Aggression plays an integral part in all sexual activity. Although one might think of sexual intimacy as being the expression of loving feelings and the wish to be truly close to the other, aggressive impulses are necessarily involved to facilitate separation and to manage anxieties about being both overwhelmed by and losing the other person. Adult sexual relations and sexuality involve a complex interplay of conflicting feelings of love and hate, wishes to merge with the other versus wishes for independence and creative versus destructive impulses, all of which represent the culmination of a complex developmental trajectory from unconscious infantile and oedipal wishes, phantasies and conflicts, through adolescent revivals and crises, to adult modes of relating.
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