Freudian Personality Types

Anal Types

The anal-expulsive type is often sadistic in conduct in so far as he will attempt to break down the people that he perceives as trying to control his urge towards expulsion upon the world and his ill-planned participation in the events that surround him. In bed, he may be either a sexual sadist (dominator) or a masochist (subjugating himself to the dominance of others). Both of these dispositions hark back to the fundamental immoderation that is the hallmark of this type.

On the other hand, in the case of the anal-retentive type, he is normally prim and proper in interpersonal matters, but may reveal a “background sadism” upon closer inspection – a certain schadenfreude (a delight in the misfortunes of others) is often visible. This schadenfreude is, however, not genuine sadism: It is not there because the anal-retentive type really wants to break others, but rather because he perceives the misfortunes striking others as his reward for “following the rules” as tightly as he does. Unconsciously, the anal-retentive type hates following the rules just as much as the next guy. Contrary to immediate perception, he does not enjoy being a stickler, and doing everything “by the book” drains his life of joy. But since he feels that he has to follow the rules, he must compensate by telling himself that there must also be some reward for doing so. And so the “reward” is that misfortunes of fate tend to happen to others, but not to himself. That is his reward for following the rules.

In bed, the anal-retentive type may exhibit sadistic (dominating) behavior, but again, his true drive is not to bring others down. In bed, his sadism is a manifestation of his need to control an otherwise unpredictable situation by, for example, putting the partner in fetters.

Phallic Types

“Goethe conceived of a human being who would be strong, highly educated, skillful in all bodily manners, self-controlled, reverent towards himself, and who might dare to afford the whole range and wealth of being natural, being strong enough for such freedom.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

The phallic-aggressive type evinces very poor reactions to even minor defeats and has a tendency to externalize the blame for defeats. He tends to have a narcissistic and infantile sexuality. If the aspirations of the phallic-aggressive type are frustrated in early adulthood, the phallic type can become an exhibitionist as a way of gaining the attention which their talents did not allow them to develop and realize in life.

With regards to the phallic type, the themes that unite both the aggressive and the placid version of the type is the wish to be in possession of people and institutions around them. For example, a man who views his mistress as a possession, rather than as a human being in her own right, or the man who defines his mistress in terms of the pleasure that she can provide for him, rather than who she is in herself, might be said to exhibit the traits of the phallic type.

Similarly, in a business context, the man who strives to possess the company which he works for may be a phallic type: Just like the man mentioned above may fuse his own identity with that of his mistress, a phallic type may fuse his personal identity with the company that he works for. Other employees of similar seniority are perceived as rivals, and competing ideas about how to accomplish the same thing for the firm are perceived as personal attacks. The phallic type is competitive, forceful and assertive, but secretly has a fear of collapse and yielding that is often palpable as it sits immediately under the surface.

Owing to these dispositions, the phallic type has a knack for getting himself into situations that he lacks the resources to resolve himself: His domination steers him into uncharted waters in pursuit of the grandiose goals of domination and accomplishment that he glimpses on the horizon, yet when he later capsizes and overturns in unknown waters, he cannot turn back and admit that he made a mistake and that he that was responsible for the faulty course – for that would be a concession to the fear of collapse and yielding.

He is like a driver who, upon losing control of the car, finds himself unable to step on the brake, but slams down the speeder instead. It is like he is inflating a balloon, and as it begins to crack around the edges, he can only inflate it some more.

Sexually, the phallic type is likely to be quite normal (though he may be gloating and unduly ceremonious about sex with a new partner and for the same reason also prone to infidelity). But while normal in bed, he may be sadistic or exploitative in interpersonal affairs. Their aim is to break or incapacitate the other, so that they can dominate undauntedly. On the other hand, where the aggressive phallic type always wants to plot the course, the placid phallic plays the social imbecile with no idea of where to go.