Sweet Dreams: Erotic Plots

Author(s) : Robert J. Stoller

Sweet Dreams: Erotic Plots

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2009
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 262
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 28722
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855757295
  • ISBN 10 : 185575729X

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A previously unpublished work by Robert Stoller. 'It was like discovering a previously unknown recording by the Beatles. On a 2007 visit to Robert Stoller's widow, Sybil, she handed me a manuscript. Bob's last book had been placed in a publishing queue by his retiring editor. After Bob's death Sybil was told that the publisher had discontinued psychoanalytic books. It languished on a home shelf in Los Angeles for sixteen years. I was holding the final work by psychoanalysis's most eloquent writer on sex.' - From the Foreword by Dr Richard Green

Reviews and Endorsements

'This book, as is true of my other books, is nothing but a chapter in the "book" being written these past more than thirty years on "sexuality", that is, gender identity and erotics. The large book will, I trust, have more chapters, but no ending. I do not know its plot, its full structure, all the characters, where it is heading, or what is its purpose.

The first phase of this continuing project was "Gender Identity"; the second is "Erotics". I think of the term "erotics" as having sexual meanings: a subject for study (such as "economics"); a set of behaviors, including fantasies such as daydreams; dynamics of an aspect of mental life (with underlying biologic dynamics); and people who are "erotics" - the way we say "lunatics" - seen from the perspective of their erotic desire, people such as Sade or my informants, such as Bill, a professional pornographer whom you will soon meet, or Fay, who lives for love, who first arrives at my office with Bill.

Getting more involved in studying erotic excitement, I saw that erotic daydreams, including pornography, not only offered a way to understand someone's erotic life but could give a wider view of personality. As, over the years, that awareness grew, I have had to confront my failure to jump in and mine the raw material. What I now know to be my resistance - avoidance - I used to think of as "simply" boredom, disbelief, conviction that these scripted fantasies had no value for theory or its confirmation; unwillingness to get into disreputable stuff that could harm my reputation, and uneasiness about descending into certain dark areas of human behavior and fantasy. And there was no path in that jungle. But the subject was being pushed at me from above by patients and informants and pulled toward me from below by my curiosity. The latter is strong; so the more I understand the dynamics of erotic excitement, the more the fun in exploring people's erotic lives. The clues accumulate.'
- From the Introduction

About the Author(s)

Robert J. Stoller M.D. was, until his death, Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine. His books on human sexuality include The Transsexual Experiment, Perversion: The Erotic Form of Hatred, Splitting: A Case of Female Masculinity, Porn: Myths for the Twentieth Century, Pain and Passion: A Psychoanalyst explores the World of S and M, Observing the Erotic Imagination and Presentations of Gender. Dr Stoller was a psychoanalyst but because he recognized the need to understand how biological forces contribute to the development of mental functions, he took account of the important work that had come out of the laboratories. He also emphasized the need for some psychoanalysts to include some of the findings and concepts of leading theorists if they are to understand better the origins and maintenance of the ground themes of personality, of which gender identity (masculinity and femininity) is certainly one.

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