Saturday, February 10, 2007

The secret desires of the British

Tim Adams has a funny and rather touching piece at the Observer about Brett Kahr's new (Kinseyesque) survey of British sex fantasies in the early twenty-first century:

In his book, and in person, Kahr is acute about the oddness of a job which involves him starting work at 6.45 in the morning (many clients like to see him before they start work) and grappling all day with the details of interior lives that may promote 'thundering orgasm' or lead to suicidal despair. In his youth, he wanted to be a concert pianist. Instead, he spends his time working through the traumas of, say, 'Mrs Elphinstone' who, when she masturbates, thinks 'about her elder brother and her 17-year-old nephew, Claude, both of whom have really hirsute chests which she adores' - in contrast to the torso of 'Mr Elphinstone', which appears to her like that of 'a skinned chicken'. His book is full of such crippling dilemmas, so many that you get quickly inured to the peculiar sadness and comedy of human desire.

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