When you’ve got a self-help sex book with the dedication TO MY FATHER – Who taught me the meaning of tenderness with his soft cheeks and gentle hands, you know you’re getting into some downright creepy psychoanalysis territory. To help women of the baby boom generation cope with their sexual hang-ups, Dr. Irene Kassorla has devised the PLEASURE PROCESS, a set of steps not actually recognized by ANSI or ISO. This process involves the usual good advice about sex:
- Care about your partner.
- Communicate with your partner.
- Have sex with your partner.
However, it’s wrapped in psychoanalysis that obviously traces all sexual hangups to interaction with the parents as a baby. Ergo, Dr. Kassorla invites you to free-associate while going at it, particularly if you’re able to free-associate yourself to a repressed memory and its attendant guilt of a moment where your daddy was changing you and you were gloriously naked in the bassinet. If you’re able to talk about that with your partner while you’re both, um, busy, you’ll get over the guilt that’s held you back and will finally achieve orgasm.
I mean, ew. Please. No. That’s not a test of whether your partner loves you, ladies; that’s a test of whether your partner is listening to you. For his sake and for the sake of your relationship, I hope he’s not.
Frankly, Irene Kassorla is no Marabel Morgan, and I’m glad Ruth Westheimer had Dr. Kassorla “disappeared” in the great sex therapist turf battles of the end of the disco era. Because frankly, I’m more hung up than when I started the book.