L.S. Klepp
May 30, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What Wild Ecstasy: The Rise and Fall of the Sexual Revolution

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
John Heidenry

We gave it a B+

Like most other revolutions, the sexual one changed things but not as much as was expected. Utopia didn’t arrive. Smutty TV talk shows did. John Heidenry proves something in What Wild Ecstasy: The Rise and Fall of the Sexual Revolution while telling the stories of sex researchers like Alfred Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, and Shere Hite; media sex barons like Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, and Larry Flynt; the sex performer Annie Sprinkle; prostitutes, profiteers, swingers, hypocrites, zealots, and lunatics. He proves that sex, just like everything else human, is a muddle — both tonic and poison, self-fulfilling and self-destructive, transcendent and mundane, stunning and boring. According to Heidenry, ”that…all-transforming, world-redeeming erotic awakening…is even now only in its early morning.” It’s probably past its bedtime even now, John, but thanks for an interesting account of its youthful indiscretions. B+

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