G. Hekma – ABC of Perversions
Kindle Ebook: ABC of Perversions. World’s most erotic encyclopedia
ABC of Perversions promotes freedom of sexual morality – Feb 2015
The box office success of the erotic film 50 Shades of Grey reveals the public’s obsession with deviant sexual behavior. The plot revolves around the character of Anastasia, an inexperienced young woman who is tied up and taught the ways of BDSM by Christian Grey. When it comes to kink, there’s a whole big world out there and bondage is just the beginning. Curious? With the book ABC of Perversions, that world is now at your fingertips.
In partnership with Amsterdam-based publishing house SpeakEasy, courageous gender and sexuality lecturer Gert Hekma is releasing an English version of his book ABC of Perversions. Promoting open-minded sexual morality and inspiring passionate debate in the Netherlands, the book is subtitled ‘World’s most erotic encyclopedia’. In alphabetical order, the author describes a broad range of perverse sexual fantasies and places them in a context of acceptance and civil rights. Ranging from foot sex and bondage to controversial interests such as pedosexuality and bestiality, the volume demonstrates how almost everyone can relate to at least one perversion. Without judgment or condemnation, Hekma shows how perversions are an inherent part of the human experience. The book is a must-read for everyone who wonders whether his or her fantasies are absurd or perverse, or who wants to do or dream something different for a change. It’s also an eye-opener, revealing rare and obscure fantasies the reader is unlikely to have previously encountered. Drawing from the work of intellectuals and writers such as the Marquis de Sade, Reve, Krafft-Ebing and Kinsey, Hekma reviews all possible perversions and shows that perversion is a common human phenomenon.
Quote: Xaviera Hollander, The Happy Hooker
‘If you read this interesting and educational book, I am sure you will soon get over your aversion to perversions. In fact you may consider it a perfect guide to a totally new world you sometimes vaguely may have heard of. But now you will be inaugurated into that bizarre world of ‘other sexual pleasures and aberrations.’ Try it, you may even like it. Or some of it, at least..’ – Xaviera Hollander, The Happy Hooker
Where can I buy this mindblowing must-read?
Buy ABC of Perversions directly with Amazon Kindle (early bird discount price of only $0.99)
And please leave a review for extra kudos & awesomeness!
Most people see perversions as having nothing to do with them: they’re something for weirdos. Yet surely, from time to time, almost everyone secretly dreams of dominant or submissive behavior, be it a love bite, whip or bondage. Perversions are a part of life. ABC of Perversions evokes beautiful and strange fantasies: from mud baths to necrophilia, from exhibitionism to a fondness for satin. While they occasionally lead to sexual madness and lustful killers, they are more likely to serve as erotic highlights. What some find laughable, others exalt. In ABC of Perversions, Hekma shows how perversions are an inherent part of the human experience. The book is a must-read for everyone who wonders whether his or her fantasies are absurd or perverse, or who wants to do or dream something different for a change. It’s also an eye-opener, revealing rare and obscure fantasies the reader is unlikely to have previously encountered. Drawing from the work of intellectuals and writers such as the Marquis de Sade, Reve, Krafft-Ebing and Kinsey, Hekma reviews all possible perversions and shows that perversion is a common human phenomenon.
About the author Gert Hekma
Gert Hekma teaches Gay and Lesbian Studies for the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Specializing in sociology and the history of (homo)sexuality, he has co-organized various conferences, including: Among Men, Among Women (1983), Organizing Sexuality (1994), Queer Sports (1998), Sexual Cultures in Europe and small-scale events on the Marquis de Sade, masturbation, the history of sexology, the rise of the gay and lesbian movement and same-sex marriage. He has done research on: acceptance of homosexuality in the Netherlands, the history of male homosexuality, Muslims and queers and queer Muslims and the Dutch sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.
About SpeakEasy Publisher & Agency
Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, SpeakEasy is a niche publishing company committed to supporting progressive works of literature. SpeakEasy gives a voice to authors who may otherwise have difficulty finding a platform, from taboo-breaking themes and stories of scandal to risky works of non-fiction. In an effort to increase tolerance and understanding worldwide, the company strives to deliver liberal Dutch narratives to a broad international audience.
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Interview with the author Gert Hekma (03.2013 – by Gordan Duhaček)
The sexual revolution seems to have a bad reputation these days. High divorce rates, pedophilia in the Catholic Church… Are we living in a new age of conservatism and have the attitudes towards the meaning of the sexual revolution changed?
