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Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us
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Published:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2013
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description


"As a sex writer, Jesse Bering is fearless—and peerless." —Dan Savage
"You are a sexual deviant. A pervert, through and through." We may not want to admit it, but as the award-winning columnist and psychologist Jesse Bering reveals in Perv, there is a spectrum of perversion along which we all sit. Whether it's voyeurism, exhibitionism, or your run-of-the-mill foot fetish, we all possess a suite of sexual tastes as unique as our fingerprints—and as secret as the rest of the skeletons we've hidden in our closets.
Combining cutting-edge studies and critiques of landmark research and conclusions drawn by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, and the DSM-5, Bering pulls the curtain back on paraphilias, arguing that sexual deviance is commonplace. He explores the countless fetishists of the world, including people who wear a respectable suit during the day and handcuff a willing sexual partner at night. But he also takes us into the lives of "erotic outliers," such as a woman who falls madly in love with the Eiffel Tower; a pair of deeply affectionate identical twins; those with a particular penchant for statues; and others who are enamored of crevices not found on the human body.
Moving from science to politics, psychology, history, and his own reflections on growing up gay in America, Bering confronts hypocrisy, prejudice, and harm as they relate to sexuality on a global scale. Humanizing so-called deviants while at the same time asking serious questions about the differences between thought and action, he presents us with a challenge: to understand that our best hope of solving some of the most troubling problems of our age hinges entirely on the amoral study of sex.
As kinky as it is compassionate, illuminating, and engrossing, Perv is an irresistible and deeply personal book. "I can't promise you an orgasm at the end of our adventure," Bering writes, "but I can promise you a better understanding of why you get the ones you do."

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/08/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374710637
ASIN:
B00C74WX5M
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jesse Bering. (2013). Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jesse Bering. 2013. Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jesse Bering, Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jesse Bering. Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:12:12
Date Updated:
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      • value: male sexuality
      • value: voyeurism
      • value: exhibitionism
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      • value: paraphilias
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      • value: sexual perversity
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        Jesse Bering, Ph.D. is a frequent contributor to Scientific American and Slate. His writing has also appeared in New York magazine, The Guardian, and The New Republic, among others, and has been featured by NPR, Playboy Radio, and more. The author of The Belief Instinct, Bering is the former Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at the Queen's University, Belfast, and began his career as a professor at the University of Arkansas. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

      • name: Jesse Bering
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fullDescription


"As a sex writer, Jesse Bering is fearless—and peerless." —Dan Savage
"You are a sexual deviant. A pervert, through and through." We may not want to admit it, but as the award-winning columnist and psychologist Jesse Bering reveals in Perv, there is a spectrum of perversion along which we all sit. Whether it's voyeurism, exhibitionism, or your run-of-the-mill foot fetish, we all possess a suite of sexual tastes as unique as our fingerprints—and as secret as the rest of the skeletons we've hidden in our closets.
Combining cutting-edge studies and critiques of landmark research and conclusions drawn by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, and the DSM-5, Bering pulls the curtain back on paraphilias, arguing that sexual deviance is commonplace. He explores the countless fetishists of the world, including people who wear a respectable suit during the day and handcuff a willing sexual partner at night. But he also takes us into the lives of "erotic outliers," such as a woman who falls madly in love with the Eiffel Tower; a pair of deeply affectionate identical twins; those with a particular penchant for statues; and others who are enamored of crevices not found on the human body.
Moving from science to politics, psychology, history, and his own reflections on growing up gay in America, Bering confronts hypocrisy, prejudice, and harm as they relate to sexuality on a global scale. Humanizing so-called deviants while at the same time asking serious questions about the differences between thought and action, he presents us with a challenge: to understand that our best hope of solving some of the most troubling problems of our age hinges entirely on the amoral study of sex.
As kinky as it is compassionate, illuminating, and engrossing, Perv is an irresistible and deeply personal book. "I can't promise you an orgasm at the end of our adventure," Bering writes, "but I can promise you a better understanding of why you get the ones you do."

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content:

        "As informative as it is entertaining . . . Bering's latest is a delightful, intelligent, and thought-provoking addition to the growing body of our sexual knowledge of self."

