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A Hypersexual Society
Sexual Discourse, Erotica, and Pornography in America Today
Kenneth C. W. Kammeyer
A HYPERSEXUAL SOCIETY
Copyright © Kenneth C. W. Kammeyer, 2008. All rights reserved. First published in 2008 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN® in the US—a division of St. Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Where this book is distributed in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, this is by Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS. Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world. Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries. ISBN-13: 978-0-230-60942-6 ISBN-10: 0-230-60942-2 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available from the Library of Congress. A catalogue record of the book is available from the British Library. Design by Scribe Inc. First edition: November 2008 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed in the United States of America.
Preface 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sexual Materials and Pornography in Today’s Society Theoretical Foundation and Conceptual Tools Repression and Censorship: Early and Continuing Attempts to Suppress Sexual Materials and Pornography Sex on the Printed Page: From Literary Classics to Playboy and X-Rated Comics Sex in Academe: From Kinsey’s Research to Porn Studies Sex Therapy: The Profession, the Business, the Hucksters, and the Spammers Sex on Film: Stag Movies, Porn Flicks, Hollywood NC-17, and Videos/DVDs Radio and Television: From Cautious Beginnings to Shock Jocks and Anything-Goes Cable and Satellite Television Sex on the Internet: Unlimited and Uncontrolled The Hypersexual Society: Where We Are and What Lies Ahead
vii 1 17 41 65 89 115 133
157 181 203 219 231 251
Notes References Index
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The origins of this book started quite casually at a Baltimore Orioles baseball game. I was with my longtime friend and colleague George Ritzer. George had just agreed to edit a series about social issues in American society and he asked if I would be interested in writing a book about pornography in American society. The subject of pornography was one that I had previously written about, and since I had no other pressing obligations I replied, “Sure.” As I drove home from the game that night, I was thinking about sex and pornography in American society when the concept of “sexual saturation” jumped into my mind. It seemed to be a good working title for a book. I had recently written an essay about pornography in which I argued that sexual materials, including erotica and pornography, were pervasive in American society. The “sexual saturation” title did not make the final cut, but the term will still appear at various times in this book because others have described American society as sexually saturated. As I was working on various renditions of this book, I had a number of conversations with Ritzer and it was on one of these occasions that he suggested I consider “hypersexuality” as a title for the book. This concept is a derivative of Jean Baudrillard’s overarching concept of “hyperreality,” and though I was not initially drawn to his meaning of the term, I did eventually find parts of his view consistent with my original notion of sexual saturation. A conceptual analysis of the book’s title will be discussed further in Chapter 1. A second conceptual and theoretical foundation of this book is the work of the French social historian Michel Foucault. Again, it was Ritzer, my theory advisor of choice, who sensitized me to Foucault’s work. While some of my interpretations of Foucault’s writing may not be completely faithful to what he was saying, his work has...