Moral conservatism is growing in some places, but not as a general trend. In the fifties and sixties, the idea that sexual desire should respect equality was revolutionary. Before, social differences were accepted as the motor of desire: between male and female, effeminate gays and heterosexual men, straight trade, butch lesbians and straight femmes, rich and poor, old and young, client and prostitute, across racial borders. They were all unequal relationships. It’s generally accepted that the demand for sexual equality is a result of the sexual revolution. So equal gay and lesbian couples are now celebrated, but unequal sexual relations are being demonized: pedophilia, bestiality, prostitution, SM, traditional heterosexual relations wherein the male is dominant and the female dependent. The conservatism shows itself in how people view the sexuality of children (they should remain innocent, sex is a risk and children should be protected – for example in regards to the internet) or in sexual and gender variations (often seen as “weird”). In the sixties, the goal was sexual self-determination (also for youngsters) and there was strong critique of traditional institutions that imposed their morality: family, school, law and police, psychiatry, religion and so on. People wanted to decide for themselves. Marriage and family were sexist for feminists and homophobic for LGBTs. People sought “individualization”. Now, LGBTs often embrace marriage and many want to go into the army and church. So quite a shift. The critique of the sexual revolution is that we have “gone too far” and taken too many liberties, essentially becoming egocentric loudmouths. That may be true, but shouldn’t a free society allow us all to decide for ourselves? Shouldn’t we keep the sixties’ desire for self-determination?
Can you explain, from a personal standpoint if you have one, the meaning of the sexual revolution for your generation?
As stated above, it was liberation from traditional ideologies and practices. I came to Amsterdam just after the sexual revolution and was able to enjoy the newfound freedoms. By then, Amsterdam had already been the “gay capital” for 10 years. A lively gay (not so much lesbian) subculture, the possibility of coming out, no obligation to hide. For most people, homosexuality was no longer a sin, crime or pathology. It was the beginning of a new era in homosexual emancipation and there were a lot of legal issues still at play: lawful discrimination when it came to romantic relationships, housing, labor, taxes and so on – not to mention social discrimination. Gays and lesbians were second-class citizens – and remain so to this day. The general presumption about sexual orientation is heterosexual. So the sexual revolution’s critique of traditional institutions was extremely important, its openness, the literature and images regarding sexuality (from porn to sex education), it was all crucial to the sexual freedom women, gays and lesbians gained. People were stimulated and given the possibility to decide for themselves in many aspects of their personal lives, including sexually.
What is the correlation between the sexual revolution and the start of the LGBT rights movement in the sixties
Ever since 1912, there has been a homosexual rights movement in the Netherlands (in Germany since 1897), although it initially bore little success. Real results started to come in the sixties when the movement underwent quick and radical changes. The movement’s leaders (and the subculture itself) came out into the open, they no longer used pseudonyms and they changed their goals from the right to live and assimilation to the idea of integration on their terms. They started to discuss the meaning of gay life and culture. At some point, “red faggots” proposed a queer life and culture that would open society to gender fuck or androgyny, options for sadomasochism and pedophilia. The most important movement in the Netherlands was the Dutch Society for Sexual Reform. They also embraced homosexuality as a main issue. This organization (with its 200,000 members) also wanted to break down the gender and sexual dichotomy (in 1967), allowing homosexuals to discover their heterosexual side and vice versa – so heterosexuals could be free to express their homosexual sentiments and men their feminine side, etc. During the sexual revolution, this openness in regards to homosexuality was broadly shared and in 1969, most – also Christian – parties were in favor of abolition of the anti-homosexual law that forbid sexual relations between minors and adults of the same sex: an age of consent of 21 years, while for heterosexuals it was 16. This was when the homosexual movement started to receive widespread support.
You have written extensively about the relationship between LGBT rights and the political left. How much homophobia and prejudice were on the left side of the political spectrum when the gay struggle began?
The left has had many faces, but the general leftist attitude was pro-family and monogamy or, as Friedrich Engels said: in socialism, men will be monogamous as women already are. He poked fun at Ulrichs, the founder of gay emancipation in the 1860s, in his letters to Marx (who replied in kind) and at Schweitzer, a German socialist leader who was arrested for sex with another male. It was generally assumed that homosexuality was the decadent perversion of rich people and Catholic clergy who abused working-class youngsters. Large groups on the Left have remained family and couple oriented. Early socialists who came to the defense of homosexuality would simultaneously warn against men who abused boys, which was more of a concern than straight men seducing girls or women pursuing boys or girls (before the Second World War, relations between adult women and young men were quite common; the woman was, as they said in Dutch, “the old bike on which they learned to ride”). Even today, the Left remains hesitant to embrace gay emancipation (take, for example, Blair in England and Kok in the Netherlands). Recently, Leftists accept it, but some say it is for electoral reasons: with the decline of the working class, the Left needs new voters. But compared to the Left, Christian parties were generally more negative on gay issues.
