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Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror

From the Publisher

Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror is a funny and frightening look at the attitudes towards masturbation throughout history and how they have affected the sex lives of anyone living and breathing today. The French biologist, Tissot, was the original spoil-sport who turned masturbation into the scourge of young men everywhere. Saying that a little self-induced pleasure caused wasting, insanity, and finally death, Tissot put the clamps (literally, in some cases) on the greatest relaxation inducer known to humankind. From Tissot's work to the punitive postures of the German courts to the surgical preventatives of continental Europe and England to the handbook of the Boy Scouts of America, spanking/wanking, yanking/choking, and other assorted diddling became the big no-no. Stengers and Van Neck give us the whole story and it isn't pretty, but it will fascinate everyone who agrees with Woody Allen when he said "Hey, don't knock masturbation! It's sex with someone I love."

About the Authors

Jean Stengers is Professor of History at the University of Brussels.
The late Anne Van Neck was a Master of Research at the University's Institute of History.
Kathryn Hoffmann, University of Hawaii, is the author of Society of Pleasures.

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Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror by Jean Stengers and Anne Van Neck Translated by Kathryn Hoffmann (Palgrave 2001, ISBN: 0-312-22443-5), $24.95, 239 pages, hardback.

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