January 12, 2011

What They Are Reading: Stephen Snyder, MD

Weekly feature on book recommendations by researchers and therapists in sex and sexual health

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Stephen Snyder is reading Daniel Bergner’s  The Other Side of Desire.

“The book consists of four individual portraits, each focusing on its subject’s sexual personality. Each is done with an uncommon attention to the individual’s subjective experience. Three of the portraits are of people with atypical sexual arousal. The reader is also treated to accounts of the scientific passions of the sex researchers and clinicians who study these individuals.”

“I believe that in these stories Bergner is on to more than he realizes with regard to the connections between mind, brain, creativity, and sexual variation.  His subjects include a foot fetishist who is also severely dyslexic; an amputee fetishist who is also a creative artist; and a female sexual sadist (also an artist) who’d been psychotic as a teen, and who for two or three years saw only in black and white.  The fact that people with unusual minds may sometimes have unusual sexualities has not been discussed much in our field up to now — which makes Bergner’s book an important contribution.”

Stephen Snyder is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.  Dr. Snyder is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and writer specializing in sexuality and relationship issues. He blogs regularly for Psychology Today.