Turned on: Intimacy in a Pornized Society Paperback – 20 Jun 2010
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Although deeply shocking at many levels, I was left with a feeling of sadness and compassion for both parties. Marc and Louise [the main characters in the book] are victims of their past and their present. Refreshingly, the male isn't demonised with only the woman being seen as victim. The gender issues raised were based on fact rather than emotion. The author has realistically portrayed the role of the therapist, whose thoughts run alongside the content. While this book might be anxiety provoking for some, it is sensitively written, non-judgemental and ultimately a story of hope. --Pat Mills (MBACP accred), psychodynamic therapeutic counsellor
About the Author
Duncan E. Stafford is a professional psychotherapist, counsellor, mentor and hypnotherapist living and practising in Cambridge, UK. He studied developmental psychology as part of his first degree and undertook his initial counsellor training with the University of Cambridge. 'Turned On: intimacy in a pornized society' is Duncan's first full-length book, although he has written for professional publications on issues as diverse as men and eating disorders and the supervision process.
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I began reading it at about 5:30 yesterday evening, thinking I'd read a few pages and then break to do some other things. Wrong. I read the first 151 pages straight through, took a dinner break, and then finished off the rest at around 10:30 PM. I could not put it down. This is brilliant work.
As I was reading, I kept a running list of words that came to mind as I made my way through the book. Here's what I wrote:
"Turned On" is a dark journey, to be sure, and not for the faint of heart or those who may be offended or disturbed by a frank presentation of the shadow side of human sexual experience. But more importantly, in my view, it is a journey of awakening to the possibilities of healing and positive change that can only come with a fully felt awareness of the truths of oneself, one's history, and one's life. And that is a journey well-taken.
Author, Iron Man Family Outing: Poems About Transition Into A More Conscious Manhood
As a therapist, it's a hugely useful tool for getting you the information on this secret world. For users, I'm sure it might create a level of support through offering a narrative of a very difficult-to-navigate part of life. If you are the partner of a user who does not know much about the porno world, then I'm certain it might be an education and show that there might be hope - all is not lost - recovery can happen even in this dark area of human nature. Well worth a place on the bookshelf.
'TURNED ON' does, however, give therapists a safe vehicle from which to explore what is for many unchartered and dangerous territory. I found there was considerable learning to be had from reading the book a second time - enabling me to see beyond the content and into the feeling.
It is a "must read" for any therapist who has reservations about their ability to work in this area as well as being a novel of hope for victims, like its characters Marc and Louise, who are at a stage where they are ready to contemplate the possibility of change.