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Auto-Eroticism (Kegan Paul Library of Sexual Life)

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0710308948
ISBN-10: 0710308949
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Product Details

  • Series: Kegan Paul Library of Sexual Life
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (May 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0710308949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0710308948
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,701,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Chris Ward VINE VOICE on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This ground-breaking work on masturbation provides dozens of case histories compiled by Stekel to make the point that the practice was NOT EVIL! Good heavens! When this book was written, in the 1940s, "self-abuse" was presumed to cause all sorts of aberrant behavior and to be evidence of mental instability. Besides, it was NASTY. Well, Stekel's thesis is that masturbation isn't just not bad, it's good-- putting him at the absolute forefront of enlightened thinking at the time.

It's an accessibly-written treatise with much good writing (in translation, anyway), and my edition has an introduction by the notorious Frederick Wertham, much maligned for claiming that comic books caused children to become juvenile delinquents. (Based on his writing here, he'd have preferred the little nippers to have spent their time in frottage.)

Here's a quote from the book: "Educators should bear in mind also that what is forbidden becomes thereby enhanced in value as a stimulant. Taboos increase the pleasure expectation. On the other hand it is much easier to achieve the desired end by permitting moderate indulgence. In fact, I believe that if it were commonly permitted masturbation would lose most of its charm!" (pg 202)

If you're studying sexual mores in mid-century, check this out as well as Kinsey and Horney and Berne.
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