Publication Year: 2002
Authors/Editor: Abramson, Paul R.; Pinkerton, Steven D.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Challenging everything from the mandates of the Catholic Church to the hotly debated ethics of pornography, and from the controversy surrounding gay rights to issues of gender and feminism, With Pleasure explores a new theory of human sexuality that ignites every hot topic in the public domain.
What role, authors Paul Abramson and Steven Pinkerton ask, does sexual pleasure play in our lives? Is the pursuit of sexual enjoyment in our blood? Our brains? Our very nature? Regardless of the source, it can be agreed that the joys of sex are widely appreciated. Why, then, is pleasure so often overlooked in discussions of sexual behavior, and why do cultural, historical, and religious treatises so often fail to emphasize, or outright ignore, this obvious aspect of human sexuality?
Responding to these and many other questions about our most private affairs, With Pleasure provides a profoundly original challenge to the cherished truisms of human sexuality. Abramson and Pinkerton proclaim the paramount importance of pleasure, while at the same time overthrowing traditional ideas about gender, pornography, contraception, homosexuality, abortion, and much more. Supported by rigorous research and co-written by one of the foremost authorities on sex, With Pleasure argues that human sexuality cannot be understood if its significance is limited to reproduction alone. The authors posit that in humans reproduction itself occurs as a byproduct of pleasure--not the other way around--and that it is the strong drive for pleasure that makes people overcome many obstacles--and even life-threatening dangers such as AIDS--to have sex. Ranging from discussions about the church to current debates about pornography, and from evolutionary theory to questions about the future of sex and pleasure, Abramson and Pinkerton argue persuasively that the pleasurability of sex cannot be restricted to purely reproductive behavior.
With Pleasure advances a startling and original new theory about human sexuality, one which the authors believe will replace all existing notions about sex. The book, standing in direct and deliberate opposition to traditions that try to confine sexuality to procreation, is sure to ignite a firestorm of controversy.