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Book by Castleman, Michael
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Michael Castleman has been a sex and health writer since 1973. Library Journal calls him "one of the nation's leading health writers." His first book, Sexual Solutions, a self-help guide to men's sex problems, published in 1980, has since sold more than 500,000 copies. From 1991 to 1995, he answered the sex questions submitted to the Playboy magazine Advisor. He has answered sex questions for WebMD.com, and currently answers sex questions for Xandria.com, the nation's largest marketer of sex toys. He has written about sexuality for Reader's Digest, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Redbook, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, Psychology Today, Self, Cosmopolitan, and Salon.com, among other publications. In 1996, he was nominated for the National Magazine Award for his coverage of breast cancer. Castleman is the author of nine other consumer health books. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan in 1972. He received a master's in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979 and taught medical journalism there in 1995 and 1996. Castleman lives in San Francisco with his wife (a family physician) and their two children.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The Misleading Messages of Porn Want your honey to act like a porn star? Don't hold your breath. Pornography seriously misrepresents how women feel about sex and themselves. "It amazes me," says Great Sex advisory board member Dennis Sugrue, Ph.D., "how some men don't understand that pornography presents a fantasy world, a Neverland that's very different from the world real people live in." Some fantasies it promotes: Fantasy: Every woman can't wait to spread her legs. Reality: In real life, compared with men, women usually need considerably more sexual warm-up time before they feel comfortable with genital sexuality. They need time for playful, creative, full-body sensuality. Porn totally ignores this very real need. Instead, it encourages men to plunge into intercourse long before women feel receptive. When surveys ask women what they dislike about the way men make love, they consistently reply that men rush into intercourse too quickly. Blame it on porn. Porn sex leaves many women cold -- and turned-off women aren't much fun in bed. Fantasy: A woman should look like a porn star to be considered sexy. Reality: Porn stars' bodies are way too perfect. They have flat bellies; firm breasts, thighs, upper arms, and butts; no flab; and no wrinkles. Many have also had plastic surgery: breast enlargement, tummy tucks, liposuction -- you name it. "Many men don't understand how most women compare themselves to porn actresses," advisory board member Louanne Weston, Ph.D., explains. "The typical woman feels very distressed that her body is nowhere near as flawless as what she sees on screen. Her man is sitting there thinking, 'I'd love a blowjob like that.' Meanwhile she's thinking, 'I'm a tub of lard.' When women see the men in their lives enjoying those women they often feel hopelessly outclassed. They fear rejection, and it's a deep and chilling fear, one few men appreciate." Fantasy: Women love to flaunt their bodies. Reality: The women in porn seem delighted to flash their breasts and genitals, and strut around naked just about anywhere. Few real women are exhibitionists. Because of their insecurities about their bodies, many women feel reluctant to reveal themselves even to the men they love. Meanwhile, men who view porn often expect their lovers to prance around in the buff and can't understand why they insist on wearing robes until just before slipping under the covers and want the lights off during sex. Fantasy: Women are content to "receive" sex from men, with no hope of experiencing orgasm themselves. Reality: Given that fewer than half of women express orgasm during intercourse, the fact that women in pornography almost never do is actually the X-rated media's only realistic element. After the man comes, known in the industry as the "money shot," the sex is over. The women scream and moan in the throes of supposed passion, but they almost never have orgasms. Imagine if the roles were reversed and you were in the throes of ecstasy only to be cut short once your lover had her orgasm. You'd likely feel disappointed. When women watch porn, that's how many of them feel. The culture of porn has little interest in women's sexual satisfaction -- most is produced by men for men. In addition, given the rushed, nonsensual nature of porn sex, under those circumstances, it's a rare woman who could come, even if she wanted to. No wonder so many men are in the dark about women's orgasms. They never see them in porn, and they have no idea that porn-style sex leaves many women so turned off and unfulfilled that they can't possibly express orgasm. Fantasy: All women respond the same way in bed. Reality: Pornography ignores the unique individuality of sexual expression. Porn sex is cookbook sex. Take two people. Get them naked. She sucks. He licks. Then they have intercourse in various acrobatic -- and unrealistic -- positions. Some people may enjoy making love this way, but most prefer more creativity. Porn never shows lovers massaging each other's shoulders, or running fingers through each other's hair, or tracing fingers on the backs of knees, or sucking each other's fingers or ear lobes. All of these little moves add special zing to lovemaking. Pornography rarely shows eye contact, never zooms in to catch one lover whispering, "I love you." Nor does pornography ever show lovers asking each other, "Is this okay? How's this? Too light? Just right? Too intense?" Or "What can I do for you?" In porn, one script fits all. "Porn sex is very narrow," Klein says. "After a while, it gets boring. Great sex never gets boring." (Reprinted from Great Sex: A Man's Guide to the Secret Principles of Total-Body Sex by Michael Castleman (Rodale Inc., Hardcover, $24.95). Permission granted by Rodale, Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold.) Copyright © 2004 Michael Castleman
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