The Big Book of Masturbation


Presenting masturbation from a variety of perspectives and disciplines throughout history, Martha Cornog offers a thoughtful and intelligent look at the realities and controversies that surround this universal activity. The Big Book of Masturbation encourages readers to relinquish any angst they may have about solo sex and take a zealous look at its impact on culture and mores.
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Presenting masturbation from a variety of perspectives and disciplines throughout history, Martha Cornog offers a thoughtful and intelligent look at the realities and controversies that surround this universal activity. The Big Book of Masturbation encourages readers to relinquish any angst they may have about solo sex and take a zealous look at its impact on culture and mores.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"If everyone who masturbates were to turn purple at noon tomorrow, you'd swear that you were in a vineyard." So says Cornog, coauthor of For Sex Education, See Librarian: A Guide to Issues and Resources and a reviewer of materials on sexuality for LJ, Collection Building, Information Ethics, and other journals. Taking a subject that has had little serious popular press, she explores it from an interdisciplinary rather than a self-help standpoint (for that, see Betty Dodson's Sex for One and Harold Litten's The Joy of Solo Sex, which Cornog cites as inspiration). She scoured libraries, corresponded with religious leaders and doctors, networked, and interviewed members of sex clubs to find information on such subjects as "Masturbation Through the Ages," "Sociology: Who Masturbates, How They Do It and What People Think," and "Humor: Can I Do It Until I Need Glasses?" She delves into the physical and psychological benefits of masturbation, as well as its hazards. This is a particularly well-done and balanced work-scholarly yet easy and enjoyable to read, full of interesting and insightful information. Kudos to Cornog for having the courage to bring this subject to light. For all public libraries.-Deborah Bigelow, Leonia P.L., NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940208292
  • Publisher: Down There Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Pages: 335
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments iv
Introduction xiii
Self-Abuse or Self-Love?
Learning About Masturbation
Why and How I Wrote This Book
Section I Basics
Chapter 1 Language: Meanings and Words for Masturbation 3
Evolving Meanings 3
The Word Masturbation and Its Synonyms 10
Words for Masturbation in English and Other Languages 15
Bibliography of Major Sources for Words and Expression 23
Notes 24
Chapter 2 History: Masturbation Through the Centuries 27
Mistaken Ideas 27
Prehistory and the Ancient World 29
Judeo-Christian Traditions 29
Medical Traditions 33
Modern Times 37
Notes 40
Section II Nature: People, Animals, and Evolution
Chapter 3 Physiology and Medicine: Masturbation's Physical Effects 45
How the Body Reacts to Masturbation 45
Possible Positive Medical Effects of Sex and Masturbation 50
Masturbation and Possible Hazards 54
Notes 60
Chapter 4 Sociology: Who Masturbates, How They Do It, and What People Think 65
How Many Have Done It: Pre-Kinsey Studies 66
How Many Have Done It: Modern Studies 67
Age and Frequency, Learning, and Demographic Characteristics: Modern Studies 68
How People Masturbate: Modern Studies 72
What People Think About Masturbation: Modern Studies 74
Notes 78
Chapter 5 Anthropology: Masturbation Cross-Culturally 83
Reports About Individual Societies 83
Cross-Cultural Overviews 84
Notes and References 96
Chapter 6 Zoology: How Animals Masturbate 97
Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex 97
Clellan Ford & Frank Beach, Patterns of Sexual Behavior 98
Desmond Morris, Patterns of Reproductive Behavior 103
Frans de Waal, Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape 104
Notes and References 106
Chapter 7 Evolution: Masturbation's Influence on the Species 107
Charles Sarlin, "Masturbation, Culture, and Psychosexual Development" 107
Aaron Lynch, Thought Contagion 108
Paul Abramson & Steven Pinkerton, With Pleasure 110
Meredith Small, What's Love Got to Do with It? 111 Newsgroup, Re: Masturbation 113
Notes and References 117
Section III Cultural Authorities
Chapter 8 Psychology and Psychiatry: Masturbation and Mental Health 121
Psychology and Psychiatry: Authoritative Statements 122
Psychologists and Psychiatrists Write About Masturbation 124
Modern Concerns About Psychosocial Problems and Masturbation 133
Notes and References 137
Chapter 9 Law: Legal Codes, Regulations, and Masturbation 139
Indecency Laws 140
Laws Affecting Sex Toys
Other Laws That Might Affect Masturbation
The Verdict
Notes 146
Chapter 10 Philosophies of Masturbation - Alan Soble 149
Editor's Introduction 149
Aquinas' Legacy
Sex and Sexual Desire 150
Psychological Completeness
Sex as Talk
Men's Feminism 154
The Marriage Bed
Metaphysical Illusions
Two Models of Sexuality 159
Notes 164
Chapter 11 Religion: Spirituality and Masturbation 167
Judaism 167
Christianity 173
Islam 174
Buddhism 178
Hinduism 181
"God of The Body": Unification and Spiritual Experiences 183
Notes and References 186
Chapter 12 Modern Christians and Masturbation: Ministering to Single Adults - Harold Ivan Smith 191
Editor's Introduction 191
Observations 191
Reflections on the Issue 197
Notes 204
Section IV Knowledge and Advice from Sexuality Experts
Chapter 13 Education: Basic Information about Masturbation for All Ages 211
Sex Education for Adults about Masturbation 212
Sex Education for Children about Masturbation 213
Sex Education for Adolescents about Masturbation 216
Talking to Young People about Masturbation 218
Notes 223
SIECUS Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education 224
Chapter 14 Sex Therapy and Enhancement: Masturbation and Improving Sexual Experiences 225
Masturbation as Training for Young People about Coupled Sex 226
Masturbation as Sex Therapy for Adults 227
Masturbation as Enhancement in Marriage and Relationships 234
Masturbation as Treatment for Sex Offenders 236
Notes and References 237
Section V Talking about Jt
Chapter 15 Literature: Creative Writing about Masturbation 241
Marcus Valerius Martial, "To Ponticus" 242
Thomas Nashe, "Dildo" 243
Samuel Pepys, Diary 244
Denis Dierot, D'Alembert's Dream 244
Mark Twain, Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism 246
August Strindberg, "The Reward of Virtue" 248
James T. Farrell, Young Lonigan 249
Albert Camus, The Stranger 250
Philip Roth, Portnoy's Complaint 251
John Lennon et al., Oh! Calcutta! 252
Jerzy Kosinski, Being There 254
William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist 254
Erica Jong, Fear of Flying 255
Alice Walker, The Color Purple 256
Fleur Adcock, "Against Coupling" 256
David Leavitt, The Lost Language of Cranes 257
John Whitworth, "The Reason Why" 259
Charles Thomson, "On the Low Status of Masturbation" 260
Notes 260
Chapter 16 Humor: Can I Do It until I Need Glasses? 263
Dildos, Apparatus, and Innovations 264
Faute de Mieux
Playing with It
Kid Stuff
Sex with the One You Love Most
The Deprived Spouse
Semen as Child
Miscellaneous Benefits and Hazards 268
Cartoons 272
Notes and References 280
Section VI Masturbation Onward
Chapter 17 Masturbation Today 285
Heroes and Martyrs of the Decade 286
Our Popular Culture and Technology 290
So Where Are We Now? 297
Notes 298
Chapter 18 Masturbation Future 303
"Nature Does Not Tolerate Anything Useless" 305
Additional Research into Masturbation
New Language, More Words
Self-Love-or Self-Abuse? 307
Notes 309
Glossary 311
Bibliography 321
About the Editor/Author and Contributors 325
Copyright Acknowledgments 327
Index 331
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