According to some of the most renowned psychoanalysts and psychologists, Freud among them, train travel anxiety is connected to libido problems.
Train travel and sexualilty don’t seem to be related, upon first thought. However, some of the foremost psychoanalysts and psychologists have theorized the opposite.
This is nothing new, as we’re talking about Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Stekel, and Karl Abraham, among others.
Here’s the gist:
There’s a link between the pleasurable clickety-clack and gentle rocking of traveling by train and feelings of sexual arousal. Also, if a man is feeling particularly repressed sexually, said man may also find themselves scared of train travel.
Here’s the father of psychoanalysis in his own words (translated into English from German):
What a doozy, huh?
Karl Abraham, a German psychoanalyst and Freud colleague regarded as his “best pupil,” had even more to say on this very specific connection:
Abraham connects the a patient’s fear of their inability to control a train with a sexual loss of control.
In a book on traveling by train during the 1800s, Wolfgang Schivelbusch sums it up even better:
Makes sense, I guess.
And finally, the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Stekel to run it off the rails:
I’ve always been fascinated myself by trains, from begging my father to take me to the model train store when I was a kid to it still being my preferred form of transport on a trip.
I guess I’ve a healthy coital disposition, according to the greats, right?
Side note: I felt guilty writing this travel blog article on the psychological aspect of train travel and sexuality when it specifically relates to men instead of everyone. I know that back in the day, and still to the present, even learned thinkers were more keen (at best) to study the male side of the species, and I hate to promote that here. However, I found it to be an interesting story for its scientific value, and travel related, so I went ahead and wrote this. Hope I don’t offend anyone or cause anyone to think that this website is in any way geared only towards men!
Well, what do you think? Are you a rail junkie who sees a connection? Do you hate train travel and get what those guys were talking about? Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!
Christian Eilers is a travel and career advice writer who constantly loves to learn about the world through traveling, cultural stories, reading, and education. A native of New York City, when he is not traveling, he can find an abundance of cultural influences right in his own city, enough to keep him satisfied until the next country's beckon cannot be ignored any longer.