copyright © 2011 by James Park
A sex-script is whatever "turns you on".
Sometime before age 20 (perhaps most importantly during adolescence)
every human being is imprinted with a set of sex-scripts,
internalized fantasy-stories that cause sexual interest,
sexual arousal, & sexual orgasm.
The origins and dynamics of these internal scenarios
are only beginning to be understood.
The following books are the first struggles
to create a new model for human sexuality.
The sex-script hypothesis will have to be tested for several decades
before it becomes a well-established scientific theory.
But perhaps these books represent the beginning of
a paradigm-shift in human thinking about sex.
They are arranged according to quality, beginning with the best:
The Lovemap Guidebook:
A Definitive Statement
(ISBN: 0-8264-1203-3; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: BF692.M57 1999)
will not have any of these uncommon sex-scripts.
But unusual sexual responses are the ones that draw scientific attention.
And understanding the origins and dynamics of these paraphilias
should help everyone to understand his or her own sexual responses.
on Greek and Latin to create what he hopes will become
accepted scientific names for the paraphilias he discusses.
Wisely, he has included a glossary at the end of The Lovemap Guidebook,
which briefly explains the meaning of each term.
Only a few of these are found in common usage:
bestiality, cunnilingus, exhibitionism, fellatio, fisting, masochism,
necrophilia, nymphomania, pedophilia, sadism, sodomy, & voyeurism.
presents facts about the unusual forms of human sexuality
that have been confirmed again and again by scientific observers.
Only very rarely does he project
what might be the next scientific discoveries in sexology.
Money has spent his professional career working with unusual
this book is not very useful for exploring common lovemaps.
Readers will have to extrapolate from this book
in order to gain a deeper understanding
of the more common imprinted sexual fantasies.
as we gain more understanding of the origins of paraphilias,
we might understand better how ordinary sex-scripts arise.
An analogy might be the imprinting of one's native language:
Even the study of unusual languages can help us understand
how each person acquires his or her first language.
and compassionate book will stand the test of time.
2. John Money
Gay, Straight, and In-Between:
The Sexology of Sexual Orientation
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) 267 pages
book brings a truly scientific
approach to an area of belief
frequently dominated by partisan and dogmatic theories
held by people who are certain of the 'truth' before the research begins.
Dr. Money concludes that the research is still incomplete,
so the question of the origin of homosexuality,
heterosexuality, & bisexuality must remain open.
His research concentrates mostly on people with sexual ambiguity
and/or sexual problems, but understanding these unusual sexual responses
might cast some light on the more common forms of adult sexuality.
book also deals with the
puzzling phenomenon of transsexuals,
people who believe they are the other sex.
Cross-dressing (as a costume for a sexual fantasy
and for other reasons) is also discussed.
No hormonal differences have been discovered
to account for different sex-scripts or lovemaps.
More research is needed to uncover the possible relationships among
sex-hormones, male/female self-designation ("I am a boy." or "I am a girl."),
gender-personality (one's pattern of 'masculinity' or 'femininity'),
& sex-scripts (one's imprinted sexual fantasies).
Lovemaps: Clinical Concepts of Sexual/Erotic
Health and Pathology, Paraphilia, and Gender Transposition
in Childhood, Adolescence, and Maturity
(New York: Irvington, 1986) 331 pages
is a scientific work on unusual
Exploring the origins and dynamics of these sometimes bizarre
sexual fantasies and rituals might illuminate the sex-scripts
of people who never seek psychiatric help because of their 'sex-drives'
and who never commit sex-crimes.
No sex-scripts or imprinted sexual fantasies are 'natural'.
At critical periods early in our lives, various items
('fetish' objects, traumatic experiences, chance associations, etc.)
were slipped into that part of our minds we might call our "sex-files".
And usually this 'sexual imprinting' remains for the rest of our lives.
Sexology, Sexosophy, and Exigency Theory
(Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1986) 659 pages
world's leading sexologist
of the 20th century
presents a wide-ranging book, exploring many subjects
related to the sex-script hypothesis:
1) seven criteria for differentiating the sexes;
2) the power of early sex-assignment;
3) sexual imprinting at critical periods in psycho-sexual development;
4) sexual repression gives rise to unusual sex-scripts (paraphilias);
5) male/female self-designation (which sex am I?);
6) developing gender-personalities ('masculinity' or 'femininity');
7) sexual arousal ('normal' or 'abnormal');
8) heterosexuality, homosexuality, & bisexuality;
9) sexual fantasies, pornography, & paraphilias;
10) compulsive sexual behavior and its treatment;
13) intersex individuals (problems and treatments); &
14) sex-change operations.
