Alberto Eiguer

From Sexual Perversions to Moral Perversions Pleasure and Domination Publication date : February 1, 2001

Recently, numerous discussions and debates have addressed the issue of “moral perversions” in both the public and private sphere. Perversions have often been in the news; they include serious scandals linked to paedophilia and sexual tourism, the fad of partner-swapping, and the influence of S&M and fetishism on advertising and fashion. Rather than feeling shocked or fascinated, it would be wiser to examine the situation more closely, beginning with the meaning of the word “perversion”, as it has been defined by specialists for more than two centuries. What is perversion really about? What does a pervert seek? The following are considered to be the main types of sexual perversions: sadism, masochism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, transvestism, paedophilia, and even, by some, homosexuality. Narcissistic perversions, moral sado-masochism, cynicism, moral transvestism, moral fetishism, group phenomena: not all perversions are sexual. The world of perversions is not only a “mirror” world of physical pleasure, it also serves as a mechanism of power in a relationship which the pervert uses to impose his/her rule on another, by denying his/her existence. Does the pervert seek pleasure or power?

Alberto Eiguer is a psychoanalyst specialising in family therapy. He is the author of several theoretical works, including Un Divan pour la Famile, Le Pervers-Narcissique et Son Complice and La Folie de Narcisse, published by Dunod. He has also published works for the general reader such as Du Bon Usage du Narcissisme et Petit Traité des Perversions Morales, published by Bayard Éditions.