Lust In Translation

I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this enthusiastic about a book.   I read a review of Lust In Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee by Pam Druckerman last week and let me tell you, this is so right up my alley.  You know, if I had ever gotten it together and become a scientist, this would totally be my field of research.  I am intrigued with the many directions relationships can take and I am fascinated with testing the boundaries of them, particularly when it comes to infidelity.  (I should specify here that my interest is strictly theoretical.)  It’s way too complicated a topic to get into in one blog post, but I’m just so excited, I had say something.

A strange and surprising journey around the world to examine how and
why people cheat on their spouses. This global look at infidelity truly
reveals a puritanical America From Memphis to Moscow, when it comes to
infidelity the statistics tell the story. People cheat on their
spouses-in fact, they cheat with astonishing frequency. But even
illicit love has rules, and these rules change radically from country
to country. Acclaimed journalist Pamela Druckerman decided to
investigate extramarital affairs all around the world to discover how
different cultures deal with adultery-and her research leads her to
believe that both the concept and the consequences of infidelity are
far less rigid outside the United States. Americans, she decides, are
the least adept at having affairs, have the most trouble enjoying them,
and, in the end, suffer the most as a result of them. The rules of
fidelity aren’t as strict in many other parts of the world because some
cultures have found ways to acknowledge that adultery is an expected,
if not acceptable, part of the marriage contract. The French, contrary
to popular belief, have affairs at about the same rate as Americans do,
and they’re just as titillated by sex scandals. Although the subject of
infidelity is still very taboo there, unlike Americans, they refuse to
moralize about it. In Russia, staying faithful to one’s spouse is
merely optional; one poll stated 50 percent of men and 25 percent of
women have cheated on their current spouse, to say nothing of previous
marriages. In Japan, Druckerman discovers that two-person futons and
mattresses aren’t even for sale in most stores, and the saying among
businessmen is If you pay, it’s not cheating. SomeJapanese marriage
counselors hire prostitutes to teach women how to lure their husbands
home. Pamela Druckerman, formerly a foreign correspondent for The Wall
Street Journal, has done her homework. She’s interviewed people from
all over the world, from retirees in south Florida to polygamist
Muslims in Indonesia, from ultra-orthodox Jews in Brooklyn to residents
of a concubine village outside Hong Kong. She takes us on a journey all
around the world, talking with sexologists, psychologists, marriage
counselors, and most of all, cheaters and the people they’ve cheated
on, only to discover that America is still a place with surprisingly
outdated ideals. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, many cultures are
more accepting of the fact that a monogamous marriage is an incredibly
difficult contract to keep.

Read an interview with Pam Druckerman here.

I’ve been applauding myself all week because I have resisted the urge to order a copy online.  Conveniently, I’ll be visiting the City of Books this weekend and I fully intend on picking it up there.

Also to be found in my shopping basket:


7 Responses to “Lust In Translation”

  1. Courtney Says:

    I would very much like to read that after you. Loan it to me? I’ve sometimes questioned whether or not some people were meant to be monogamous. It can be awfully overwhelming to find yourself in the middle of the lifetime commitment. I mean, a LIFETIME. Holy balls, batman, that’s a long time.

  2. John O Says:

    I’m currently listening to the ebook of Heavier Than Heaven, it’s an interesting listen. This ebook thing is cool!

  3. Worldman (Peter) Says:

    Hello. I would like to thank you very much for coming back frequently to my blog. I have not been “serious” about doing the same. But in the last few weeks, our workload has been heavy. This should not be an excuse (but it is). I will try to improve in the future. I like your posts very much and they often touch my heart.

    I wish you a wonderful weekend. Peter

  4. Grady Says:

    I read the title of your post and expected bad 70’s porn music and mustaches galore….

  5. Piera Says:

    After Courtney reads it, may I borrow it?

  6. flap Says:

    How intriguing! Can I read it when you are done?

  7. Vegas Princess Says:

    I just read a review of this one and I was curious. Now I know I have to read it because you gave it such a glowing review.

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