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Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 7, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
What I did not know about John Cheever --- and what he very much feared I did --- was that he was bi-sexual, probably leaning more toward gay. Had I known this, I would never have written it, nor would the Times have published it. This was 1979, when gays were beautiful young men in discos.
Secrets run in families. Susan Cheever struck me as a talented young writer; like any number of children of the famous and troubled, she seemed to want nothing more than to do her work and have a quiet life. It seemed absolutely right that she would write a biography of Bill Wilson, the father of Alcoholics Anonymous, the program that saved her father. And I'd admire anyone who could write a book called "American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau".
So it was quite a surprise to open 'Desire'and discover this was more than a smart third-person exploration of sexual addiction. It's also a first-person account of four decades of personal trouble. Susan Cheever's parents had told her she was unattractive and would have a hard time finding a husband. She found three --- and countless lovers. "Whenever there was a crisis," she writes, "I found a man to help me take the edge off the feelings of helplessness and pain.Read more ›
In 'Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction' Susan Cheever has given us an entrance into the world of all addicts and what it means to be addicted. In the end, she says," there are no easy answers. A straight look about some crooked feelings. Desire shows us the difference between the addiction that cripples our emotions, and healthy, empowering love that enhances our lives."
In this book, we learn that Susan has been an alcoholic and a sex addict. She has detailed the conversations she had with experts in neuroscience and psychology of addictive behavior. People who are addicted to alcohol, sex and drugs share common traits. Some sort of "otherworldly suspension of will" comes over addicts, and they cannot stop themselves nor do they understand at the moment the will is not there. In fact many addicts are attracted to more than one agent. Many alcoholics smoke. Food addicts who have gained so much weight they need gastric by-pass surgery, find that after losing weight they may turn to gambling, or alcohol or sex. One addiction may lead to another. A person who has a predilection to addiction, may go for years without acting out on that addiction, and then one day, bam, it has started. There is a loss of will from the activation of similar brain pathways no matter what the fix is.Read more ›
The author amply demonstrates that sexual addicts are given to the behaviors of lying, secretiveness, broken promises, obsessiveness, self-destructiveness, remorse, and the like, much as do other addicts. Likewise, there is evidence that there are genetic predispositions to most addictions, as well as similarities in brain reactions to addictive behaviors and withdrawals across the spectrum of addictions. Though not elaborated, sexual addiction is somewhat unique in that a substance is not involved and the behavior, even copious amounts, is considered normal and essential for life. The propagation of species depends on strong sex drives.
Another factor in naming activities "addictions" is the changing social environment and tolerance for behaviors. At one time in our history, excessive use of tobacco, overeating, and drinking were hardly viewed in the same manner as today. Furthermore, the sting is taken out of the word by its use to describe intense interest in all types of activities.
Sexual addiction is extremely difficult to determine. Multiple sex partners, open marriages, and the like are hardly atypical in modern society.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ms Cheever writes an amazing analysis of the components of addiction. She includes both her personal and familial experience, and a very useful smattering of analysis from the... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Perspectivalism
brave of Susan to write it to speak it to acknowlede it to share it and it was very readable tooPublished on December 28, 2012 by Ace
Susan Cheever gives a lot of good information about addiction in general while focusing specifically on sexual addiction, but nothing she says is earth shattering or unique. Read morePublished on November 13, 2012 by William C. Sain
Good reading. Very imformative, not only about sex addition but a great teaching/learning experience of all addictions. Hits the nail right on the head.Published on September 11, 2011 by eli8319
I agree that Susan Cheever is a good writer. I believe she wrote a delightful and insightful book on the nature of sexual desire. So why would I give it only three stars? Read morePublished on October 12, 2010 by G. Stucco
Susan Cheever muses about her own life and shares personal stories and insight in her new book, Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction. Read morePublished on January 27, 2009 by Stephen T. Hopkins
Based on the title of the book, the cover art and the corresponding media hype, I really thought that there would be more than a bare modicum of candid erotic revelations. Read morePublished on January 20, 2009 by Cary B. Barad
This book is excellent. I suggest anyone read Ms. Cheaver's self analysis for clarity in dealing with her compulsive behavior. Read morePublished on December 16, 2008 by R. P. Bowles
I found Cheever's depiction of her sex life interesting because it opened me to a previously unknown world. Read morePublished on December 5, 2008 by Michael Swift