Because this is a collection of
scientific papers and articles
from several years, it varies in quality. But many hours
of stimulating reading await the careful and selective reader.
This book presents the raw material for the sex-script hypothesis.
Paraphilic Outcomes of Seven Cases in Pediatric Sexology
(Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1989) 224 pages
Summarizing his theory of lovemaps,
Money reviews earlier theories of the causes of unusual sex-scripts,
sorting out foolish ideas from insights that deserve more research.
Most of this book consists of detailed case studies
of seven individuals with sexual birth-defects,
exploring the sources of their unusual sex-scripts.
This is a rather technical book,
which adds few new elements to the theory of lovemaps or sex-scripts,
but it has the virtue of being shorter than many others.
Ronald W. Keyes & John Money
The Armed Robbery Orgasm:
A Lovemap Autobiography of Masochism
(Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993) 164 pages
book is an excellent inside
account of a set of unusual sex-scripts
—perhaps the first book-length exploration of paraphilias
written by the person who has that imprinting.
Keyes traces his masochistic sex-scripts
(which call for spanking and domination by a woman) to childhood abuse.
His money-tinged attachment to his dominatrix
led him on a spree of armed robberies,
which put him in prison for 10 years,
where he researched sexology with the help of John Money
and produced this autobiography.
He also did informal research into the sex-scripts of his fellow prisoners.
If this book is widely read, it could profoundly change
our understanding and treatment
of behavior stimulated by imprinted paraphilias.
Money, Gordon Wainwright,
& David Hinsburger
The Breathless Orgasm: A Lovemap Biography of Asphyxiophilia
(Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1991) 178 pages
Nelson Cooper is the actual author
of this book,
which includes comments by the credited authors at the beginning and the end.
This is the second-best book on sex-scripts
from the point of view of the person who has the imprinted sexual fantasies.
(The best book is the one above—Keyes.)
Nelson Cooper tells of the imprinting of his sex-script
that calls for him to choke himself while fantasizing about a girl drowning.
He struggled for years against this terrible sexual compulsion.
And his relief finally came when he received hormone treatments
that reduced his sex-drive to a manageable level.
If your imprinted sexual fantasies include choking yourself, read this book.
It also casts light on all sex-scripts.
The Other Side of Desire:
Four Journeys into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing
York: ECCO/HarperCollins, 2009) 208
(ISBN: 978-0-05-088556-4; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: HQ71.B356 2008)
Exploration of four kinds of paraphilias:
foot fetishism, sadism, pedophilia, & amputees.
The author is a journalist, who created this book by talking with the people profiled
and by their various psychological consultants.
The book will offer comfort to all who have unusual sexual fantasies.
They will know that they are not alone.
But it does not offer any deeper understanding of why some people
do in fact have these out-of-the-main stream sexual interests.
The hypothesis of sexual imprinting is compatable
with everything reported in this book.
York: Broadway Books, 1997) 284
(ISBN: 0-553-06770-2; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: HQ29.M36 1997)
This book is based on workshops on
women's sexual fantasies
conducted by psychotherapist Wendy Maltz.
She listens to women's sexual fantasies
without any preconceived theories about what they mean
and what might be done about them.
She does not seem to
have read the books by John Money.
And she shows no inclination toward the sex-script hypothesis.
In fact, she does seem to assume that all sexual fantasies are learned.
Hence, when some women discover sexual fantasies they do not like,
Wendy Maltz helps them to modify or replace them
with sexual fantasies they find more pleasing
and which are more in tune with the persons they want to be
and the relationships they wish to have.
Women can create
from their reading of romance novels, movies,
or any other material that seems appropriate.
And sometimes they find pleasant sexual encounters for their own experience
to be useful in new sexual encounters.
However, this can be troublesome
if they are remembering wonderful sex
with someone other than their present sex-partner.
The troublesome and
unwanted sexual fantasies some women report
would be the closest to the hypothesis of this reviewer
of imprinted sexual fantasies. (See the last book in this biblography.)
Some women reported that they had such terrible unwanted sexual fantasies
that the only way to could cope was to shut down sexually.
If they had no sexual arousal and no sexual behavior,
then their sexual fantasies did not crowd into their minds.
Wendy Maltz does report
some success in helping modify and replace
these unwanted fantasies that were creating problems
in the lives of the women who had unfortunate fantasies.
Basically this book
recommends creating good fantasies
that enhance the sex-lives of the fantasizers.
Arousal: Bodies and Pleasures
(Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed
Editions, 1998) 161 pages
(ISBN: 1-57131-220-X; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: BF692.R66 1998)
work of literature rather than sexology,
the author discloses glimpses of her own sexual imprinting,
altho she implicitly believes
that sexual arousal is learned from life-experiences.
