Homosexuals, transvestites, transsexuals, sado-masochists,
necrophiliacs - all of these have been, or still are, considered
'deviants'. Concomitantly there has been almost universal
acceptance that unembellished vaginal penetration, performed by one
man and one woman, is 'normal' sex. This is now contested. But what
is perverse sex and what isn't? The Pleasure's All Mine explores
the gamut of sexual activity that has been seen as strange,
abnormal or deviant over the last 2,000 years. This first
comprehensive history of sexual perversion examines an abundance of
original sources - letters, diaries, memoirs, court records, erotic
books, medical texts and advice manuals - and shows how, for
ordinary people, different kinds of sex have always offered myriad
different pleasures. There never was a 'normal'. Almost all sexual
behaviours have travelled to and fro along a continuum of
proscription and acceptance. Attitudes have changed towards
masturbation, leatherwear, 'golden showers' and sado-masochism.From
the specialized cultures of pain, necrophilia and bestiality to the
social world of plushies and furries, and lovers of life-sized sex
dolls, some previously acceptable behaviour now provokes social
outrage, while activities as diverse as sodomy and wife-swapping
have moved on the spectrum of acceptance from sin to harmless fun.
Each 'perversion' is explored from the time it was first visible in
history, to how it is viewed today, and along the way the book asks
why we can be so intolerant of other people's sexual preferences.
Carefully researched as well as a fascinating read, and featuring a
wide array of illustrations, The Pleasure's All Mine reaches
conclusions that are surprising and sometimes shocking. This is an
essential volume for anyone interested in the art, history and
culture of sex.
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