I liked this book. As someone with research and clinical interests in sexuality I get to read many texts, some impossibly academic, some overly simplistic or naieve. This book is both highly readable and academically intelligent. I'd say it is ideally suited to anyone in the counselling and psychotherapy business as it helps present a balanced and thougthful way of looking at an area of intrapersonal life that is so often shrouded in secrecy, shame and taboo. Case vignettes offer interesting points of illustration to the authors ideas. Enjoy this book and then save up and treat yourself to another absolute essential read: Safe, Sane and Consensual: Contemporary Perspectives on Sadomasochism
Arousal is one of many books that attempts to unlock the `secret' behind our deepest, and most private thoughts, desires and fantasies in an accessible format that will suit therapists, individuals, couples and lay people interested in the subject . Why are fantasies such a taboo subject that makes us blush just to even think about them? Why have societal views over the centuries driven what was once a normal, accepted manner of passionate interaction between lovers into a contemptible abnormality? Private desires have been turned into a frenzy of punitive perversions that have caused significant damage to people's development of their own self identity, but also to how they relate to each other from a deep sense of shame, guilt and helplessness about what are essentially natural and normal desires. Dr Bader takes the reader gently through our own rationales and questions about why we feel and think in certain ways about love and sex, and emphasises that not only is what we feel normal and healthy, but that it is vital for our `psychological safety'. Arousal is peppered with vignettes from Dr Bader's work, which enables the reader to access real life case studies about normal, everyday people with sometimes extraordinary fantasies - and takes the reader through the journey of a fantasy and how it takes form from an innocent thought to a potentially maleficent entity if it gets out of hand. A highly recommended and accessible text that enables the reader to understand why guilt, shame and anxiety play such a large part in the breakdown of intimacy in relationships, and why, perhaps, society is turning ever readily to the rapid influx of porn thus adding to the damage being caused to that most precious thing, Love. This texts gives an insight into why we feel what we feel, and it allows the reader to accept what they feel is on the whole normal (Dr Bader makes the distinction between private fantasies between consenting adults, and those that are unacceptable where harm to another is concerned). Finally a refreshing text that gives credit to a pioneer in the field of sexual fantasies and growth, Nancy Friday.
I thought this book was brilliant and very insightful. It felt it was very easy to read. I read it in three or four days and I would have read it all in one sitting only that it all too often gave me so much to think about that I just had to take a break. It has been one of the best books (not just in it's catorgory) I've read in the last 5 years. I very highly recommend it.
This is definitely one of the best books on sex and on psychology in generaly. The author is a psychoanalyst who does not tow the Freudian line and sees sexual fantasies as ways of reaching a position of safety. I felt very assured reading the book. Highly recommended.
This book unlocks. It unlocks the irritating mystery of sexual fantasy. Let's admit it, a great many of our fantasies are plain ridiculous, let alone yukky if you do not happen to share them. And they can even be dangerous ? Why, then, do we need them ? For need them we do. That book provides, at long last, the smart answer. Fantasies block out (the way medicinal molecules block out nefarious or toxic molecules) fears and wants and misconceptions that do, in turn, block out our capacity for arousal. Read this book, and give it to your partner, before you want to suggest that high heels dipped in chocolate and worn on a top hat when attending mass is what really gets you going.