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The Long Sexual RevolutionEnglish Women, Sex, and Contraception 1800-1975$
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Hera Cook

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252183

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252183.001.0001

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‘The Spontaneous Feeling of Shame’: Masturbation and Freud 1930–1940

‘The Spontaneous Feeling of Shame’: Masturbation and Freud 1930–1940

(p.207) 9 ‘The Spontaneous Feeling of Shame’: Masturbation and Freud 1930–1940
The Long Sexual Revolution

Hera Cook (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The anxiety regarding masturbation peaked in the early interwar period at which time shame was regarded as a natural result of the practice of masturbation even by sexual reformers. In this period, any manual contact with the genital of the self or a sexual partner was defined as masturbation in the sex manuals. Male sexual dominance was the norm and Freudian concepts of the shift from clitoral to vaginal sexual responsiveness in women were deployed to reconstruct a new account of women's sexuality as active but still oriented toward sexual intercourse. A contemporary response to D. H. Lawrence is considered.

Keywords:   clitoral stimulation, male sexual dominance, shame, Freud, male sexuality, sexual repression, sexual norms, D. H. Lawrence

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