From the frescoes of Pompei to the disciplinarians of the naval
cultures of the last century, from medieval religious zealots to
the New York lesbian scene today - flagellation has been widespread
throughout western civilization. Punishment or sexual activity,
perversion or act of mystical devotion, this book reveals the
history of flagellation and analyzes its origins, explores its
different forms and rituals, and attempts to explain its perennial
fascination. Through observing the powergames inherent in this rite
and analyzing the social attitudes to it, Anthony takes a
clandestine look at the human psyche itself.
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