My personal take: Psychology and its dimwitted cousin pop psychology are fallible and, frankly, barely science. We could examine a person's entire life experience and not be able to nail down why they prefer the taste of spicy mustard to the regular yellow stuff. Now add a hairy dude squirting that mustard in your ear, telling you that you've been bad and consequently "punishing" you with the business end of his rod, and there are entirely too many variables to make a blanket statement on why you like it that way.
I'm glad that Catalano mentions the ubiquity of these fantasies, and that she points out that submissive fantasies are not linked to neuroses in women. But does it mean that roughly half of us are victims of Oedipus or Electra hang-ups, as Freud would suggest? Psychologists, both of the pop and A Dangerous Method varieties, declare that our behaviors are linked to sexual conditioning that occurs during childhood. Something in the neighborhood of sexual predetermination. I, for one, am pretty sure that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes we really like being tied up despite having a pleasant, if unremarkable upbringing and having great respect for our friends, lovers and neighbors. Mommy and daddy issues are frequently convenient excuses for "embarrassing" desires we've been taught to believe are "sinful." Frankly, I was a little disappointed that they tried to explain away the Michael Fassbender character's sexual obsessions with just a line of dialogue in Shame. It was sort of a cop-out for a movie that showed so much dong. It would have been more interesting if he, like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, were just an oddity.
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