What Is An Oral Fixation?

Oral Fixation: The oral stage, spanning from birth to 21 months, is when the infant’s pleasure centers are situated around the lips and the mouth. The first ‘love-object’ of this stage is the mother’s breast, where libidinal gratification is first granted in the pleasures of feeding. Enjoyment is further sought in the baby’s oral exploration of his or her environment, i.e. sticking things in his or her mouth, or in auto-erotic behaviors, i.e. thumb-sucking.

The key developmental experiences of this stage, where the dangers of later fixation are very prevalent, is the process of weaning, the gradual withdrawal of the child from his or her mother’s breast and the supply of milk. As well as being the child’s first experience of loss, weaning is also a key moment in the human development of self-awareness, independence, and trust. Weaning teaches a child that it does not have full control over its environment and he or she experiences the necessary limit of the self and the pleasure. The duration of this oral stage depends very much on the child-rearing traditions of the mother’s society and when it is believed weaning should begin.

What Is An Oral Fixation?

Shakira Oral Fixation Vol. 2

Why does Sherlock Holmes always have a pipe in his mouth? What is it with businessmen and fat cigars? Why is Penny Pingleton constantly sucking on lollipops in Hairspray? A possible answer to all these questions may be found in Sigmund Freud’s theories of psychosexual development and the concept of oral fixation.

According to Freud, the human personality begins its rapid development immediately from birth and is almost completely determined by the age of five. During this period, development is driven by an instinctual sexual appetite (the libido) that focuses its energies upon particular erogenous zones.

Human beings are, as Freud puts it, polymorphously perverse, meaning that infants will seek to derive pleasure from many different parts of their bodies. Freud, therefore, divides human development into five psychosexual stages, each one characterized by the erogenous zone towards which the libido focuses its desires. The five stages are the oral, the anal, the phallic, the latent, and the genital. If a desire is either under- or over-satiated during its corresponding developmental stage, fixation can occur.

Oral Fixation Definition

Freud proposed that if there is any thwarting of the infant’s libidinal desires in the oral stage, i.e. if the child’s breastfeeding is neglected or over-provided, or if he or she is weaned too late or too early, he or she may become orally-fixated as an adult. This oral fixation can manifest itself in a number of ways. It may result in a desire for constant oral stimulation such as through eating, smoking, alcoholism, nail-biting, or thumb-sucking.

fixation is a persistent focus of the id’s pleasure-seeking energies at an earlier stage of psychosexual development. These fixations occur when an issue or conflict in a psychosexual stage remains unresolved, leaving the individual focused on this stage and unable to move onto the next. For example, individuals with oral fixations may have problems with drinking, smoking, eating, or nail biting.

Oral Fixation Meaning

How does personality develop? According to the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, children go through a series of psychosexual stages that lead to the development of the adult personality. His theory described how personality developed over the course of childhood. While the theory is well-known in psychology, it has always been quite controversial, both during Freud’s time and in modern psychology.

One important thing to note is that contemporary psychoanalytic theories of personality development have incorporated and emphasized ideas about internalized relationships and interactions and the complex ways in which we maintain our sense of self into the models that began with Freud.

fixation is a persistent focus on an earlier psychosexual stage. Until this conflict is resolved, the individual will remain “stuck” in this stage. A person who is fixated at the oral stage, for example, may be over-dependent on others and may seek oral stimulation through smoking, drinking, or eating.

Thus, as a simple fact about the oral fixation psychology, it is linked to being deprived during the oral stage. This condition may involve almost anything being placed in the mouth. Thus, whatever that thing is, when the usage gets out of control, it will lead to harming one’s health.

Some children have an oral fixation due to being weaned too early or too late in the infant oral stage (with bottle, breast or pacifier). Other children may be under sensitive (hyposensitive) in their mouths and have a need or craving for more oral stimulation that they get by sucking or chewing on non-food items.

Shakira Oral Fixation

An oral fixation (also oral craving) is a fixation in the oral stage of development and manifested by an obsession with stimulating the mouth (oral), first described by Sigmund Freud.

Infants are naturally and adaptively in an oral stage, but if weaned too early or too late, there may be a subsequent failure to resolve the conflicts of this stage and to develop a maladaptive oral fixation. In later life, these people may constantly “hunger” for activities involving the mouth.

Oral fixations are considered to contribute to over-eating, being overly talkative, smoking addictions and alcoholism (known as “oral dependent” qualities). Other symptoms include a sarcastic or “biting” personality (known as “oral sadistic” qualities).

Critics of Freud’s theories doubt that such a thing as “oral fixation” can explain adult behaviors, and that subscribing to this simplistic explanation can prevent the exploration of other possible causes that may occur. Even psychoanalytically oriented practitioners have broadened their understandings of fixations beyond simple stage theory.

Oral Fixation Psychology

Psychoanalytic theory suggested that personality is mostly established by the age of five. Early experiences play a large role in personality development and continue to influence behavior later in life.

Each stage of development is marked by conflicts that can help build growth or stifle development, depending upon how they are resolved. If these psychosexual stages are completed successfully, a healthy personality is the result.

If certain issues are not resolved at the appropriate stage, fixations can occur. A fixation is a persistent focus on an earlier psychosexual stage. Until this conflict is resolved, the individual will remain “stuck” in this stage.

A person who is fixated at the oral stage, for example, may be over-dependent on others and may seek oral stimulation through smoking, drinking, or eating.

In psychology:

  • Oral stage, a term used by Sigmund Freud to describe the child’s development during the first 18 months of life, in which an infant’s pleasure centers are in the mouth.

In music:

  • Oral Fixation, an album by Lydia Lunch.
  • Fijación Oral, Vol. 1, the sixth studio album by Shakira
  • Oral Fixation, Vol. 2, the seventh studio album by Shakira
  • Oral Fixation Volumes 1 & 2, a box set by Shakira
  • Oral Fixation Tour (album), the third live album by Shakira
  • Oral Fixation Tour, a 2006–07 world tour by Shakira

Freud Oral Fixation

During the anal stage, Freud believed that the primary focus of the libido was on controlling bladder and bowel movements. The major conflict at this stage is toilet training–the child has to learn to control his or her bodily needs. Developing this control leads to a sense of accomplishment and independence.

According to Freud, success at this stage is dependent upon the way in which parents ​approach toilet training. Parents who utilize praise and rewards for using the toilet at the appropriate time encourage positive outcomes and help children feel capable and productive. Freud believed that positive experiences during this stage served as the basis for people to become competent, productive, and creative adults.

However, not all parents provide the support and encouragement that children need during this stage. Some parents instead punish, ridicule or shame a child for accidents.

According to Freud, inappropriate parental responses can result in negative outcomes. If parents take an approach that is too lenient, Freud suggested that an anal-expulsive personality could develop in which the individual has a messy, wasteful, or destructive personality. If parents are too strict or begin toilet training too early, Freud believed that an anal-retentive personality develops in which the individual is stringent, orderly, rigid, and obsessive.