Sunday, February 01, 2009

Who's Been Sleeping In Your Head? by Brett Kahr

London based psychoanalyst Brett Kahr's book Who's Been Sleeping In Your Head? is not for the faint of heard. Subtitled The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies, this book is intended to be a scientific study of adult sexual fantasy. Kahr, through both online surveys and in-depth personal interviews, gathered data on the sexual fantasies of over 23,000 men and women from the U.S. and Britain. In the first section, Kahr gives the reader some initial information on his credentials an the psychoanalytic view of sexual fantasy. He then poses some questions he hopes the study of the data will answer. The second section is a sample of the fantasies gathered during the study. It is here that the warning not to read on if you are faint of heart applies. Many of these fantasies are quite disturbing. In the third section of the book, Kahr gives a more in-depth look at sexual fantasy and its development through several case studies. He posits hypotheses as to the cause of the sexual fantasy in each individual case. For some of these cases, the childhood trauma that caused the fantasies are even more disturbing than the fantasies themselves. In the fourth and final section, the author attempts to draw some conclusions from the study.

I have to admit, I am ambivalent about what to say about this book. I would not necessarily recommend it to anyone I know. As I stated, some of the material in the book is upsetting. In addition, I am quite skeptical about Kahr's conclusions due to their psychoanalytic nature. In the end, he appears to conclude that the most adult's sexual fantasies are produced by traumatic childhood events. But, even though he admits but ultimately discounts to the possibility of bias, I cannot help but wonder if he simply found what he what he was looking for in the first place.


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