Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror

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St. Martin's Press, Jul 6, 2001 - History - 239 pages
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Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror is a funny and frightening look at the attitudes towards masturbation throughout history and how they have affected the sex lives of anyone living and breathing today. The French biologist, Tissot, was the original spoil-sport who turned masturbation into the scourge of young men everywhere. Saying that a little self-induced pleasure caused wasting, insanity, and finally death, Tissot put the clamps (literally, in some cases) on the greatest relaxation inducer known to humankind. From Tissot's work to the punitive postures of the German courts to the surgical preventatives of continental Europe and England to the handbook of the Boy Scouts of America, spanking/wanking, yanking/choking, and other assorted diddling became the big no-no. Stengers and Van Neck give us the whole story and it isn't pretty, but it will fascinate everyone who agrees with Woody Allen when he said "Hey, don't knock masturbation! It's sex with someone I love."

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Masturbation: the history of a great terror

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Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was fired for suggesting that schools teach about masturbation. Why? The story goes back to 1700 and a quack's tome titled Onania. The ensuing snowball of medical ... Read full review

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Surprisingly enough, this was a great book. The authors expressed their findings and theories in a very accessible manner. It was interesting to read about a topic that is usually treated as a taboo ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Jean Stengers is Professor of History at the University of Brussels.

The late Anne Van Neck was a Master of Research at the University's Institute of History.

Kathryn Hoffmann, University of Hawaii, is the author of Society of Pleasures.

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