Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies

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Overview


In the largest study ever undertaken on sexual fantasy, world-renowned psychotherapist and researcher Brett Kahr reveals the astonishing truths behind secrecy, shame, and taboo in this groundbreaking book based on surveys of 23,000 men and women from eighteen to ninety years of age. The definitive account of what our fantasies tell us about ourselves, Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head? overturns conventional wisdom about sexuality today.
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Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies

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Overview


In the largest study ever undertaken on sexual fantasy, world-renowned psychotherapist and researcher Brett Kahr reveals the astonishing truths behind secrecy, shame, and taboo in this groundbreaking book based on surveys of 23,000 men and women from eighteen to ninety years of age. The definitive account of what our fantasies tell us about ourselves, Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head? overturns conventional wisdom about sexuality today.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

According to London psychotherapist and clinical researcher Kahr, virtually every sexually mature adult generates sexual fantasies that fulfill a wide variety of often unconscious psychological needs. What is the stuff of British and American erotic fantasies? Rape, infidelity, homosexuality, pedophilia, incest and, apparently for some Brits, kinky sex with the queen and Margaret Thatcher. For a 2005 British television documentary on the subject, Kahr collected data from 13,000 adults via a computer-administered questionnaire, supplemented with 122 face-to-face interviews. In 2006, he also surveyed approximately 3,000 American men and women. A building contractor's strip-poker masturbatory fantasy, says Kahr, signifies hostility toward women, tracing back to a father who quickly remarried a "hottie" after his young wife's death. A heterosexual woman's lesbian fantasies represent an attempt to recreate a family unit in which parents wield a more benign sexuality than her own abusive parents did. A happily married costume designer's fantasies turn unpleasant memories of sexual abuse by a learning-disabled older brother into a highly arousing experience. Some will no doubt find the subject matter titillating, but Kahr approaches his interviewees with respect and decorum. His prose is unabashedly enthusiastic and sometimes overwritten, and although his analyses are perceptive, the material is mostly familiar and unsurprising. (Feb. 4)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

British psychoanalyst Kahr (Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy & Mental Health, Ctr. for Child Mental Health, London) has written the most engrossing study of human sexuality since the Kinsey and Hite reports. To investigate the role of sexual fantasies in the lives of people not afflicted with mental illness, he surveyed 22,000 British and American citizens. The resulting book is a fascinating collection of personal narratives, along with the author's analysis of fantasy in everyday life. Kahr examines the function of fantasy from a psychological perspective, exploring the relationship between individual fantasies and experiences. He concludes that there are 14 functions of sexual fantasy, including wish fulfillment, self-comfort, and self-medication. Like Michael J. Bader's Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasiesand Iris and Steven Finz's Unspoken Desires, this book is highly recommended for large public and academic library collections.
—Lynne F. Maxwell

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465037674
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 1/26/2009
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 916,263
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Brett Kahr is Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London and is a Visiting Clinician and Lecturer at the famed Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. He is Chair of the Society of Couple Psychoanalytic Psycho therapists. He lives in London.

www.brettkahr.com

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Table of Contents

A Note on Caution and Confidentiality xi

Introduction: On the Couch at 7:00 A.M. 1

Part 1 The Secret Cinema in Our Minds

1 Why We Make Love with the Lights Out 15

2 The Science of Psychological Fingerprints 25

3 The Intra-Marital Affair: Staging Our Private Theater 69

Part 2 A Cornucopia of Fantasies

4 Fantasy 101: Tales of Ordinary Explicitness 111

5 Group Formations: Threesomes, Foursomes, and Moresomes 123

6 Cheating: When the Intra-Marital Meets the Extramarital 134

7 I'm Ready for My Close-Up: Fantasies of Celebrities 143

8 Is Your Wife a Lesbian? Is Your Husband Homosexual? Is Your Gay Lover Really Straight? 164

9 On Genital Exhibitionism 186

10 The Erotic Smorgasbord: Fetishism, Transvestism, Homeovestism, and Other Forms of Object-Love 194

11 Humiliation and the Infliction of Shame 201

12 Incest: Do We Really Fancy Our Family? 222

13 Can I Be Arrested for My Fantasies? Extreme Sexual Violence 242

14 Teenagers and Children 253

15 Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice 260

Part 3 The Origins of Sexual Fantasy

16 The Underbelly of the Normal Fantasy: Erotic Freedom or Sublimated Sadism? 269

17 "They've Scraped Out My Soul": Struggling with Shame and Humiliation 289

18 Case History: Paris and the Ginger Public Hair 312

19 The Traumatic Roots of Sexual Fantasy 330

20 The Fourteen Functions of Sexual Fantasy 356

21 The Mysterious Boxing Gloves, Or, Can Fantasies Be Trauma-Free? 378

Part 4 Sexual Fantasies and The Outside World

22 Do Fantasies Ruin Relationships? 399

23 Normality and Perversion in the Bedroom and the Boardroom 417

24 Sanctum Sanctorum, Or, Probing the Unprobable430

Appendix The Sexual Fantasy Research Questionnaire 453

Acknowledgments 477

Announcement: The Sexual Fantasy Research Project 484

Index 485

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Paves the way

    "The secret world of sexual fantasies" - sounds interesting, right? This book delves into the world of sexual fantasies, & analyzes why fantasize about the people & activities we do. The chapters are divided into different types of fantasies (ex: incest, coworkers, strangers, being dominated, etc.) & provide a plethora of examples of each type. The author hypothesizes about what these fantasies can tell us about ourselves, our subconscious, & our past. I wouldn't say the book goes in-depth, necessarily; rather, it's a good starting point, & paves the way for other books of it's kind. Overall, a decent read, & worth checking out.

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