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Dr. Offit, a psychiatrist who directs the Sexual Therapy and Consultation Center at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, is one practitioner whose humanity matches her force matches her wit. Our ""fundamental sexual feelings and attitudes,"" she believes, are shaped by our earliest experiences of love through trust and body contact. However generous or meager or distorted our portion may have been, each sexual choice thereafter is a reflection of these deeply rooted experiences. With brisk, sometimes sardonic objectivity, Dr. Offit describes common personality patterns and the sexual disorders peculiar to each: ""Whatever threatens the total dominance of the aggressive causes impotence. Kindness, understanding, forgiveness, care, and tenderness are the surest weapons against his erection."" Women, she notes, ""are no longer simply piping hot or refrigerated,"" they suffer ""sexual desire disorder,"" ""sexual excitement disorder,"" and ""inhibited orgasm"" just as men do. Taking up ""cures"" (ancillary, usually, to psychological treatment), she gives simple regimens for dealing with premature ejaculation, impotence, and retarded ejaculation--pointing out later that traditional courtship, with intercourse forbidden and erections common, allowed both partners ""to become physically and psychologically receptive for coitus."" Sexual freedom, as such, does not impress her; in the new morality, as in the old idealism, ""Something essential is missing. There is no pain."" For a change, a book on sexual dysfunction and satisfaction that the discriminating person can read without blanching.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1977
Publisher: Lippincott