Solitary Pleasures : The Historical, Literary and Artistic Discourses of Autoeroticism

by Paula Bennett (Editor), Vernon Rosario (Editor)

Paperback - 286 pages (November 1995)

Routledge; ISBN: 0415911745

Table of Contents


·         Acknowledgments

·         Introduction: The Politics of Solitary Pleasures 1


1.      Autonomy as Deviance: Sixteenth-Century Images of Witches and Prostitutes 19

2.      Playing with Herself: Feminine Sexuality and Aesthetic Indifference 49

3.      Forbidden Pleasures: Enlightenment Literature of Sexual Advice 75

4.      Phantastical Pollutions: The Public Threat of Private Vice in France 101

5.      Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl 133

6.      The Social Evil, the Solitary Vice, and Pouring Tea 155

7.      "The Roots of the Orchis, the Iuli of Chestnuts": The Odor of Male Solitude 163

8.      "Pomegranate-Flowers": The Phantasmic Productions of Late-Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Woman Poets 189

9.      Fragments of a Poetics: Bonnetain and Roth 215

10.  Can Robinson Crusoe Find True Happiness (Alone)?: Beyond the Genitals and History on the Island of Hope 233

11.  Coming in Handy: The J/O Spectacle and the Gay Male Subject in Almodovar 251


·         Notes on Contributors 277

·         Index 281


Editorial Reviews




"...a queer theory paean to masturbation... Joycelyn ELders would approve.." --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title



Gay Chicago Magazine


"Obviously auteroticism deserves to finally be seriously examined in today's climate of sex-related danger, and that end is accomplished very well in this text.." --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title



The San Diego Review


"The first anthology...that deals extensively with masturbation, Solitary Pleasures keeps Routledge on the publishing cutting edge of contemporary avant garde social and cultural theory." --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title


Book Description

        Solitary Pleasures is the first anthology to address masturbation, exploring both the history and artistic representation of autoeroticism. Masturbation today enjoys a highly equivocal and contradictory status among cultural discourses relating to sexuality. On the one hand, it is the subject of much popular treatment, especially in sexual self-help books, advice columns, and in pop culture--for example, Madonna's ``Like a Virgin'' performance, a recent Roseanne episode, and David Russell's... read more


About the Author

        Paula Bennett is Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Vernon A. Rosario II is Instructor in the History of Science at Harvard College, and an M.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title