Biography and Sexual Teachings of Sigmund Freud Part 1

About the famous psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, history and biography of the man who had a lot to say about sexuality.


SIGMUND FREUD (1856-1939), Austria

His influence on our ideas about sex was, until quite recently, profound, yet Sigmund Freud, the father of psychology, probably had intercourse with only one woman--his wife. (There is some evidence, that he may have had an affair with his sister-in-law.) Moreover, he had a hang-up about trains and for 10 years of his life suffered from psychoneurosis. Though he developed cancer of the jaw, he could not give up smoking cigars--20 of them a day. In spite of (or perhaps because of) these psychological problems, he offered great insight into the human mind and emotions, much of it still valid.

Freud was born in a caul, which symbolized happiness and fame, the eldest of seven children who survived childhood, in what is now Czechoslovakia. He grew up in Vienna from the age of four on.

At some time while still small, he saw his mother naked, and he was aroused sexually. Years later, he wrote a friend about those infantile desires--in Latin, because he wanted to hide such shocking information from the curious.

At the age of seven or eight, he urinated in his parents' bedroom on purpose. "That boy will never amount to anything," his father said, momentarily irritated. In truth, the Freuds were inordinately proud of their eldest son, who went on to excel in school, graduating summa cum laude. When Freud's father saw another boy arguing with his father, he said, "What, are you contradicting your father? My Sigmund"s little toe is cleverer than my head, but he would never dare to contradict me!" Sigmund's mother doted on him. He later said, "A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror, that confidence of his success that often induces real success."

Freud's train phobia came from seeing gas jets from a train window; to his childish eyes, they seemed to be souls burning in hell. In his later self-analysis, he decided that this fear led to a fear of losing home and his mother's breast. All his life he was terribly anxious about getting to trains on time.

At 16, on a two-week visit to his birthplace, Freud fell in love with his cousin Giselle, but he never told her about his feelings. Looking back, he said he believed young people should have greater sexual freedom, "although I availed myself but little of it."

The love of Freud's life was the woman he married, Martha Bernays, another cousin. Throughout their long engagement, he sent her roses, was plagued with intense jealousy, and wrote her passionate letters, some more than 10 pages long. The two lovers kept a secret record of their engagement, which ended with their marriage in 1886. Sigmund was devoted to his wife and was a fond, lenient father to their six children.

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