Monday, September 22, 2008


This weekend I read Overexposed: Perverting Perversions by Sylvere Lotringer. A friend of a neighbor had recommended it to me and it's awesome. It's a strange account of a form of therapy for sex offenders in the 1980s that involves making clients' deviant fantasies as boring to them as possible. To do this, they use a couple of techniques to measure penile arousal to deviant and normal stimuli, and more fascinatingly, they have offenders tape record verbalizations of their masturbatory fantasies while they masturbate and then go over the tapes with them. They encourage the clients to masturbate beyond satiation, that is, after ejaculation, to the deviant fantasies for a couple of hours a day, until they are just so sick of it that they are done.

This book is brilliantly presented. It presents a very French Theory overview of the topic -- which I'm a little bored by, actually. Then it is mainly the text of interviews with the behavioral psychiatrist who runs the clinics. These interviews, the things that come out of his mouth are truly bizarre. It also includes long excerpts from the sessions reviewing the masturbation fantasy tapes, a long monologue from a client (who basically says everyone "cheats" on the penile measurement things and on the tapes as well), and a list-poem type section of quotes from people's fantasies.

It was very disturbing and fascinating and I'm very glad I read it.

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