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Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies Paperback – January 18, 2003
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Bader also interprets common sex fantasies and discusses sexual boredom in ongoing relationships, the power of pathogenic (irrational and self-defeating) beliefs, and sexual fantasies as a therapeutic key to problems that seem independent of sexuality, such as depression.
This provocative book is scholarly yet accessible to the lay reader interested in psychology. Although readers might be drawn in by the gritty, sexy details about Bader's patients, thoughtful readers also will learn about themselves and what their own fantasies may be addressing and revealing. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Each of the fantasies profiled has a very logical premise that Bader explains clearly and believably. For instance, the feminist fantasized about being raped because she felt stronger than most men, and only in the arms of the fantasy rapist - who was all muscles and ruthless about taking what he wanted - could she just think about herself and surrender to her own excitement. With her own husband, she didn't feel nearly as comfortable about being selfish sexually (she was instinctively sensitive to his feelings), and thus didn't experience the same level of arousal as in her fantasies.
Bader makes an interesting distinction - between people who have fantasies, and people who act on their fantasies. I would have enjoyed seeing him go into greater detail in this area. However, his explorations regarding the background of various common fantasies - domination, submission, masochism, sadism, fetishism, underage, invisibility (and myriad others) - more than make up for this lapse.
This book is wonderful for anyone who is curious about the underpinnings of their fantasies, or who is interested in how a psychoanalyst might dissect those same fantasies (and then put that understanding to work). The book is fascinating, provocative and well worth checking out.
Thus, we can interpret sexual fantasies just as we interpret dreams: as symbols within which our complex needs and fears are encoded.
This book presents an enlightening perspective from which we can begin to understand our own sexual fantasies and preferences. Dr. Bader goes in-depth in exploring guilt, worry, and shame in sexuality; discusses the paradoxical nature of arousal -- the need for both selflessness and selfishness, for instance -- and presents a number of case studies to illustrate.
I'm not certain why other reviewers thought this book was too simplistic. Certainly the central thesis seems simple enough, but I found myself having difficulty following the internal logic of the patients in his case studies -- women who fantasize about being raped, cross-dressers, people who are into sadomasochism or "golden showers," etc. Although everyone seeks emotional safety, the variety of ways each person achieves this is staggering.
As someone who constantly searches for aids to my self-awareness, I had two basic reactions to this book. One was, "Duh, why didn't I think of this before?" The other was, "Wow, this is good stuff." To have an experienced therapist explore the topic in detail helped me to see the depth and complexity of what seems to be very simple on the surface, and provides a solid starting point for those who want to explore the issue more in-depth within themselves.
While this book has some value, especially for people who may not have read much in this area, I thought it was superficial. It wasn't complex enough for a psychotherapy audience and it didn't seem to be a good fit for the popular psyche market either.
I think one would get a better and clearer understanding from Jack Morin's book "Your Erotic Mind." I don't know of anything better out there on this topic. The two authors approach the subject differently, so if you own this book already, you may want to consider a different perspective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got a lot from this book. I'd especially recommend it to men with intense sexual fantasies who struggle to engage the woman in their life with all of their sexuality. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Stephen Vanek
Such important acknowledgement of an aspect of life that is shrouded in secrecy, and for many, shame.Published 8 months ago by Sunshine
You know how when you reach deadlock with a situation and just want to give up.... I was there. Something about this book I simply could not put it down and now my 12 year... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Brandi Shaw
I recommend this book to my clients all the time, people who feel guilt or confusion about their sexuality or what turns them on, if they worry about being too selfish or giving as... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Kendra Holliday
This book is an excellent read for clinicians and non-clinicians alike. Dr. Bader provides an excellent theory for understanding what excites us and why we have the sexual... Read morePublished on October 20, 2013 by ChrisO
This was a super fun read. It is very interesting to consider how our lives impact our fantasy world. Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Christina
If you are looking to find out about fantasies and why each of us has them this is the book for you to read.Published on December 20, 2012 by Sandra Reishus
The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies
(New York: St. Martin's Press, 2002) 293 pages
(ISBN: 0-312-26933-1; hardcover)
(Library... Read more