The anal stage is the second stage in Sigmund Freud 's theory of psychosexual development , taking place approximately between the ages 18 months and three years. According to Freud, the anus is the primary erogenous zone and pleasure is derived from controlling bladder and bowel movement. The major conflict issue during this stage is toilet training. A fixation at this stage can result in a personality that is too rigid or one that is too disordered. According to Freud's theory, personality is developed through a series of stages throughout childhood. Freud believed in the libido, which he referred to as psychosexual energy.