Science has taken control of the reproduction of life, and made possible the invention of families for all. A conjunction between sexuality and procreation is no longer required to engender a child. Ansermet notes that it is the logical obstacle of the impossible which allows us « to create a reference point for finding one’s bearings within the clinical practice of biotechnologies ». For Lacan the logical obstacle is beyond symbolization. It « declares itself to be the impossible. This is where the Real emerges from ».
Whatever the biological explanation for our conception, procreation is not origin. « The mystery of who am I, is redoubled by the impossibility of being one’s own cause ». We are missing from what concerns us most. Children bump up against the Real of origin soon after the acquisition of language. « The Real is meaning in a blank… The true Real implies the absence of any law. The Real has no order ». So there is an urgency for the child to put something in place. It is this inaccessible, this irreducible Real that lodges itself in fantasy. Because there are no ready-made solutions to these answers the child can find his own theories.
Beyond anatomy, it is not children who distinguish themselves in the difference between the sexes, it is the inscription of the adult which distinguishes them as boy and girl, man and woman. « The interference of the adult in the child is here the fact that the child will be led to distinguish himself as a boy or a girl according to this semblance constituted in adulthood according to another logic and another economy of jouissance than that which prevails in childhood ».
At the juncture of Adolescence, sexuality makes a hole in the Real where four significant changes emerge in relation to the Other :
- It is at this intersection between alienation and separation from the Other that the adolescent needs to situate himself regarding his sexuality. The work of adolescence is something of the elaboration of the lack in the Other.
- There is no longer any guarantee that the Other can give back what was given him-namely his being and his essence of truth. « There is no signifier in the Other, that can in this case, answer for what I am”… there is no Other of the Other ».
- Adolescence represents the passage from object of desire to subject of desire, a search for an object in the Other sex without any know-how. The Real of the encounter with the Other sex introduces a limit for the subject, limits incorporated by the very experience of the sexual encounter, a dis-encounter.
- Is the transition through adolescence marked by a juncture of there is no Other of the Other and the knowledge (savoir) of an impasse in sexual rapport?
The paradigm of non-rapport is a disjunction, a disjunction of signifier and signified, the disjunction of man and woman, a disjunction of jouissance and the Other. Men and woman are not defined in relation to jouissance by the same order. According to Lacan « it is possible to propose the following truth function, namely that all men are defined by the phallic function, the phallic function being specifically what obturates sexual relation ». Phallic jouissance is not related to the Other as such. It is finite and circumscribed. It is related to the body, a body is something that enjoys itself… « enjoying has the fundamental property that it is ultimately one person’s body that enjoys a part of the Other’s body ». Those on the male side are « unable to attain his sexual partner, who is the Other, except in as much as his partner is the cause of his desire ». This starting point, implies a disjunction, a non-rapport between jouissance One, which is a jouissance without the Other and the Other. This makes the Other of the Other appear as One, the One real …the One-all-alone separated from the Other.
While woman also have a relationship with the phallic function, Φx , which is finite, sexual jouissance, which involves the Other is linked to and contingent on feminine jouissance. There is a hole in the sex of woman, which is impossible to symbolize. Of its own accord it is without limit. So not all of x is subject to the phallic function. « The pas-toute means not impossible. It is not impossible that woman should know the phallic function ». Something else is at stake for The Woman. « The impossible is that it is from the Real that woman assumes her relation to castration. This is what delivers us the meaning of the –∀x, that is, of the pas-toute ». Nothing can harmonize the All with the Not-All. Jouissance One which is fundamentally a-sexual is not at the same level as sexual jouissance, the jouissance of the body of the Other sex.
What makes up for the sexual relation that does not exist? The symptom comes in the place of the Real of the sexual non-relation it « inscribes itself in the place of what presents itself as lacking, which is the lack of a “natural” sexual partner and when what seems to be a relation is established, it is always a symptomatic relation ».
The symptom is a truth which resists knowledge, because of jouissance. « Who could know out of which bizarreness of jouissance he was born? » asks Laurent. Furthermore, « it will never be possible to account for the point in the real that constitutes the subjective origin of each person, the malformation of the desire from which they stem.. the malformation of the failed encounter between the desires that propelled them into the world ».
In Lacan’s Note on the Child, he inscribes the centrality of family structure and the child’s symptoms. Embedded in this concise paper amongst the question of residue, the function of mother and father and an embodied desire, he asks whether the child’s symptom may represent the truth of the family couple. The question creates an opening for the consideration that wanting a child may also represent the truth of what is symptomatic in sexual non-rapport.
Photography: ©Silski Rachel – Facebook / Instagram
 Ansermet F., The Art of Making Children, Karnac, London, 2017, p. xxi
 Lacan J., The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, Seminar XVII, W.W. Norton, New York, 2007, p.123.
 Laurent E., Protecting the Child from the Family Delusion, Psychoanalytical Notebooks, n°28, p. 29.
 Lacan J., The Sinthome, Seminar XXIII, Polity Press, 2016, p.118.
 Freud S., On the Sexual Theories of Children, 1908, Standard Edition, Volume IX, London, Hogarth Press, pp. 205-226.
 Lacan J., …or Worse, Seminar XIX, Polity Press, 2018, p.7.
 Roy D., Quatre Perspectives sur la Difference Sexuelle, Institut Psychanalytique de l’Enfant, May 2019 (My translation), p.5. https://institut-enfant.fr/orientation/quatre-perspectives-sur-la-difference-sexuelle/
 Lacan J., Desire and Its Interpretation, Seminar VI, Polity Press, 2019, p.299.
 Miller J-A., Six Paradigms of Jouissance, Psychoanalytical Notebooks, n° 34, p.65.
 Lacan J., …or Worse, Seminar XIX, Polity Press, 2018, p.33.
 Lacan J., Encore, Seminar XX, W.W. Norton, New York, 1999, p.23.
 Ibid., p.80
 Miller J-A., op. cit., p.70.
 Lacan J., …or Worse, Seminar XIX, Polity Press, 2018, p.36.
 Ibid., p.35.
 Miller J-A., La Théorie du Partenaire, Quarto, n°77, 2002, p.15.
 Laurent E., Protecting the Child from the Family Delusion, Psychoanalytical Notebooks, n°28. p.29.
 Lacan J., Note on the Child (1969), The Lacanian Review, n° 4.