Are we therefore still so much in the dark regarding sex that, more than a century later, we feel no more confident of knowing how to name its place in psychoanalysis, yet prefer to return to its pre-psychoanalytic appellation? This, it should not be forgotten, betrays the desire to cast a veil over what it unveils by naming: the genital ‘thing’ which was spoken of by Charcot. Subsequently Lacan, after a detour via Heidegger, gave another meaning to the thing, to isolate better that which, because of references to the object and its relation in contemporary psychoanalysis, had been lost along the way. Indeed, it is true that the slide towards the conception of object relations—as Fairbaim himself, its very inventor, admitted—reflected the opposition to what was considered an unacceptable hedonism: the theory of the libido. It was necessary to return to more rational terrain, and no doubt also to salvage morality. Henceforth, the search for pleasure would be replaced by that of the object. To what end? To guarantee that the human social bond would remain the essential goal, to take comfort in the idea that dependence on the guardianship of the adult would always be the dominant objective. Here was something to relativise the notion of an ineducable sexual drive, to allow a guarantee of the priority of love for one’s neighbour, and finally to give authority to a re-engagement with the requirements of a programme of domestication, for the common good of community relations. None of this was publicly announced, but this was certainly the direction in which object relations theory was to develop. In itself, the programme is steeped in good intentions. It gives the psychoanalyst a good conscience. It has only one drawback: it is totally illusory, at odds with the facts, and inconsistent. Not that it must be rejected without further consideration; simply, the relegation of the sexual to a subordinate rank, or the blindness of perceiving nothing of it but that which has broken through to the surface of consciousness, these are the surest ways to leave intact the conflicts in which it participates, where the most intractable effects grow more serious.