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25th February 2021

On the theme of the XVIII Congress of the SLP The Real of Sex
Loretta Biondi

Two words, two extraordinary concepts of psychoanalysis for the theme of SLPCF 2021.

Sex: Sigmund Freud approaches it via childhood, thus inciting a cultural scandal. Of course.

On the other hand, in the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality he points out the “polymorphously perverse disposition” [1] of infantile sexuality. Sex and sexuality are disjointed and articulated using a new logic. The genital, already evident in Freud’s theories, points to the new, an opening, with the culture that informs the subject of the unconscious, to the transmission of the psychoanalysis itself.

Its baton will be given to the female, introducing a new setback to science and, with it, to the real. Binary sexuality increasingly in crisis with the advent of the manipulation of bodies on both the scientific and the capitalist sides requires everyone, as Ones-All-Alone, to make do with their subjective solution regarding sexuality.

Real: another concept forged by Lacan, beyond the meaning it takes from common language, in which real and reality are mostly equivalent. The Real unfolds from reality: it is placed on the side of jouissance, whereas reality is ordered on the Imaginary and the Symbolic side.

Throughout his teaching, Lacan, rereading Freud, works to give him a place in the Real, Symbolic, and Imaginary ternary. He goes so far as to say that it, the real, is without law and, being devoid of sense, “… has no order” [2]. He also states: “It is to the very extent that Freud truly made a discovery … that it may be said that the real is my symptomatic response. To reduce this response to being symptomatic is also to reduce any and every invention to the sinthome” [3]. In Seminar XXV, The Moment to Conclude, at the time of his last teaching, he will say: “… the Real does not cease to be written. It is indeed by writing that forcing is produced [… ] , it must be said, how would the Real appear if it were not written?” [4]. Then the real produces “the hole […] this is what we are reduced to, as regards what it is, this sexual relationship, to realise it all the same” [5].


Today, more than ever, in the pandemic condition that has affected all of us, without exception, no one excluded, the theme is given so that the community of psychoanalysts of the SLP will do something to articulate it, each from their place, close to the foreign intimacy that inhabits them and according to their style. The clinic is the compass that compels us to write and testify. It will be knotted with the political and epistemic declinations.


Sex: it refers us to Lacanian biology, not without Freud. Lacan, in this regard, precisely in Seminar XIX, which the Italian analytical community of SLPCF is celebrating in its recently published Italian translation, states: "That sex is real is not to be doubted in the slightest [..] What is at issue when sex is involved is the other, the other sex, even when one prefers the same [6]".

Real: Lacan, in his interview with Emilia Granzotto for the magazine “Panorama”, said: “I call a symptom everything that comes from the real. And the real is everything that doesn’t work out, that doesn’t function, that gets in the way of man’s life and the affirmation of his personality. The real always returns to the same place, and that’s where you’ll always find it, with the same semblances. Scientists assert that nothing is impossible in the real […] they […] are unaware that their position is untenable” [7]. In the same interview, Lacan responds to the interviewer’s question about the nature of anguish: “It is something that is situated outside our bodies, a fear, but a fear of nothing that the body, the mind included, can provide a reason for. In short, the fear of fear! A lot of these fears and anxieties, at the level at which we perceive them, have something to do with sex” [8].

"The real of sex" is the theme that puts us to work in these times, between 2020 and 2021. We left behind a theme: "Fears?", without being able to celebrate the XVIII Congress 2020.

Certainly, it will be included in this year’s work, not without leaving a hole, working in the analytical training of each to get rid of the plugs that never cease being produced in order to plug the hole imprinted by the lack of the sexual relationship, we can…  scilicet.

After all, doesn’t the subject arise precisely from the fault, from the interval between S1 and S2? An intermittence, indeed, that arises from a lost object. The flash that Lacan makes us imagine in his 1966 conference in Baltimore [9]: the neon of a luminous sign that marks time, that comes and goes in the mist of dawn. I love this photo he gives us!

It will be a sustained work for SLPCF. Let them light up and turn off so many little ones that indicate the time that flows in the dense mist, to be fended with determined desires for the making of a new day for the transmission of psychoanalysis, both at the level of speech and of the analyst’s desire.

Let us be sustained by our intimate, subjective, real cause, by the Analysts of the School in function.

The teachings of the Pass will support this instrument of transmission that is the School, decomposing it permanently, with the hole of knowledge surrounded by those edges of the real of which they testify.
We know that Lacan underlined, to those who told him he was a poet, that he was a poem.
I read as a poetic verse the passage that Lacan leaves in the interview with Emilia Granzotto, and thus I make a point: “Analysis pushes the subject towards the impossible. It tries to get the subject to consider reality as it really is, in other words imaginary and entirely devoid of sense. While the real, like a voracious bird, does nothing but feed on meaningful things, actions that have a meaning” [10].
This passage gives me the taste of poetry that is erased, written on the edges of shoreline on which, intermittently, the wave washes off its signifiers, its metaphors and metonymies, its verses; remains of jouissance: nothing.

Loretta Biondi
President of the SLP

Translated by Valentina Lucia La Rosa



[1] S. Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume VII (1901-1905): A Case of Hysteria, Three Essays on Sexuality and Other Works, p.191.
[2] J. Lacan, The Sinthome. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XXIII, Polity Press, Cambridge 2016, p. 118.
[3] Ibid, p. 113.
[4] J. Lacan, The Moment to Conclude. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XXV, lesson of 10 January 1978, unpublished.
[5] J. Lacan, Les non-dupes errant. The Seminar. Book XXI, lesson of 12 February 1974, unpublished.  
[6] J. Lacan, … or Worse. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XIX, Polity Press, Cambridge 2018, p. 134.
[7] J. Lacan, Freud Forever: An Interview with Panorama, in «Hurly-Burly», n. 12, 2015, pp. 18-19.
[8] Ibidp. 21.
[9] J. Lacan, Of Structure as the Inmixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever. Available at:
[10] J. Lacan, Freud Forever: An Interview with Panorama, op. cit., p. 18.


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