The Envy to Get Out

“Female sexuality appears, instead, as the effort of a jouissance enveloped in its own contiguity […] in order to be realized in competition with the desire that castration liberates in the male”.

Lacan J., “Guiding Remarks for a Convention on Female Sexuality”, Écrits, The First Complete Edition in English, p. 619.

For Lacan, no one is in paradise, neither women whom he considers rather imprisoned within themselves. They therefore work to get out of a jouissance that envelopes them because it is not localised in one part of their body but takes it entirely. Wouldn’t we say that the famous Sadian injunction Yet another effort! (Encore un effort!) seems to be made for them? Their envy is not for the penis, but to be realised in the envy of the desire that castration liberates in men. What does a woman want? That her jouissance is liberated by becoming desire and better still, love.

Translated by Joanne Conway