With the Hand

Mels van Driel

With the Hand

Most women do it at home; men, it seems, do it everywhere. Some consider it a health treatment, others as love for themselves. Yet despite everyone doing it, no one actually talks about it - masturbation is still taboo, and even today the subject is not discussed at dinner parties. To help the world overcome its diffidence towards solo sex, Mels van Driel has written With the Hand. Consulting theologians, historians, classicists, doctors, sexologists, connoisseurs, artists, philosophers, writers, poets, musicians, feminists and chauvinists, Van Driel answers questions about what masturbation actually is, and describes the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Covering a great number of topics, from the physical, to the mythical, to the mythological, to the artistic, this book explores masturbation in all its astonishing variety. From statistics of age, location and frequency, to the effects of circumcision, to multiple orgasms, he also explores masturbation in art, literature, poetry, song, religion and philosophy. 2.8 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
With the Hand

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Sex & Sexuality
Format Hardback
Pages 296
RRP
Date of Publication March 2012
ISBN 978-1861899194
Publisher Reaktion
 

Most women do it at home; men, it seems, do it everywhere. Some consider it a health treatment, others as love for themselves. Yet despite everyone doing it, no one actually talks about it - masturbation is still taboo, and even today the subject is not discussed at dinner parties. To help the world overcome its diffidence towards solo sex, Mels van Driel has written With the Hand. Consulting theologians, historians, classicists, doctors, sexologists, connoisseurs, artists, philosophers, writers, poets, musicians, feminists and chauvinists, Van Driel answers questions about what masturbation actually is, and describes the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Covering a great number of topics, from the physical, to the mythical, to the mythological, to the artistic, this book explores masturbation in all its astonishing variety. From statistics of age, location and frequency, to the effects of circumcision, to multiple orgasms, he also explores masturbation in art, literature, poetry, song, religion and philosophy.

Reviews

The Sunday Times

James McConnachie

His book is exactly what you’d expect a Dutch urologist’s to be: clear-sighted, wry and relentlessly liberal. It is also a little exhausting. The problem is the sheer range of reference. To take just four random pages, van Driel jumps from African circumcision, artificial insemination and The Vagina Monologues to nurses who feel obliged, not least by compassion, to masturbate patients who can’t do it for themselves ... This all provides splendid material for party conversation (at the right sort of party), but it lacks a shaping narrative and needed a good edit. And with no underlying argument — beyond a sense that we must talk about masturbation more and feel guilty about it less — this book feels, well, a little masturbatory: enjoyable but somehow fruitless.

22/04/2012

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The Times

Rowan Pelling

With the Hand is a curious book. The last third of the volume is really a list of the instances in philosophy, poetry, art and film where masturbation is cited or inspires a work. Van Driel’s prose can be over-excitable, the heavy-handed jokes can misfire and sometimes his drift is hard to follow. Sometimes he can seem like a sex-obsessed uncle, insisting every last detail of intimacy should be open, when you treasure a little privacy. Still, you can’t help admiring his determination to break the rusty shackles of the masturbation taboo.

12/05/2012

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