John Heidenry, a former editor at Penthouse Forum
, has lived on the frontlines of the sexual revolution and knows whereof he writes in What Wild Ecstasy: The Rise and Fall of the Sexual Revolution.
. Despite its bodice-ripper title, the book is a serious look at modern sexual mores and issues. Heidenry is unabashedly pro-sex, but responsibly so. As he chronicles the coming of age of sexology, the growth of pop-culture pornography in Screw
magazine or the film Deep Throat,
and the legal battles fought by gays and lesbians, he is as forthcoming about the idiocies his subjects often fall into as he is about their heroics. He gives equally scathing treatment to people he views as crass opportunists (the porn-star John Holmes, for example) and anti-sex moralists on the right.
Heidenry is particularly sympathetic toward those who occupy the margins of mainstream sexuality--the bisexuals, transsexuals, and homosexuals, the prostitutes and pornographers. In these cases, he focuses on shared qualities: a need for love, for pleasure, for intimacy. What Wild Ecstasy is a frank, humane, and open-minded discussion of a subject that many people still find it difficult to talk about. Readers who approach Heidenry's book in the same spirit in which he writes will find, perhaps to their surprise, that underneath all the hoopla surrounding the sexual revolution, sex is still just one part of life, not the whole enchilada.
From Library Journal
This is an interesting, well-written account of an aspect of popular culture that still generates controversy?the so-called sexual revolution that began in the Sixties. Heidenry, former editor of Penthouse Forum, writes an entertaining account of the developments in the field of human sexuality from 1965 to the present. He discusses sex research, pornography, sexual minority groups, and contemporary sexual movements and their adherents and opponents. Readers will learn about the pill, abortion, Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, and Ted McIlvenna, as well as Annie Sprinkle, Bob Guccione, Hugh Hefner, Al Goldstein, and Larry Flynt. The author strives for balance in presenting the views of religious fundamentalists and both liberal and radical feminists, along with those who favor total sexual freedom. He also provides an extensive list of sources. At a time when the First Amendment and personal civil liberties are threatened, this timely book is highly recommended for all collections.?Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.