The Other Side of Desire

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In his book The Other Side of DesireNew York Times Magazine staff writer Daniel Bergner investigates different kinds of sexual desire through four case studies.


Daniel Bergner

Comments [18]

herb wein from Queens, NY

Interesting topic; very dull speaker. He seemed to be clueless on the topic.

Herb from Queens

Mar. 18 2009 09:19 PM
r from NYC

The answer to the question where these desires originate from was not a part of the interview. Mr. Lopate, why did you not ask such a basic question?

Mar. 18 2009 03:33 PM
r from NYC

This topic is intriquing. The comments are very interesting here. Investigating this topic provides insight into our own proclivitives and repulsions on so many other levels of our human nature than sexual desires.

Think this book is worth reading.

Mar. 18 2009 03:29 PM
Jane from Central NJ

A fascinating, to me, episode on This American Life, relates to this topic, especially whether there are gender differences in the extent to which desire is physiologically vs. emotionally based. Alex Blumberg interviewed a trans-sexual (woman who became a man) and asked about how the sex change process changed his sexual desires. Taking testosterone led to the attraction to women, which had been more subtle and relationship-based, becoming overwhelmingly rawly sexual. Testosterone levels vary a lot among men, and women. I wonder if that level relates to how strongly people are likely to act out their sexual desires, whether mainstream or not.

Mar. 18 2009 01:45 PM
janice from manhattan

Being involved in the online dating world, I find that people are more open about expressing their fetishes today. I meet men and after two or three dates they reveal their desires that are outside of "the norm". I am not the only one of my single girlfriends who has had this experience. It does not shock me and I am very open about where I stand with my sexual practices. More times than not they get angry at me for not going along with them and they will badger me to get me to change my mind. I find as respectful and open as I am to their desires, they seem to ignore mine.

Mar. 18 2009 01:30 PM
Danielle from Queens

I appreciate the interesting story, but I wish Mr. Lopate would be less apologetic about the subject. I think the guest is absolutely right in pointing out our ridiculous fear and avoidance of the subject of our own sexuality. The more sexually repressed our society becomes, the more continually in danger we are of abhorrent sexual crimes.

Mar. 18 2009 01:28 PM
Cheri Starr from Clifton, NJ

Mr. Jed-- I definitely think that older/younger could be considered a fetish...

Mar. 18 2009 01:28 PM
Jennifer from NYC


Mar. 18 2009 01:24 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Erotica is one thing but certain sexual desire can lead to illegal activity. Tread lightly here.

Mar. 18 2009 01:24 PM
Robin from Queens

Sexual aberrations;: The phenomena of fetishism in relation to sex
by Wilhelm Stekel

Mar. 18 2009 01:23 PM
GR from Sunset Park

Actually, regarding illegality: consensual SM between adults is illegal in many jurisdictions and is sometimes prosecuted (*both* parties usually charged with "assault").

Mar. 18 2009 01:22 PM
Mr. Jed from Stamford

Could younger men/women attracted to an older men/women, straight or gay, be considered a fettish? Being a younger person always attracted to older it usually comes up as topic of conversation.

Mar. 18 2009 01:21 PM
Cheri Starr from Clifton, NJ

People are conditioned to view themselves as filthy if they try to experiment with their bodies...Once you get over that stigma, it's much easier to feel more comfortable with ALL aspects of your life...

Because of the recession and cuts in my hours at my "day job", I ended up getting a part time job in an adult video store. Men and women come in and rent all sorts of "odd" movies with assorted fetishes...and some hide their heads and lower their hats on their brow when they scurry from their cars to the door of the shop...

I really think that everyone should stop being so ashamed of what they do. Sexual activity is supposed to feel good...the things that you do with your partner during play are supposed to be daring and's natural.

Mar. 18 2009 01:18 PM
gregory from The Bronx

What's the difference between tied feet and high heels? Careful, methinks your self-righteousness is showing.

Mar. 18 2009 01:18 PM
charles from nyc

please consider this:

Maybe an amputee woman represents the man's damaged self. All of us have struggled and carry wounds of one kind or another. And I think most attractions are based on us projecting parts of ourselves onto others (parts that need our attention). I'm a photographer and I have photographed anorexic women as well as a wrist cutter in bandages. These are not erotic turn ons for me, but I am powerfully drawn to these women visually. In my case I believe my wounded and damages self projects onto them, and I am then drown to the projection.

Mar. 18 2009 01:18 PM
Robin from Queens

The reason he's interested in this is because he's trying to understand why he himself has these desires. How UNinteresting. (Yes, there IS a difference between being attracted to a blonde and attracted to someone with no legs or bound feet. There is a greater power differential in one versus the other. Consensual or not, sex is about power.) Oh, and Stekel talks considerably about feet (which actually is more accurately termed foot partialism than foot fetish).

Mar. 18 2009 01:17 PM
Rosie from Bronx


Why is being attracted to a person with a disability abnormal? This seems very unfair.

Mar. 18 2009 01:14 PM
sophie from manhattan

Reminds me of the David Cronenberg movie CRASH.

Mar. 18 2009 01:14 PM

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