Eroticism : Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms book cover
1st Edition

Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms

ISBN 9780367355142
Published September 18, 2019 by Routledge
246 Pages

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Book Description

With contributions from distinguished scholars and clinicians who view human erotic desire from modern developmental, relational, societal, and cross-cultural perspectives, Eroticism: Developmental, Cultural, and Clinical Realms offers a multifaceted and up-to-date glimpse into what we find sexually attractive and why. While psychoanalysis has unshackled itself from the narrow confines of instinct theory to include ego psychology, object relations theory, self psychology, and the contemporary relational paradigm, such heuristic and clinical advance is sorely needed to further our grasp of human eroticism and love. Accommodation also needs to be made for the cultural changes that have occurred over the last five or six decades. These include the feminist corrective to the phallocentrism of ‘classical’ psychoanalysis, the new insights into human subjectivity and personality development provided by the gay and lesbian movement, the contemporary de-centering of the essentialist and binary gender formulations, and the post-colonial voices of the non-Western people. By providing theoretically anchored clinical guidelines, Eroticism provides not only an update on the early analytic understanding of human eroticism but advances clinical praxis as well.

Table of Contents




PART I: Developmental Realm

Chapter One: Eroticism from an Evolutionary Perspective - J. Anderson Thomson & Kathryn Baselice

Chapter Two: Maternal Eroticism or the Necessary Risk of Madness - Rachel Boue Widawsky

Chapter Three: Locating the Father’s Eroticism - Susan McNamara & Ethan Grumbach

Chapter Four: The Role of Innate Bisexuality in Adult Eroticism - Rajiv Gulati and David Pauley

PART II: Cultural Realm

Chapter Five: Cross-cultural Variations of Eroticism - Pranav Shah

Chapter Six: Fantasy, Sadism, and the Fetish in Pornography - Jason A. Wheeler Vega

Chapter Seven: Swipe, Woof, Flirt, and the Erotics of the Hand-held Device - R. Dennis Shelby 

PART III: Clinical Realm

Chapter Eight: Adult Sexuality in Clinical Discourse - Louis Rothschild

Chapter Nine: Voyeurism - Salman Akhtar

Chapter Ten: Clinical Lessons Learnt from Eight Important Papers on Erotic and Erotized Transferences - Lorrie Chopra

Chapter Eleven: Erotic countertransference revelations - Andrea Celenza



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Salman Akhtar is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has 97 books to his credit and received the prestigious Sigourney Award in 2012.

Rajiv Gulati is Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Psychoanalytic Association of New York, which is affiliated with NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.


"This much-needed new volume edited by Salman Akhtar and Rajiv Gulati, brings freshness and vitality to the topic of embodied sexuality. The multitude of issues taken up within the book’s developmental, cultural, and clinical sections broadens psychoanalytic discourse about the sexual, while the diversity of contributors helps open the discussion to all. One of the oldest topics in psychoanalysis is made new again just when we need it most." –Charles Fisher M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis

"This exquisite collection of essays on the topic of Eroticism, will fascinate, challenge , and indeed, mesmerize it’s readers. It gives us new insights into areas that have been explored before, and takes up, boldly, beautifully, and incisively, certain aspects of eroticism that have not been written about enough. Akhtar and Gulati have edited a masterpiece, the readers of which can look forward to a wonderful feast of learning about the erotic world in our minds." –Aisha Abbasi M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute