Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering
First, let me be immature and get it all out.
HAHAHAHA I read a book called PERV and it’s all about SEX and it’s hilarious and awesome and HAHAHA you’re probably wrong in your suspicion about why there’s a sheep on the cover HAHAHAHAHA.
Okay, now that we’re done with that… it was actually a little weird to carry this book around with me. I read it on the rail one day, with a little old woman sitting beside me. I kept trying to hide the cover, but then the pages were covered with all these words that jump out, so I just gave up. LET HER JUDGE. I’M EXPANDING MY MIND.
The basic message here is that people can do whatever sexual activities they want and have whatever fetishes they want unless what they’re doing causes excessive and nonconsensual harm to another living thing and we really shouldn’t judge, even though most of us are going to.
The book entered into a lot of fascinating territory, like how science is trying to figure out how some people have their fetish switches flipped – some of them do seem to have specific childhood events to point to, and some don’t.
Bering approaches the tricky topic of pedophilia – true pedophilia, being attracted to actual children, not teenagers, because that’s different, and how people can’t help how their brains are wired, only their actions. Most people are ready to judge immediately, but the truth is, people can’t really help what they like and don’t like – true pedophilias have a shitty lot in life, because they just have to keep their urges under control, but if their secret gets out somehow, even if they haven’t touched or harmed a child, they’re still outcasts.
He relates a story of masochism/sadism, where a man placed an ad looking for a partner to have sexual relations with and also, eat. And he found a willing participant! Who wanted to be 100% killed and eaten. Even the original poster wasn’t looking to go all the way in this manner, probably just wanted to eat a couple fingers or something, but his partner convinced him. The question becomes, with such a willing participant, did this man really commit a crime? The answer is yes, he’s a damn murderer, and even without the sex and the eating, you get in trouble for assisting suicide, if that’s what the guy wanted. But it does make it tricky! He should have said no, but his partner DID want it.
Bering also discusses an experiment, where lambs were raised with goats, and kids (baby goats) were raised with sheep. When they were old enough to reproduce, the males were only interested in the species they grew up with, while the females were less picky, and would copulate with sheep OR goats. …I sort of forget the point of this, but THAT is why there’s a lamb on the cover. You were probably thinking it had to do with bestiality, which is touched on, but not much.
Lots of juicy info and discussion in this book. I really enjoyed it. The problem, I think, is that the people who would pick this up are already open-minded on this topic. People who are much more rigid and conservative would probably want to shoot lasers at the book with their eyes or something, which is unfortunate. For the record, Bering presents his information with lots of humor, including being able to laugh at himself and his life situations as a gay man, which gave the book some additional flavor, I think.