HIS SECRET LIFE by Bob Berkowitz

HIS SECRET LIFE

Male Sexual Fantasies
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Imagine a diverse group of men candidly sharing their sexual fantasies, with TV personality Berkowitz moderating and commenting with wit and sincerity on our nation's sexual habits. The result is His Secret Life. Berkowitz (What Men Won't Tell You but Women Need to Know, 1989) gives a new twist to his old theme: the secret desires and needs that men are reluctant to talk about. Since they won't tell women directly, he argues, women need to read their secret fantasies in their ``sign'' language: ``The fantasy is like a postcard a man sends to himself. It says, `Wish you were here.' '' Based on surveys and correspondence, this volume offers a collection of men's fantasies with the author's running commentary. Although the largely unedited contributions represent a wide range of literary skills and cultural references, they all reflect the domination of mass media--advertising, in particular--on the male imagination; many fantasies resemble TV commercials or films. The book is divided into four parts. ``Control'' covers fantasies involving the sexually confident woman. Power sharing, Berkowitz asserts, is the name of the game, although some will question the control allowed women in some of these fantasies. ``Taboo Breaking'' indicates that the classic mÇnage Ö trois ranks as men's favorite fantasy. Group sex fantasies amusingly reveal egotism, as in this comment: ``I am the star, and they all want me.'' But such ego reinforcement, according to Berkowitz, is not purchased at someone else's expense and acts as a comfort in this ``harsh and unforgiving'' world. ``Beyond Ground Zero'' addresses oral sex and male masturbation, which, as many will suspect, is how fantasies often end. Berkowitz casts aside his tone of detachment for one of caution and responsibility in the final section, ``Other Options,'' on S&M and cybersex. As he admits, some of these fantasies are disturbing. ``Disney World for adults,'' says our host glibly. As with the Magic Kingdom, some will be tantalized, others turned off. (For a look at women's sexual fantasies, see Wendy Maltz and Suzie Boss, In the Garden of Desire, p. 529.)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-81103-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1997