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Comment: Condition: As New condition., As new condition dust jacket. Binding: Hardcover / Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing Publisher: Basic Books / Pub. Date: 2008-02-04 Attributes: Book, 512 pp / Stock#: 2066190 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies Hardcover – February 4, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to London psychotherapist and clinical researcher Kahr, virtually every sexually mature adult generates sexual fantasies that fulfill a wide variety of often unconscious psychological needs. What is the stuff of British and American erotic fantasies? Rape, infidelity, homosexuality, pedophilia, incest and, apparently for some Brits, kinky sex with the queen and Margaret Thatcher. For a 2005 British television documentary on the subject, Kahr collected data from 13,000 adults via a computer-administered questionnaire, supplemented with 122 face-to-face interviews. In 2006, he also surveyed approximately 3,000 American men and women. A building contractor's strip-poker masturbatory fantasy, says Kahr, signifies hostility toward women, tracing back to a father who quickly remarried a hottie after his young wife's death. A heterosexual woman's lesbian fantasies represent an attempt to recreate a family unit in which parents wield a more benign sexuality than her own abusive parents did. A happily married costume designer's fantasies turn unpleasant memories of sexual abuse by a learning-disabled older brother into a highly arousing experience. Some will no doubt find the subject matter titillating, but Kahr approaches his interviewees with respect and decorum. His prose is unabashedly enthusiastic and sometimes overwritten, and although his analyses are perceptive, the material is mostly familiar and unsurprising. (Feb. 4)
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About the Author

Brett Kahr is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London. He writes frequently for British newspapers, including the Independent on Sunday, the Sunday Express, and the Stage, and lectures all around the world. His research on sexual fantasy began when he was asked to consult on a six-part documentary on the subject that aired on England's Sky Television. This is his first trade book. He lives in London, England.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (February 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465037666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465037667
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on January 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a lengthy and informative look at both the psychology of sexual fantasies and a compilation of common fantasies by category. It is very readable, interesting and sheds light on the unconscious processes that give rise to all kinds of sexual fantasies.

While I didn't count the actual pages, I would estimate that approximately 100 pages is on underlying psychology with the remainder of the book comprised of the fantasies themselves. If you have ever wondered whether what you are thinking is typical, normal or unusual... you may get a lot out of reading this.

I have done psychological research in this area and I also have a graduate background in biology. In my opinion, the best concise book on this topic is The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment. I found this title complementary and ideally for a topic as complete as this you would almost certainly want to read both.

Although this book... The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating is NOT directly about this area, it provides context, more information on some of the underlying evolutionary hardwiring and is also complementary to this title.

If you have read Nancy Friday's books. You will find the general format of this book familiar. However, this author goes more in-depth and this is certainly a bit heavier, but equally interesting and perhaps more interesting than the many books by Nancy Friday. In fact, I would classify Nancy Friday's titles as primarily erotica with a secondary focus on underlying psychology.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I think that most people have sex lives that they are fairly happy with, and it surprises me to learn that 90% of the people out there are sexual fantasists, routinely screening some sort of interior porn film in their heads just for the sake of getting off. If you ever feel ashamed of having such fantasies, prepare to have an uplifting experience in reading _Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head? The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies_ (Basic Books) by Brett Kahr. The author is a psychotherapist working for over twenty years in a fairly classical Freudian tradition, but in 2003 he began to add to his clinical experience of fantasies by means of the British Sexual Fantasy Research Project, which eventually included American subjects as well, some twenty thousand subjects in total. Some of the research was done by exhaustive five-hour interviews and some was done on-line; the project is continuing, and the book includes the web address for participation if you'd like to help with some interesting research. And it is interesting. Many pages in this big book are devoted to verbatim reports of fantasies, which Kahr warns will cause in readers either sexual arousal or embarrassment; he could also have included shock and also laughter, for no one else has fantasies like your own, and the fantasies of those _other_ people, well, they can be downright weird. That so many people participate in this hidden activity must mean that it does something for our species, and for our sex lives, and besides commenting on the general purpose of fantasies, Kahr analyzes their purpose and meaning for individuals in many cases.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vladimir Kozicki on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have rightly pointed out, if you have any doubt that your sexual fantasies may be odd, if not `perverted' and, mostly, that you are the only one to have them, Brett Kahr's Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head will no doubt comfort you.

Kahr here presents a veritable smorgasbord of the human sexual imagination, from the tamest sexual fantasy ("I fantasise about making love to my wife') to what some might arguably think is seriously disturbing, and disturbed.

However, if you are hoping, as I was, for a sustained analysis of the origins of our sexual fantasies, you may find Kahr's exposé wanting in several respects.

First off, Kahr is not only a psychoanalyst, but his admiration for Freud, which he gleefully shares as early as he can in his book, soon borders on veritable idolatry. But more annoying still is the ease with which he aligns himself with the supposed brilliance of the Viennese patriarch. Applied to the interpretation of sexual fantasies, the whole thing becomes downright frustrating.

There is something of a self-fulfilling prophesy in Freudian thinking; to use it's own jargon, something that smacks of wish-fulfillment. Psychoanalytic interpretations have the almost inevitable tendency of becoming circular arguments: we know this is why people do this or that; they do this or that; therefore, our interpretations are right. (The most famous example of this was Freud's belief that the very resistance he had encountered to his life's work was proof that he was right. Then again, you have to admire someone with that much self-confidence.) To this day, Freudian theories remain improvable.
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