Sex and Pleasure in Western Culture by Gail Hawkes
Gail Hawkes is lecturer in sociology at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia
Book Description: Sex and Pleasure in Western Culture provides the first comprehensive overview of desire and pleasure in western sexual culture. It argues that both have always been seen as socially disruptive and morally dangerous and offers an entertaining account of the methods by which these attributes of sex were managed across the centuries from Classical Antiquity to the present day.The book develops the hypothesis that, while expressed in very different social contexts, sexual pleasure has evoked very similar anxieties. The text draws on historical, cultural, sociological and contemporary sources and is easily accessible for both the general reader and students of gender and sexual culture. In addition to telling a story of its own, Sex and Pleasure in Western Culture examines lesser-known aspects of sexual history that invite further exploration by the interested reader. These range from sexual aestheticism in the 4th century AD and the sexual meaning of medieval church gargoyles, through to sexual training in the 1950s and 21st century sex holidays. The book will provide a compelling read for both students of sexuality and lay readers who find the complexities of human sexuality a source of fascination.In-depth and detailed without being lurid or sensational, May 12, 2005 Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - See all my reviews Sex & Pleasure In Western Culture is a scholarly and comprehensive survey of sexuality, desire, and pleasure in Western culture, from classical antiquity to the modern day. Sociology lecturer Gail Hawkes discusses such topics as how early Christianity handled the problem of desire, medieval practices, how pleasure and desire are perceived in the modern age, and more. In-depth and detailed without being lurid or sensational, Sex & Pleasure In Western Culture gives a balanced, objective scrutiny of one of the more controversial forces shaping human interaction and civilization since ancient times.