The Joy of Self-Pleasuring: Why Feel Guilty about Feeling Good?

Overview

Psychiatrist and sex therapist Edward L. Rowan, M.D., has written this unique book to encourage us all to come out of the closet. Masturbation is surely one of the most common human activities, and yet most of us react to the subject with embarrassment. Americans are generally so uncomfortable with the topic that former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was fired for indiscreetly suggesting in public that high school kids masturbate as a way of avoiding HIV infection.

Dr. Rowan ...

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The Joy of Self-Pleasuring: Why Feel Guilty About Feeling Good?

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Overview

Psychiatrist and sex therapist Edward L. Rowan, M.D., has written this unique book to encourage us all to come out of the closet. Masturbation is surely one of the most common human activities, and yet most of us react to the subject with embarrassment. Americans are generally so uncomfortable with the topic that former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was fired for indiscreetly suggesting in public that high school kids masturbate as a way of avoiding HIV infection.

Dr. Rowan points to the Elders incident as evidence that we are still victims of a negative cultural attitude spawned by the sin and sickness models of early Church fathers and medical practitioners who did not know any better. Unfortunately, they established a pattern of shame and guilt that is difficult to overcome in spite of our current knowledge.

Although masturbation is now recognized as a therapeutic tool in addressing sexual dysfunction and problematic arousal patterns, Rowan argues that it can be much more. Good orgasms, whether alone or with a partner, provide a sense of well-being and personal autonomy. Relationships are better when one does not have to depend solely on a partner to make them whole. Masturbation is also the safest form of safe sex.

While masturbation is a universal behavior, there are differences in motivation, frequency, technique, and fantasy patterns between men and women. Rowan discusses these differences while emphasizing that masturbation can be good sex and should be experienced for pleasure not just as a tension release.

Our attitudes are due for a change, says Dr. Rowan, and The Joy of Self-Pleasuring is designed to promote that change while offering the reader information, insight, and humor as well.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Rowan, a psychiatrist and sex therapist for 30 years, believes that the world needs a book that will promote masturbation as a normal and even laudable thing. Unfortunately, this isn't it. The title is somewhat of a misnomer; the subtitle is more appropriate. Many pages are spent explaining how the religious and medical establishments have worked with no apparent success to eradicate masturbation. This historical analysis is coupled with several other mini-topics, such as sex therapy (mainly male), masturbatory technique, and masturbation as mentioned in girl- and boy-scout guides--themes that don't work well together. Rowan also cannot decide on his audience. He uses slang and provides an appendix called "Websites for Wankers," as if he's writing for the masses. Mainly, however, he applies a fairly academic tone, having adapted one of the chapters from an article he wrote for the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy. A marginal purchase for most libraries.--Pamela A. Matthews, Gettysburg Coll. Lib., PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573927956
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 235
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward L. Rowan, M.D. (Exeter, NH), a psychiatrist and sex therapist for thirty years, has taught clinical psychiatry at the University of Illinois and Dartmouth Medical School, and is now a self-employed consultant, writer, and editor.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2006

    A reviewer

    After all these years of online dating sites, I finally found the partner for me, and her name is 'The Joy of Self-Pleasuring.' After reading this riveting book, the thought of a significant other just doesn't seem relevant anymore. I can be proud of being my OWN partner, and I can't wait to tell the world!

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