The Pornographer's Grief: And Other Tales of Human Sexuality

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9780060166373: The Pornographer's Grief: And Other Tales of Human Sexuality

A Harvard psychiatrist and expert on human sexuality shares some of his most fascinating cases, covering sexual behavior, drugs, trauma, and religious repression.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

From the files of a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist: ten uninteresting cases centering on sexual problems. Glenmullen contends that recent rapid changes in society's sexual attitudes have created confusion and conflict for many individuals, who are uncertain how to make sense of these changes and how know what values to apply to sexuality. As a psychiatrist, the author is privy to a multitude of sexual conflicts, and here he demonstrates how he gets to the bottom of these problems. Glenmullen has changed names, altered details, even borrowed dreams and images from other cases to create his case histories, which--with their lengthy passages of dialogue- -often read like fiction. In the title case, a young man discovers that his addiction to late-night walks to a porn shop to buy dirty magazines serves as a link to the porn-reading father who abandoned him years before. In ``The Acrobat's Stocking,'' another young man comes to understand why condoms have been ruining his sexual performance. The title of another ``tale,'' ``The Woman Who Thought Her Orgasm Was a Gift,'' invites comparison to Oliver Sacks's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, but Glenmullen's sex-oriented cases don't have the magnetism of Sacks's neurological ones, and Glenmullen can't match Sacks's gift for words. Although the collection's title may attract some readers, these cases aren't at all titillating--nor, unfortunately, very compelling: The patients lack human dimension, and their problems scarcely seem noteworthy. Even sex, it seems, can be dull. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

These tales from psychotherapy gracefully demonstrate Glenmullen's thesis "that sexual issues and symptoms are metaphors for the larger psychological stresses and strains in an individual's life." Describing cases taken from his private practice, the Harvard Medical School professor unravels the often complex symptoms that bring troubled patients to him for help. In the title piece, a young man disturbed over his compulsion to buy pornographic magazines gradually connects that behavior to his longings for the father who abandoned him. In another tale, a woman who has been traumatized by witnessing a violent fight between two men is able, after unrelenting effort, to remember an event from childhood that has proven central to her life. Glenmullen's accounts also touch on sexual problems that have physical origins--such as the side effects of medication--and those related to conflicts caused by infertility. These absorbing narratives chronicle the ultimate effectiveness of unhurried, steady psychotherapeutic excavation in relieving the pain of sexual dysfunction.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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