Solitary sex

Duration: 10min 49sec Views: 1014 Submitted: 04.03.2019
Category: Indian
Tags: solitary+sex
Distributed for Zone Books. A historical account of masturbation as a moral issue and cultural taboo. At a time when almost any victimless sexual practice has its public advocates and almost every sexual act is fit for the front page, the easiest, least harmful, and most universal one is embarrassing, discomforting, and genuinely radical when openly acknowledged. Masturbation may be the last taboo. But this is not a holdover from a more benighted age.

Solitary Sex

Solitary Sex | The MIT Press

Welcome sign in sign up. Two years ago, when I was chairing a large Harvard undergraduate program called History and Literature, I had what seemed to me at the time a bright idea. We had a regular forum in which we scheduled lectures by distinguished visiting scholars whose work boldly crossed disciplinary boundaries. I would invite my friend and former Berkeley colleague Thomas Laqueur, who was, I knew, working on an ambitious new book that brought together the history of medicine with cultural history, psychology, theology, and literature. Discovery or invention: the shared understanding of the difference between men and women was transformed, Laqueur argued, less because of empirical discoveries than because of a complex social reevaluation. Small wonder then that he seemed a person whose writings and lecture would enliven the semester for the undergraduates in History and Literature. In fact he did enliven the semester, but a strange thing happened along the way: there was a tremendous outbreak of the jitters.

Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation

At a time when almost any victimless sexual practice has its public advocates and almost every sexual act is fit for the front page, the easiest, least harmful, and most universal one is embarrassing, discomforting, and genuinely radical when openly acknowledged. Masturbation may be the last taboo. But this is not a holdover from a more benighted age. The ancient world cared little about the subject; it was a backwater of Jewish and Christian teaching about sexuality.
At a time when almost any victimless sexual practice has its public advocates and almost every sexual act is fit for the front page, the easiest, least harmful, and most universal one is embarrassing, discomforting, and genuinely radical when openly acknowledged. Masturbation may be the last taboo. But this is not a holdover from a more benighted age.