By convincing us that we should be suspicious of our desire for the unforbidden pleasures, psychoanalysis may have oversimplified us, and given us an impoverished picture of our pleasure-seeking, and of ourselves as pleasure-seekers. Psychoanalysis, it seems, has repressed the unforbidden, refused to elaborate it, and wanted to not take it too seriously. Or it has simply interpreted the unforbidden as a refuge from, or a disguised, watered-down version of, the real, horrifyingly exciting thing.

It is possible that paying so much attention to forbidden pleasures grossly narrows the pleasure people can take in one another, and overdetermines and confines their moral thinking. The forbidden has perhaps been overly forbidding. What would our lives be like if we didn’t take it for granted that forbidden pleasure was real pleasure, the only real pleasure? What if we thought of people seeking a multiplicity of pleasures, without a preassumed hierarchy?

Adam Phillips, Unforbidden Pleasures, in ”Red Light Therapy”