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Dancing Around the Volcano: Freeing Our Erotic Lives: Decoding the Enigma of Gay Men and Sex Paperback – September 16, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Kettelhack, a 40-something gay man in New York City whose brother recently died of AIDS, is not unaware of the implications of having sex as a gay man in the U.S. today. It is therefore significant that this author of several self-help and recovery books so strongly advocates a reasoned return to the unbridled sexuality of the 1970s. This book is part of a growing trend among gay writers and thinkers militating against the fear that has infiltrated the sex lives of gay men since the mid-1980s. And like Douglas Sadownick's recent Sex Between Men and Frank Browning's 1993 Culture of Desire, Kettelhack's book is an intimate, evenly argued, entertaining celebration of the variety of gay male sexuality. Though he introduces a Jekyll-and-Hyde dichotomy early in the book to illustrate the gap that often exists between a gay man's sexual life and his working and personal life, Kettelhack's discussion manages to reflect the complexity of the human condition. And though he hasn't sufficiently contextualized or assimilated the psychoanalysis to which he anchors significant portions of his argument, the book is still a success.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Kettelhack, a prolific author of self-help books for gay men (Sober and Free, LJ 12/95), here explores the ways that gay men use sex: as a form of recreation, as a way to meet others socially, and as a way to explore the darker, more mysterious realms of the psyche. He sets out to examine the "sharp and profound sense of what it means to have an 'outer' and an 'inner' self?especially with regard to sex." Of particular interest to the author are men who have achieved a breakthrough and healed an aching inner wound. Along the way, he augments the narrative with stories of how some have achieved sexual intimacy and fulfillment through the recognition and acceptance of the complex nature of sexual desire. To help him express his arguments, the author relies on an impressive choir of thinkers and writers?Marguerite Yourcenar, Carl Jung, and Camille Paglia, among others. This book is recommended for libraries with gay and lesbian research collections or large self-help psychology collections.?Kevin M. Roddy, Univ. of Hawai'i at Hilo Lib.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kettelhack's discourse, a part of his own process of self-discovery, serves to make gay men stand back and try to throw away the bulk of society's anti-sex conditioning while they evaluate the role of sex and aggression in their own lives.
There are cogent arguments presented that show the amount, place, and aggressiveness of every gay man's sexual encounters are not up for judgement by anyone other than that man and his sexual partner. This is very a refreshing outlook in a current society that continues to self-censor it's most basic sexual instincts, even in the more "liberated" gay community. In fact, Kettelhack's book shows that sometimes members of the gay community can be even more self-censoring in their sex lives for fear of what straight society thinks.
Dancing Around the Volcano doesn't advocate the sole position that all sex is good under all circumstances. It makes steps to educate the reader that decisions about one's sexual habits are can only be made by the person and their *honest* and *true* feelings, and should not be influenced by what society perceives as pathology. Kettelhack demonstrates that each person can be different and everyone is free to make their own decisions. Through case studies, examples are given of men releasing themselves from the burdens of society's mores on gay sex, as well as examples of men who decide they are honestly for themselves pursuing an unhealthy sex life and decide to change it.