Coming Attractions


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The Making of an X-Rated Video

Robert J. Stoller and I. S. Levine

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What do porn films tell us about our own erotic impulses? What can we learn about our culture's sexual attitudes, fears, and fantasies from the ways that porn films are designed and produced? In this book, Dr. Robert J. Stoller, one of the world's leading experts on human sexual behavior, joins with I. S. Levine, a professional writer with long experience in X-rated video making, to examine the ideas and psychological makeup of the participants in an adult heterosexual X-rated video, Stairway to Paradise. Their interviews with performers, writers, directors, producers, and technicians provide extraordinary insights into the technical aspects of this type of video, the motivations and backgrounds of the people involved, and the porn industry's view of the video's intended audience.


Stoller, Levine, and the porn filmmakers have wide-ranging discussions about the aesthetics, ethics, and etiquette of the porn industry; the hostility that Dr. Stoller claimed underlies all erotic excitement; the liberating—and educational—function of porn in a puritanical culture; the misconceptions of antiporn crusaders; the impact of aids on the participants; and the future of the porn film industry. The authors hope that if we understand how and why a pornographic work is created, we will be better able to understand the implications of the legal and moral issues it raises.


The late Robert J. Stoller, M.D., was professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was also the author of three other Yale University Press books: Porn: Myths for the Twentieth Century, Observing the Erotic Imagination, and Presentations of Gender. I. S. Levine, a free-lance journalist and screenwriter, was assistant director of Stairway to Paradise.

"An indefatigable, unbiased, and evocative exploration of the problematic world of pornography that contributes to our understanding of the psychodynamics of perversion and sexual excitement."—Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., author of Aggression in Severe Personality Disorders and Perversions

"Coming Attractions is a fascinating excursion into the world of the body, where pleasure and dream play out their profoundly misunderstood complexities."—Richard Rhodes, author of Making Love: An Erotic Odyssey

"Compulsive and revealing reading. . . . Essential material for anyone who wants deeper understanding of what lies behind the screen facade of 'hard-core' productions."—Ian Vine, The British Journal of Psychiatry

"Coming Attractions is the Real McCoy: virtually unedited interviews with the creative and technical talent behind an industry-standard porn video. . . . Levine is in the business himself, offering excellent insights, and the late Dr. Stoller was exceptional at collecting these interviews. There's some diamonds in these dialogues."—Susie Bright, The San Francisco Review of Books

"Human voices, sounding through the transcripts of interviews conducted by the kind and empathic author, Robert Stoller, may rise above the static of any preconceptions about pornography."—Ellen Handler Spitz, Psychoanalytic Books

"This serious book does not seek to entertain. It documents an important investigative technique and points out again how much is to be learned from sexual excitement. It will leave the reader with a heightened awareness of how these films present dynamic aspects of our culture."—Jerome B. Katz, M.D., Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
ISBN: 9780300066616
Publication Date: September 10, 1996
256 pages, 6 x 9 1/4

Myths for the Twentieth Century

Robert J. Stoller

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