Behavior: Bedroom Battle

The hostility of it all

Outraged Victorians were so busy harrumphing over Freud's mentioning sex at all that they managed to overlook many of his truly inflammatory writings.

One turn-of-the-century essay, "The Most Prevalent Form of Degradation in Erotic Life," retains the power to shock to this day. The father of psychoanalysis argued gloomily that most men are driven to debase their sex partners. Perhaps worse, he said, they are often attracted to women they consider inferior.

Can it really be that good sex depends on some degree of hostility? Even the master's most...

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