On the other hand, early 19th century utopian socialist Charles Fourier was very supportive of sexual diversity and obsessed with lesbianism. Regrettably, his major book on the issue (Toward a New World of Love) was only published in 1967. Other socialists defended free love and gender equality and sometimes even practiced it (Edward Carpenter being a famous example, England, ca. 1900). At the time of the Russian revolution, the country saw some openness on sexuality and after the revolution people like Alexandra Kollontai were able to create a more open climate when it came to (homo)sexuality. The law on sodomy wasn’t initially a part of the first Soviet laws, but was re-introduced in 1933 (as Gorki said: get rid of homosexuals and you will get rid of the Nazis – the idea was that all Nazis were homosexuals and the vice versa). The early Soviet regime wasn’t progressive on all matters of sexuality. Prostitutes, for example, were supposed to be re-educated for other forms of labor. Nevertheless, progressive sexologists saw the Soviet Union as an example of good politics in regards to sex and were very disappointed when laws on abortion and homosexuality were re-introduced in the early 1930s.
It seems that neoliberal capitalism has given the LGBT community the most rights. Do you agree with that assessment?
It seems it did, but you also have to take into account that the leading neoliberal countries (the UK and the USA, where Thatcher and Reagan promoted neoliberal measures) were the slowest to introduce pro-gay legislation. In fact, they went in the opposite direction: Thatcher introduced clause 28, which forbade public institutions to display positive images of homosexuality. Inspiration for LGBT emancipation has a lot of sources. The Right in the Netherlands now defends gay emancipation – which they never did before 2001 – with Islamophobia as grounds for their argumentation: Muslims are against gays, we are against Muslims, so we defend gays (and always defended them in Holland – a remarkable falsification of history). I doubt whether the right wing is really so pro-gay – a question that can be asked of more parties, from left to right. But it is nice that they say they are. So support of the LGBT movement has come from different sources, generally more from liberals and Leftists than from Christians and conservatives. In my view, ideals of gender and sexual equality have played a large role in LGBT emancipation and that was not the main interest of neoliberalism.
All over the world, people can only dream of Gay and Lesbian Studies at the university. How did your department in Amsterdam get started? Did you face a lot of opposition?
3 Dutch universities had Gay and Lesbian Studies in the 1980s, but they were highly marginal. They were made possible by the uprising of Women’s and Ethnic Studies around 1980, but they have disappeared since (and some of the individuals involved have turned mainstream). What we have nowadays, and what is quite successful, are “Gender (and sexuality) Studies”, combining Women’s Studies and LGBT Studies, while Ethnic Studies have largely disappeared (perhaps it’s sometimes referred to as Neo-colonial Studies).
Some of your most controversial research has been about pedophilia. How does that coincide with Gays and Lesbian Studies?
Pedophilia is part of heterosexuality and homosexuality. When it comes to heterosexuality, its most common form is incest. Pedophilia has become the term for relations between adults and minors that are strangers: it is the classic example of ‘stranger danger’. I haven’t counted, but I would assume there are more hetero than homosexual pedophile cases, with the latter receiving more attention in the press. For a long time, homosexuality and pedophilia were demonized and stood on a similar level of abjection. It didn’t matter whether a homosexual was interested in boys or men – he was a bad guy. Some of the famous “homosexuals” that the LGBT movement claims as examples were more on the side of having a sexual interest in minors: André Gide, Thomas Mann, Stefan George, Henri de Montherlant, the ‘Uranian’ poets in England, Kavafis, many ancient Greek authors like Socrates and, in the Netherlands, our two most prominent gay writers: Louis Couperus and Jacob Israël de Haan around 1900. Many had interests in both, like Oscar Wilde. Tourism to Mediterranean countries was often inspired by boy love and photographers like Von Gloeden, who produced pictures of nude Italian youngsters. The iconography of the early gay magazines concentrated on tender boys, not on masculine young men as it started to do in the 1960s. So both love for adolescents and male adults has often been seen as homosexuality, although nowadays the gay movement is clear in its opinion that pedophilia and homosexuality are totally different things; the first being abuse, the second something to celebrate in gay marriages and parades. Only in 1993 did the ILGA separate itself from pedophilic organizations, not of its own volition, but as a requirement of the United States government if they wanted to be accepted as partner of the UN. So homosexuality and pedophilia were once considered quite similar (like feminism and the LGTB movement), but are now clearly separate. To understand gay history, it is essential to study both histories: gay and pedophile.
Now remind me: where can I buy SpeakEasy’s first ebook ABC of Perversions?
Buy ABC of Perversions directly with Amazon Kindle (early bird discount price of only $0.99)
And please leave a review for extra kudos & awesomeness!
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