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Neither, however, are at all radical, and both have a whiff of an acutely masculine frustration.uses another fictional couple, the long-married and long-suffering Daisy and Jim, to illustrate these arguments.Along with de Botton’s volume purporting to inspire more (but not deeper, note) thought about sex, the School of Life series includes , by Roman Krznaric.Krznaric’s volume is by far the most successful, perhaps because he is the only one of the authors who does not seem embarrassed by either his topic or the means of treating it.“A portion of our libido,” de Botton writes, “has to be forced underground for our own good; repression is not just for Catholics, Muslims and the Victorians, but for all of us and for eternity.” He urges readers to fall into line: “We cannot allow our sexual urges to express themselves without limit, online or otherwise; left to run free, they destroy us.” This interest in religion is not new: de Botton’s last book was To proceed straight from this pious suggestion to one that long-term fidelity to a single partner might not work out after all would be galling in a writer who cared less about being provocative and more about being consistent, but coherency is not de Botton’s bag.He returns to poor frustrated Jim, sending him on a business trip where he runs into a comely young graphic designer, Rachel, who has done some freelance work for him.When de Botton finally gets the couple off, so to speak, he provides a profoundly unsexy definition of sexiness: “The more closely we analyze what we consider ‘sexy,’ the more clearly we will understand that eroticism is the feeling of excitement we experience at finding another human being who shares our values and our sense of the meaning of existence.” There are, of course, other kinds of eroticism, other ways to reach orgasm, not dreamt of in de Botton’s philosophy, but he confidently brands these “empty.” Thus, everything from masturbation (since it is performed alone) to bestiality (since it is nonconsensual) is considered a “betrayal of what sex should really be about”: a procreative couple in love sharing their values and their sense of the meaning of existence.The only two real positions (no pun intended) that de Botton takes are an anti-pornography stance and a pro-adultery one.
IS THE VERY IDEA of an intelligent self-help book a paradox?
He never explores any type of relationship outside of monogamous heterosexuality; even the idea of a marriage without children or with, say, a stay-at-home father and working mother seems to be outside of his imaginative purview.
a historical dimension to de Botton’s thinking about sex.
' The book's success has much to do with its beautifully modelled sentences, its wry humour and its unwavering deadpan respect for its reader's intelligence ..of keen observation and flashes of genuine lyricism, acuity and depth.' Francine Prose, New Republic ' Witty, funny, sophisticated, neatly tied up, and full of wise and illuminating insights.' P.
SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLERA brilliant new novel about love and marriage in the modern world - from the author the bestselling novel Essays in Love Modern love is never easy.