An Interview and article by David DiSalvo
Jesse Bering, Perv: The Sexual Deviant in all of Us
Originally posted on October 24, 2013
Here is an excerpt:
Q: One of the themes that comes through is that we feel so sure about the origins and motivations of various sexual behaviors, and for a good many of them there’s no scientific basis for feeling this way – indeed, in many cases science is far from reaching a conclusion. Why do you think we’re so prone to staunchly believing that how we feel about a sexual behavior is automatically true?
A: It’s certainly one of those areas where everyone has an opinion. But if there’s one thing I discovered while working on this book, it’s that the strength of one’s moral convictions about sex usually reflects the depths of one’s ignorance about the science of sex. The more one learns in this area, paradoxically, the more uncertain one becomes.
Human beings are “stomach philosophers”—we allow our gut feelings to make decisions about other people’s sex lives on the basis of whether or not we’re personally disgusted or uncomfortable with their erotic desires or behaviors. I draw the line at harm, but defining harm can be a slippery matter, too. Since we would be harmed, we presume that others must be harmed as well, even when that’s far from apparent. I joke in the book about how I’d be irreparably damaged if Kate Upton were to pin me to my chair and do a slow strip tease on my lap. Lovely as she is, I’m gay, and not only would I not enjoy that experience, I’d be made deeply uncomfortable by it. My straight brother or my lesbian cousin, by contrast, would process this identical Upton event very differently.
The entire interview/article is here.