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Bruce Reis and Robert Grossmark, eds., “Heterosexual Masculinities” (Routledge, 2009)

Here at New Books in Psychoanalysis we are celebrating the Summer of Men! We continue our inquiry into the topic of masculinity in psychoanalytic thought as we converse with Robert Grossmark and Bruce Reis about Heterosexual Masculinities: Contemporary Perspectives from Psychoanalytic Gender Theory (Routledge, 2009). The book is devoted to rethinking notions of male heterosexuality from within a psychoanalytic standpoint. Often in the field we think of boys as becoming masculinized by repudiating their identification with their mothers and the female world. This collection of essays begs to differ; boys never give up those identifications and it may be to their benefit that they do not do so.
This collection argues that straight guys have been, in a certain way, fall guys–the ones in which other, more marginalized identities, define themselves in opposition to. So what happens when the known quantity proves to be less knowable? This is some of the terrain taken up by this book. Also discussed here are the pre-oedipal father, as well as the fate of the father’s body and its erotic components, alongside a discussion considering the possibility of the development of interiority and inner genital space in men.
In this interview, the authors explore the paradigm shifts afoot in the field and the ramifications for clinical work that are expectable as a result. The authors exude both seriousness and playfulness as regards their subject matter, making for a perfect August respite (for the analyst on hiatus) and for some pleasurable and moving listening for the rest of us.

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