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Pornography creates less of a sexual relationship between people

In last week I wrote about Jacques-Alain Miller’s The Unconscious & the Speaking Body because I think it is a great thing to read if you’re interested in how psychoanalysis is practiced in the here-and-now.

In last week I wrote about Jacques-Alain Miller’s The Unconscious & the Speaking Body because I think it is a great thing to read if you’re interested in how psychoanalysis is practiced in the here-and-now.

Miller is great (perhaps the greatest) at showing how the concepts of Lacanian psychoanalysis are useful and powerful ways of making sense of and treating what causes suffering in the present. In The Unconscious & the Speaking Body, Miller references the problem of the effects of pornography on the ways that people struggle with desire and intimate attachments (i.e. the sexual relationships) in the present.

The global spread of pornography by means of the electronic net has without any doubt produced effects that are being vouched for in psychoanalysis. What does the omnipresence of pornography at the start of this century represent, what does it say? Well, nothing more than that sexual relation doesn't exist.

I have what I suspect are some complex thoughts, which I’m still working out, on this small passage.

Reading this passage makes me think of how pornography has become so accessible, and one of the effects of this accessibility is to create a even less of a sexual relationship between people. I say this because I believe that a sexual relationship is an encounter between two bodies, which has the effect of destabilizing us through the jouissance it brings into our lives. The sexual relationship will lack harmony, it will always be a relationship that we can’t control via the standard imaginary and symbolic ways of getting a handle on the real.

The sexual relationship is a relationship that brings the uncontrollable real (in all its horror and all of its glory) into our lives.

Pornography, on the other hand, is something that mobilizes the imaginary (an imaginary that we do have control over) in ways that keep the real further away.