by Danielle Knafo (USA)
On the threshold of forever changing what it means to be human, we have entered the Age of Perversion, an era in which we are becoming more like our machines and they more like us. The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture (Routledge, 2017) explores the sea changes occurring in sexual and social life, made possible by the ongoing technological revolution. Addiction to the internet, human cohabitation with life-size, technologically-enhanced love dolls, DIY body hacking, widespread government surveillance, unbridled corporate corruption, militarization of the police, S&M gone mainstream, and extreme reality TV are all manifestations of a perverse society.
This volume presents several clinical cases taken from Dr. Knafo’s private practice, including a man who lived with and loved a sex doll, a woman who wanted to be a Barbie doll, a man who used the internet to seduce minors, an internet sex addict, and a man who “catfished” to lure sex partners. Also examined are cases involving widespread social perversion in large corporations, the mental health care industry, and even the government. George Orwell’s novel 1984 is presented as a nearly perfect model of the malignant perverse state.
In considering the continued impact of technology on society, the authors discuss changes already taking place in psychotherapy that make use of technology and speculate about what the future may hold for a species moving toward its own mechanization.