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Sex and the Psyche: The Truth About Our Most Secret Fantasies [Paperback]

Brett Kahr
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Feb 2008

What's going on in your head when you go to bed?

We talk about sex increasingly openly today, but when it comes to our most private fantasies it's often a different matter. Here Psychotherapist Brett Kahr examines the little-known world of our sexual imaginations. He has undertaken Britain's biggest every sex survey, with responses from over 19,000 adults, to explore questions such as:

. Why do people fantasize?

. Can our fantasies ever be damaging or dangerous?

. Should we tell our partners about them?

. Do men and women fantasize differently?

. What do our fantasies tell us about ourselves?

This frank and fascinating account will help you understand for the first time what our unspoken desires and secret thoughts really mean. It is a book for anyone interested in human relationships and what makes us tick, opening up the hidden worlds inside all of us.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141024844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141024844
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

`A book people pick up and don't want to give back' -- Evening Standard

`A mesmerizing compendium' -- Time Out

`Fascinating'
-- Guardian

`The new Kinsey ... Brett Kahr has uncovered the fantasies that fuel our sex lives, and what they tell us about ourselves' -- Observer

About the Author

Brett Kahr is Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, and the Winnicott Clinic Senior Research Fellow at the Winnicott Clinic of Psychotherapy. Having worked for many years as a Registered Psychotherapist and as a Registered Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, he recognised the need for a full-scale research study on the origins and functions of sexual fantasy. The results of his five-year research project form the basis of this book. Additionally, he is Visiting Clinician and Lecturer at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, and the Chair of the Society of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists. He maintains a private practice for individuals and couples in North London.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Fantasies 16 May 2008
If both The Observer and the Evening Standard can be on the jacket of a book praising it, then watch out. Although it is described as "the new Kinsey", (I have not read the original Kinsey), if this is what Kinsey is like, then Kinsey was over-rated. Nevertheless, the book is interesting and informative. The author's virtue is that he attempts to be non-judgemental and acknowledges, just before it is too late, the shortcomings and weaknesses of the methodology adopted.

I was annoyed by the first part of the book, when describing the methodology and antecedents it was far too story like and not enough straight reportage. There were too many adjectives about "courageous" Kinsey and "brave" Nancy Friday. Really, these researchers from decades ago were just doing a job they got paid for. Bravery and courage had nothing to do with it. The overuse of adjectives aside, the text is readable.

The meat of the book, which is the fantasies and their interpretation, is best left to the reader, as it is too fascinating, fabulous and occasionally humorous. That people have fantasies, I have no doubt. What I do find a weakness in method, is the type of people who divulge fantasies freely may be already of a certain disposition or wanting to make a certain pre-conceived point. I know that Kahr has tried to counter this as best he can through YouGov, but throughout my reading there was always a doubt nagging me about the good faith of some contributors. I think only more surveys will actually prove or disprove the results. My second problem with the contents is the Freudian emphasis on the origins of fantasy being the result of trauma - that is trauma defines what our fantasies will be like. I find the weakness here is that people's fantasies change over time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Authors Arrogance put me off 11 Dec 2008
I only managed about three quarters of this book before the authors arrogance finally put me off. Statements like " I, of course, realised ...." rather than just saying "I realised" finally did it for me. Plus the general impression that fantasies were frowned upon and are only caused by traumatic events was slightly worrying.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 14 Feb 2008
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I've done nine years of psychotherapy, so I'm primed to comprehend the material in this book. In fact, it's been something of a watershed for me; a lot of stuff has suddenly come together, been connected, makes sense.

I suspect people without experience of psychotherapy will find the Freudian concepts here a lot to swallow at first glance!

The book is just amazing - I literally couldn't put it down. I mean, I don't put books down anyway, but this book I *extra* couldn't put down. I should have been working, but I was reading, because I had to.

I learned why I fantasize about what I fantasize about - I saw exactly where those thoughts came from. I now understand; and I got that from this book.
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