Martha Roth is a feminist writer.
And many of her sources are other feminists.
She seeks to express female sexuality
without the male bias it usually gets
(as responding to male sexuality).
sexology, this is more a personal memoir
than a scientific study.
But it provides more raw data for future analysis.
The Fantasy Files:
A Study of the Sexual Fantasies of Contemporary Women
(New York: Dial Press,
(ISBN: 0-8038-2479-9; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: BF692.S44)
Original research exploring
the sexual fantasies
of American women in the 1970s.
Based on 304 completed questionnaires, about half of this book
consists of quotations from these anonymous responses.
Most of the subjects were married or had been married.
Some fantasies are much more elaborate than others.
But no unusual or bizarre fantasies appear.
Almost all of the subjects report heterosexual fantasies.
Only a few have lesbian fantasies and lesbian relationships.
Shanor found 34 different kinds of fantasies in her female subjects.
Some fantasized sex with other men than their husbands.
Some had rape or seduction fantasies.
There is no discussion of how sexual fantasies arise.
But this is a solid historical document,
completely compatible with the sex-script hypothesis.
Sexual Images of the Self:
The Psychology of Erotic Sensation and Illusion
(Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1989) 345 pages
is a book of academic research
into the human sexual response,
based largely on Freudian hypotheses
(for instance, exploring a man's early relationship with his mother).
Because the conceptual framework was so limiting,
few meaningful results emerge,
but at least this reflects the beginnings of sexological research
into sexual orientation and sexual response.
Such research had to begin somewhere.
And Freud was first with his speculations.
The sex-scripts hypothesis would have been a better framework.
Robert J. Stoller, M.D.
Observing the Erotic Imagination
(New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985) 228 pages
collection of papers by a
wise and mature psychoanalyst
presents more raw material for a comprehensive theory of human sexuality.
Childhood experiences create sex-scripts that persist into adulthood.
Humiliation is a common theme of the sex-scripts explored in this book.
The child's mind attempts to create stories
that compensate for and correct something that went wrong in childhood
—to transform trauma into triumph.
Some sex-scripts delight in feeling perverse
—doing something forbidden, getting away with something naughty.
The most important chapters deal with the following themes:
perversion and the desire to harm; erotics/esthetics;
a professional sex-worker; obscenity; homosexuality;
Sambia sex (see next book); transvestism in women; & erotic vomiting.
Gilbert Herdt & Robert Stoller
Intimate Communications: Erotics and the Study of Culture
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1990) 467 pages
book should have been called
An Investigation of Male Sexual Phases in New Guinea.
An anthropologist and a psychoanalyst
do extensive and intensive interviews of Sambia men (and one woman)
to understand the male pattern of passing thru
various phases of sexual behavior—first (as boys) with young men,
then (as young bachelors) with younger boys, & finally with wives.
How do they manage to change their sex-scripts?
Robert J. Stoller
Pain and Passion:
A Psychoanalyst Explores the World of S & M
(New York: Plenum, 1991) 306 pages
account of the life and work
"bondage and discipline" clubs in California,
based on interviews with owners and workers.
Interesting raw data for further thinking and research
into sadomasochistic sex-scripts.
Why do some people derive sexual pleasure from pain
(or pretenses of pain) and humiliation?
My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies
(New York: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, 1973) 336 pages
collection of women's sexual
fantasies as told by themselves.
Good raw data for further research into sex-scripts.
They seem little different from men's fantasies.
Many show signs of early sexual imprinting.
The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders
(New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1988) 272 pages
popular writer pulls together
what he has learned
about unusual forms of sex from his reading.
It is a good source of raw material for a new theory of sex,
but Wilson attempts no such synthesis.
Origins of the Sexual Impulse
(London, UK: Arthur Barker Limited, 1963) 263 pages
original book of observations
especially 'perversions' and criminal sexual behavior.
Compatible with the sex-script hypothesis.
Imprinted Sexual Fantasies:
A New Key for Sexuality
MN: Existential Books: www.existentialbooks.com,
2008) 176 pages
(ISBN: 978-0-89231-561-7; paperback)
(Library of Congress call number: HQ21.P37 2008)
for this sex-script bibliography are always welcome.
Please send information about other relevant books to:
James Park: e-mail: PARKx032@TC.UMN.EDU
Other comments are also welcome.
bibliography is related
to several others in sexology.
Here is the complete list:
Variations of Sex and Gender B-V-SG
I. Intersex B-CRIT
II. Transsexualism B-TS
Transsexual Autobiographies B-TS-AB
III. Sex-Roles B-ROLE
IV. Gender-Personality B-GEND
V. Sexual Orientation B-ORNT
VI. Cross-Dressing B-TV
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