Begin the banal

A philosophical look at sex
by
January–February 2021, no. 428
Buy this book

On Getting Off: Sex and philosophy by Damon Young

Scribe, $24.99 pb, 278 pp

Begin the banal

A philosophical look at sex
by
January–February 2021, no. 428

On Getting Off is an attempt to think about sex philosophically, through the lens of personal, literary, and artistic experience. Damon Young, a Melbourne philosopher, is keen on reflective sex and legitimises this fetish with a carrot and stick, seducing readers by arguing for its superior pleasures and threatening us by implying that the alternatives are morally dubious or diminishing. He considers a wide variety of subjects and circumstances along the way, including the power and peculiarity of sexual attraction, the place of humour in sex, ‘teasing’ and suspended pleasure, the bounties and pitfalls of beauty, the stigma of prostitution, the complexities of sexual fantasy, the function of sex robots, and the importance of meaningfulness. He approaches these matters with fluency and an impressive variety of references – literary, artistic, and philosophical – but the insights are often dull.

Shannon Burns reviews 'On Getting Off: Sex and philosophy' by Damon Young

On Getting Off: Sex and philosophy

by Damon Young

Scribe, $24.99 pb, 278 pp

Buy this book

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Comment (1)

  • A philosophical analysis of the sex act was always going to fail, but that's not sufficient to make the attempt pointless.
    Posted by Patrick Hockey
    28 May 2021

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