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Masturbation

The History of a Great Terror

Jean Stengers and Anne Van Neck, Translated by Kathryn Hoffmann

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

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."

REVIEWS

Praise for Masturbation

“...rigorous, well-turned and enlightening study.” —Publishers Weekly

“...a good read.” —Library Journal

“...required reading...” —Playboy

“...genius...” —Flaunt Magazine

“Kathryn Hoffmann’s lively translation of Jean Stengers and Anne Van Neck’s Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror is both a great read and a cautionary tale about the power of ideas. . . . Loaded with quotations from Freud, Rousseau, and many lesser lights on the intellectual landscape, the book traces how speculation becomes ‘fact,’ and fact becomes ‘nature’--and also how quickly that nature could change.” —Merry Wiesner-Hanks

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jean Stengers and Anne Van Neck, Translated by Kathryn Hoffmann

  • 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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    Masturbation

    The History of a Great Terror

    Jean Stengers and Anne Van Neck, Translated by Kathryn Hoffmann

    • Hardcover

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