Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics.

June 15, 2018  

Milja Kaunisto (novelist)
A Man’s Right Hand — Dr. Tissot’s Crusade Against Masturbation

In 18th century Switzerland, at the time of Enlightment, the beginning of industrialization, great luxury and social injustice, Dr. Samuel-August Tissot believes he has found a disease that he claims “has killed more young men than any other diseases combined”. With the help of his research assistant, Dr. Petrus von Taube, Tissot embarks on a journey to cure the world of masturbation once and for all.

Milja Kaunisto is a Finnish author of best-selling historical novels, and acclaimed for her frankness in depicting human sexual behaviour. She is currently writing her eighth novel, A Man’s Right Hand, a portrait of 18th-century Swiss physician, Dr. Tissot, and his campaign against masturbation. Through writing this novel, Kaunisto wants to both demystify and celebrate the humankind’s most hidden, underrated and long-lasting love affair: the solitary pleasure.

Solitary Pleasures in art and psychoanalysis is a day-long conference to accompany Solitary Pleasures, a group exhibition at the Freud Museum.

The conference, like the exhibition, 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, +, offering possibilities of a shared exchange and an intimate encounter between couples, lovers and strangers in ways that redefine desires and eroticism’s possibilities.

Conference themes:

History – the cultural history of masturbation
Talking – masturbation in clinical practice and literature
Educating – masturbation in sexual health and wellbeing
Making – masturbation in creativity and art practice

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