At the age of twenty-four, Penny was bored. She was bored with her job, her home life, and even the men she knew. She was looking for adventure and a more exciting kind of male companion. She thought she saw such a male in Paul Lagarde, who had a reputation as one of the world's greatest lovers. Unfortunately for Penny, what Paul really turned out to be was a manipulative man. What is a manipulative man? The subject is discussed at length by Ben Bursten, M.D., in an article entitled "Manipulative Men: Their Sexual Attitudes," published in the April, 1973, issue of Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality. Dr. Bursten is chief of the Psychiatry Section of the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Haven, Connecticut, and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. Among other things, he says: "The manipulative personality is incapable of sincere love and affection. This feature is basic to his need to have relationships where he can put things over on other people. We psychoanalysts refer to this basic personality orientation as narcissistic. Narcissistic people relate to others largely as extensions of themselves. They tend to over-idealize others as sources of immense power which will rub off on them." "When reality sets in and the other person proves disappointing, they become furious and they devalue and discard him. At other times, narcissists look to others for reflections of their own glory. They are vain people, ever in need of admiration. The narcissistic personality is essentially self-centered. He is incapable of seeing other people as persons in their own right. He cannot be considerate of others because he is too centered in himself. Other people are used chiefly to enhance the narcissist's sense of his own importance and well-being." "Within the large group of narcissistic personality types, the manipulative personality has his particular method of enhancing his own image of himself. This method involves the contempt and exhilaration of putting something over. Basically, he is haunted by a strong sense of worthlessness. When this feeling threatens to become conscious, he finds it intolerable precisely because of his intense narcissistic need to be admired. He disavows the sense of worthlessness in himself and sees it in others instead - a defense mechanism we call 'projection'." "This accounts for his contempt for other people. Having thus rid himself of the feelings of worthlessness and the accompanying sense of shame, his pride is restored; he feels admired and exhilarated. By constantly putting things over on others, he is able to fortify his projected contempt for the 'sucker' and his pride in his own accomplishment. This method of reinforcing his narcissism explains why putting something over is a central impetus for his manipulations; it is a central feature of his way of relating to people." This may not sound like an accurate description of Paul Lagarde at first. Certainly, Penny does not recognize him as a narcissist and manipulative personality. But his vanity soon becomes apparent, and that is the chief clue. Penny finds herself fascinated by Paul and intrigued by his sexual theories after one short visit to his home. She accepts his invitation to spend the weekend on his island and discovers it's a "sexual paradise" where every type of sex activity is carried out by those who happen to be on the right list. There are two categories of people on the island: Paul's invited guests, and his sex subjects. The guests include businessmen, wealthy women, politicians and influential men and women from all walks of life. The sex subjects are primarily his trainees or graduates from his sex school.
- Paperback | 140 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 8.13mm | 267.62g
- 08 Feb 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations