An odd mixture of touchy-feely meditation and clinical speculation on eros and its many expressions. A bestseller in Italy, Eros presents Bevilacqua as the archetypal ``Sensitive Guy,'' appalled by the brutish nature of many men, ever solicitous of his own (many) lovers. ``Eros is not, can never be, as so many men believe, purely penetration. This is profanation. . . . Some men cast off the power contained in their semen in a few minutes. They are blind and deaf to Eros.'' Weaving together autobiographical recollections and reflections inspired by tales that he has been told about lovers past and present, Bevilacqua covers such diverse matters as the most explosive orgasm he ever provoked, the challenges and pleasures of oral sex, his first sexual experience, and the strange connection between sex and death. He recalls amorous games. He muses on voyeurism and masturbation. He offers definitions of various perversions (scopophilia, bestiality) and a variety of pronouncements about the different ways in which men and women experience sexual need. Interspersed with these ingredients are miniature case studies of people altered or devastated by erotic encounters. Although the book is often disarmingly frank and does offer some surprisingly sensitive psychological insight (Bevilacqua observes, for instance, that some women may go through a bisexual phase when male aggression seems particularly threatening), it rambles rather too much. A refreshingly frank discussion of the sexual experience that nevertheless seems finally more talky than stirring. There's light here, but, surprisingly, not much heat.
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