Thomas W. At a time when almost any victimless sexual practice has its public advocates and almost every sexual act is fit for the front page, the easiest, least harmful, and most universal one is embarrassing, discomforting, and genuinely radical when openly acknowledged. Masturbation may be the last taboo. But this is not a holdover from a more benighted age.
Solitary Sex | Princeton University Press
At a time when almost any victimless practice has its public advocates and almost every sexual act is front-page news, the easiest and least harmful one is embarrassing, discomforting, and genuinely radical when openly acknowledged. But this has not always been the case. The ancient world cared little about masturbation: it was of no great concern in Jewish and Christian teaching about sexuality. In fact, as Thomas Laqueur dramatically shows, solitary sex as an important medical and moral issue can be dated with a precision rare in cultural history: the solitary vice, self-pollution, or self-abuse came into being around
Solitary Sex : A Cultural History of Masturbation
Spanking the monkey? Dipping into the honeypot? This week, a cultural history of the world's most common solo sexual practice, masturbation.
Modern masturbation--and this is Laqueur's brilliant point--was the creature of the Enlightenment Laqueur's courageous cultural history and it took courage, even now, to write this book makes it abundantly clear why for Proust--and for ourselves--the celebration of the imagination has to include a place for solitary sex. Laqueur's brilliant study takes this topic in sexual studies--the rise and fall of masturbation as a sexual pathology--and subjects it to the best sort of contemporary historical scholarship, combining historical detective work and detailed explication with a long view. A long, thoughtful meditation on privacy, solitude, the imagination and what Mr.