Solitary Pleasures: In Art and Psychoanalysis

A day-long conference investigating a significant topic in the psychology of sexuality and eroticism: masturbation.

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28 April, 2018, 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

£40 - £65

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The conference explores the history of masturbation, both explicitly and implicitly, in which this ‘solitary pleasure’ has been considered as a disorder, as ‘unnatural’, ‘unhealthy’, and as a violation of a moral law; yet conversely it has been seen as a vital force, as a creative and magical act, and as ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’.

Like the exhibition, the conference reveals masturbation as a topic that can transform our understanding of human subjectivity and sexuality. Perhaps the most common form of human eroticism, it is also one of the least theorised.

The conference will explore our complex sexual, erotic, and intimate encounters with ourselves and one another by viewing masturbation as an all-inclusive practice – gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, trans, queer, +. We hope to investigate masturbation as a ‘solitary pleasure’ as opposed to a ‘solitary vice’, as a pleasure that is universal and particular, collective and individual, and that’s also potentially mutual; a shared exchange and an intimate encounter between couples, lovers and strangers in ways that redefine desires and eroticism’s possibilities.


28 April, 2018
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
£40 - £65
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Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
London, NW3 5SX United Kingdom
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020 7435 2002

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