Sex Therapists

Orientation Toward Eroticism: A Critically Based Proposition for Sex Therapists

Introduction and objectives: In recent years mainstream
clinical sexology has been challenged by political
enquiries and epistemological critics. In this
presentation, we propose a way to actively and positively
integrate these political questions into clinical
practice by reconsidering the experience clients have of
their own eroticism.
Methods and sample: Our propositions are based
on 20 years of empirical clinical experience and theoretical
exploration. Our purpose is to articulate developmental
and sexological knowledge with
phenomenological and critical theories.
Findings and discussion: We propose to conceptualise
eroticism as a central part of the agency and as a
multidimensional concept articulating at least 4 dimensions:
emotional needs, identity affirmation, embodiment
and existential anxieties. As a result of a
developmental construction and life experiences, the
particular way eroticism is experienced and valued by
the person is always situated in the experience of the
person’s agency confronted to the world. We do not
think that eroticism is in itself opposed to emotional or
romantic or relational needs, we think that it is a particular
way of integrating this fundamental part of
being human with the others, in an embodied way.
Therefore eroticism is an orientation and an embodied
experience, whose purpose is to deal with existential
anxieties and better construct a positive sense of
Recommendations: Eroticism is proposed to be
comparable to a major resilience potential.
Orientations toward eroticism seemed to follow some
pathways and major themes that are predominant.
Clinical examination of eroticism is proposed to be
integrated to our work with all clients to favor the psychotherapeutical
work focused on the development of
sexual agency.
Keywords: eroticism, sex therapy, sexual agency
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement: None

Speakers: Denise Medico