Fine image of a bra with its contents as a motif for the John Money pages    

The Psychology of Sex

John Money

VOCATIONAL AND EROTIC SYNCHRONY. The way in which erotic life and work life may be interlocked or synchronized is still scientifically a largely unexplored territory, but it becomes evident in the clinic. In adolescence, for example, it is quite common for a high-school or college student to be at risk to become vocationally wrecked on the shoals of underachievement at the same time as the priorities of love, sex, and pair-bonding are threatened with wreckage and need attention. A fairly routine problem during these years is one of distinguishing between liking and being in love. The person you simply like may be madly in love with you, or you may be madly in love with someone who simply likes you. Or you may be madly ready to fall in love without someone to become attached to, which is what some people rather imprecisely, for want of a better expression, label being in love with love. Over and beyond the distinction between being friends and being in love is the moral decision of when to begin one’s sex life. This issue may become very confounding for the adolescent who is different, a homosexual, for example, or a bisexual, or pedophile, or any other kind of paraphiliac.

The interlocking of sex life and work life is not exclusively an issue of adolescence. It is quite common also in middle life. The wife and mother, for example, whose daily life has become a monotony of domestic servitude, finds that she has lost all enthusiasm for sex with her husband, whereas it blooms afresh in the excitement of a new love affair, with its promise of change and novelty, work included. The same sort of thing may happen to the woman whose career is in the market place, though there one sees more men affected. As his career becomes more monotonous, his boss more overbearing, and his job tenure more threatened, a man’s sex life may also become more dispirited and marked by apathy and dysfunction, especially the dysfunction of impotence.

John Money, Love and Love Sickness: The Science of Sex, Gender Difference and Pair-bonding, p. 185. John Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, London) 1980.

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