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Solitary Pleasures
Solitary Pleasures
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Solitary Pleasures

The Historical, Literary and Artistic Discourses of Autoeroticism
Paula Bennett, Vernon Rosario
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286 pages
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English
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Solitary Pleasures

The Historical, Literary and Artistic Discourses of Autoeroticism
Paula Bennett, Vernon Rosario
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About This Book

Solitary Pleasures is the first anthology to address masturbation, exploring both the history and artistic representation of autoeroticism. Masturbation today enjoys a highly equivocal and contradictory status among cultural discourses relating to sexuality. On the one hand, it is the subject of much popular treatment, especially in sexual self-help books, advice columns, and in pop culture--for example, Madonna's "Like a Virgin" performance, a recent Roseanne episode, and David Russell's movie Spanking the Monkey. On the other hand, masturbation is still a taboo subject for most people in everyday conversation. Perhaps more surprising, it has been largely dismissed by academics as a trivial, humorous topic and the "history of a delusion."It was not until the eighteenth century that "onanism" was portrayed as a morbid act of epidemic proportions that produced pox, hair loss, blindness, insanity, impotence and a horrible. Its prevention and treatment warranted diverse and often cruel measures: surveillance, diets, drugs, corsets, electrical alarms, urethral cauterization, clitoridectomy, and labial sewing. This literature's apocalyptic warnings about the personal and social morbidity of "pollution-by-the-hand" are largely unknown to most people today, but the ghostly echoes of these admonitions still inform and preserve the present taboo of the subject.Why did this apparently innocuous activity become so overpoweringly stigmatized? Why was the eradication of masturbation one of the most important goals of 19th century public hygiene? Why, even after the "sexual revolution, " is masturbation still shrouded in shame?

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Information

Publisher
Taylor and Francis
Year
2020
ISBN
9781134715336
Topic
Art
Subtopic
Popular Culture in Art
Edition
1

Table of contents