      • premium: False
      • source: Michael Washburn, The Boston Globe
      • content: "Bering's a supple, witty writer, and praiseworthy terms like wry and irreverent suggest themselves readily. The book is a humane flirtation with the often-strange intimacies that drive people's lives."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "A master craftsman at refashioning reproductive biology into provocative composition, Bering nimbly probes 'the darkest corners of our sexual nature" with no illicit aftertaste.'"
      • premium: False
      • source: The Scientist
      • content: "Against a colorful backdrop of science, history, and psychology, Bering calls on human society to stop judging people's sexual preferences based on a personal belief about what's normal or natural, instead asking what is harmful. [He] throws a bucket of ice-cold water on topics that often become overheated by the fires of morality, religion, and politics."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "[A] lively exploration of sexual perversion . . . Bering has a very entertaining writing style, but don't let that distract you from the serious stuff he's talking about: this isn't just a list of so-called perversions but, instead, an exploration of the way the human mind and body work and the way we are all just a little bit unusual."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 29, 2013
        In a book as informative as it is entertaining, Bering (Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?) argues for the efficacy of science and logic over irrational morals when addressing “sexual deviancy.” Citing numerous studies and historical sources, Bering makes the claim that, deep down, we are all sexual deviants in one form or another—and that sexual deviancy is, in fact, not deviant at all. From the beginning of human history, people have engaged in antiheteronormative behaviors, from bestiality to pedophilia. Furthermore, Bering shows how most sexual deviancy isn’t a choice, but rather is the result of a genetic predisposition over which the individual has no control. Laws and medical diagnoses controlling sexual activity should investigate whether the activities in question cause “harm” (though harm itself is subjective, and is therefore also a problematic way to assess behavior), rather than whether society is merely grossed out by them. This is clearly a personal topic for Bering, who is gay and, in fact, discusses his experiences of self-loathing and discrimination. Despite the occasional preachy paragraph, Bering’s latest is a delightful, intelligent, and thought-provoking addition to the growing body of our sexual knowledge of self. Agent: Peter Tallack, the Science Factory.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 1, 2013
        Outspokenly attesting that everyone's a pervert in some form or another, research psychologist Bering (Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections On Being Human, 2012) combines science, research and an unblushing curiosity to plumb the depths of sexual deviancy. The author prefaces the narrative with his own story of coming out as gay to his mother at 19--just an average boy "who blended into tree bark and lawn ornaments." Throughout, he appeals for further societal acceptance toward not only the homosexual community, but the socially ostracized "erotic outliers" as well. Addressing everyone, from the prim to the experienced, Bering encourages readers to embrace the willful "unburdening of your erotic conscience" through the examination of a smorgasbord of erotic paraphilias, including common fetishes like toes and tickling and unorthodox fascinations with animals, amputees, insect bites and sandy gravel--the author claims that there are more than 500 varieties of paraphilia. In this meticulously researched and referenced text, Bering offers fascinating case studies involving the power of sexual arousal to neutralize repulsive smells, tastes and predisposed opinions, though chapters on the historical demonization of human arousal, S&M and pedophilia do require an open mind. Refreshingly, the author extends his scope beyond the standard criterion of notorious fetishistic peccadilloes to more taboo sexual preferences that will, to some, skirt the boundaries of good taste (and common law). Anticipating this reaction, he creatively advocates for the understanding, appreciation and acknowledgment of these unique leanings in some of us, though not necessarily for their pardon. A master craftsman at refashioning reproductive biology into provocative composition, Bering nimbly probes "the darkest corners of our sexual nature" with no illicit aftertaste.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 15, 2013
        Bering ("Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?") here turns sociological research on its head with this sophisticated, relentless, highly informative analysis of the ever-changing concept of "perversion" throughout human history. Chock-full of facts, statistics, and shocking test results, this is a fascinating look at the development of our "sexual blueprints," as well as a provocative exploration of how, and why, certain fetishes are deemed acceptable while others make us "perverts." Though the title clearly states that this is a work geared toward a mature audience, the content at times is truly graphic; this is definitely a book for those with open minds and strong stomachs who are willing to run the gamut of sexual fetishes, in detail. The abundance of Latin terminology and scientific language could prove a bit daunting to some, but the inclusion of humor and personal anecdotes maintains accessibility to a wider audience. Bering's familiarity with his text shines through his superb pacing and energetic narrative style. VERDICT Recommended for fans of Bering's previous works and those with an interest in sociology, particularly through a gender and sexuality lens.--Ashleigh Williams, "Library Journal"

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        September 1, 2013
        Following up his lively essay collection Why Is the Penis Shaped like That? (2012), Bering offers this equally lively exploration of sexual perversion. What you're going to discover along the way, he notes, is that you have a lot more in common with the average pervert than you may be aware. That's because, first, sublimation of desire is all-consuming in our society and, second, because the very notion of perversion is constantly subject to redefinition. For more than a thousand years, the word pervert meant someone who turned away from the right spiritual path (an atheist, basically). It wasn't until the Victorian era that the meaning changed to someone whose sexual preferences deviated from the norm. But here's Bering's central point: we all deviate from the norm because there is no norm. Bering has a very entertaining writing style, but don't let that distract you from the serious stuff he's talking about: this isn't just a list of so-called perversions but, instead, an exploration of the way the human mind and body work and the way we are all just a little bit unusual.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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"As a sex writer, Jesse Bering is fearless—and peerless." —Dan Savage
"You are a sexual deviant. A pervert, through and through." We may not want to admit it, but as the award-winning columnist and psychologist Jesse Bering reveals in Perv, there is a spectrum of perversion along which we all sit. Whether it's voyeurism, exhibitionism, or your run-of-the-mill foot fetish, we all possess a suite of sexual tastes as unique as our fingerprints—and as secret as the rest of the skeletons we've hidden in our closets.
Combining cutting-edge studies and critiques of landmark research and conclusions drawn by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, and the DSM-5, Bering pulls the curtain back on paraphilias, arguing that sexual deviance is commonplace. He explores the countless fetishists of the world, including people who wear a respectable suit during the day and handcuff a willing sexual partner at night. But he also takes us into the...

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