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CPD Credits
Event Type
Live Online Event
Zoom & Recording for 365 days
Time (UK)
2:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Book Tickets
wilted roses against a dark grey background
Friday, November 15, 2024

The Psychology of Erotic Fantasies and Behaviours

Curing Sexy Couples

With Professor Brett Kahr

In this seminar, Professor Brett Kahr, one of the world’s leading researchers on the structure and function of sexual fantasies, will offer participants insights as to how we might address the private erotic lives of individual and couple clients in a more honest, more straightforward, and more clinically impactful manner. The confidence to practise in this way will support therapists and counsellors, helping us to discover the often hidden, traumatic, unconscious foundations of sexual symptomatology, which often cause quite complex challenges for clients. Participants will be able to think about how clients might integrate and work through sexual difficulties, regardless of how theses traumata erupt among couples.

Kahr will share his clinical insights as Principal Investigator of the British Sexual Fantasy Research Project (2002-2008), in which he studied the private masturbatory and coital fantasies of over 25,000 adult participants, aged eighteen to ninety-plus years of age, in both the United Kingdom and in the United States of America, undertaken in collaboration with the international polling agency YouGov.

He will then explore key concepts, including the “intra-marital affair”, the “erotic tumour”, and the “conjugal aneurysm”. He will draw upon his multi-decade experience of treating couples to investigate the deep and often traumatic origins of sexual challenges within the relational context, examining the ways in which sadism enters the adult bedroom.

In speaking about these complex and often ignored topics, Professor Kahr will help us all to develop a greater capacity for “sexpertise” within our consulting rooms.


14.00 (UK) Introductions
14.05 Unravelling the Role of Masturbatory and Coital Fantasies: From Early Childhood Trauma to Adult Psychopathology

Although most people regard “sex” as a behavioural activity conducted between two naked bodies, psychoanalytical clinicians and researchers as well as sexologists have long appreciated that much erotic excitement occurs inside the head, rather than in the genitalia, often in the form of sexual fantasies, whether masturbatory or coital in nature, which impact hugely, not only upon the nature of the spousal relationship but, also, upon other aspects of one’s working life and private life.  In this seminar, Professor Kahr will draw from his extensive transatlantic research, unearthing the nature of erotic fantasies and their aetiology, emphasising, in particular, the traumatic origins.  

14.45 Q&A
15.00 Break
15.15 From Intra-Marital Affairs to Extramarital Affairs: The Impact of Unconscious Fantasies on Spousal Survival

Needless to say, although many people do often fantasise erotically about our long-standing partners and about sexy, glamorous film stars and pop singers, the vast majority of individuals actually achieve orgasm as a result of fantasies which had developed in early childhood due to particular traumatic episodes, through the eroticisation of cruelty.  Professor Kahr has referred to such fantasies as “intra-marital affairs”, which often become enacted as extramarital infidelities.  In this portion of the seminar, he will investigate the ways in which early, internalised fantasy structures become part of the long-term “ego structure” of the human mind, permitting victims of physical sadism to fantasise about their attackers.  Professor Kahr will describe the ways in which such erotic thoughts emerge in the midst of psychotherapeutic consultations and how the clinical practitioner can help to facilitate both catharsis and insight, thus transforming these often self-destructive and other-destructive states of mind and styles of behaviour.

16.00 Q&A
16.15 Break
16.30 The Role of Sexual Sadism in Contemporary Relationships

In the final section of the seminar, Professor Kahr will explore the ways in which sadism will emerge in the spousal bedroom in multitudinous forms, ranging from physically sadistic enactments and bodily evacuations, to intra-marital affairs and infidelities, to the use of sex workers, and to the prevalence of pornography addictions.  He will also consider how even “micro-separations” between couples including small episodes of abandonment, misunderstanding, or emotional illiteracy can destroy an intimate relationship.  He will share material from his many decades of clinical experience about the ways in which trustworthy consulting room conversations can help to repair such horrific marital damage over time.

17.15 Q&A
17.30 End