John Stoltenberg is a brave man. He shines a light into the murky waters of mens' unconscious fears and desires exposing the fragility of masculinity and the injustice that underpins it.
There is a black and white argument to this book which will discomfort many men; but I believe there are some fundamental truths, many of which form so much part of the fabric of our society, we can no longer see them critically.
I don't believe Stoltenberg is trying to deny or repress sexuality, quite the reverse, he is trying to expose the ways in which it is only mens' view of sexuality that is expressed through pornography and the media, and he is critical of it. For it depicts a type of sexuality which is about domination and subordination and does not uphold any principles of justice or ethics; ' It is now assumed that by giving eroticised domination and subordination free expression, is the fullest flowering of sexual freedom'.
Why should this be?
If you are of the persuasion that men are 'naturally' this way, then you will despise this book.
But if you believe that sexuality is malleable and more on a spectrum, then you will take this book for what it is; an opportunity for men to critically look at their role in propagating a type of sexual injustice that objectifies and demeans women whilst stereotyping and patronising men.
This book is NOT about demonising men, this book is about highlighting, debating and freeing us from the above.
It is above all about the potential to change an outmoded, unjust, narrow, depressing and frankly dysfunctional perspective of sexuality, which does little to foster positive and healthy sexual attitudes between the sexes- if of course that should be of any interest to men.