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Brooklyn, New York: Nabokov's Lolita and Freud's Dora
Edward P. George 732 Anmoore Road Brooklyn, NY 11201
Freud’s first famous case history was written to buttress his theory on dreams, and he groups the case history around two of Ida Bauer’s dreams, whereas Nabokov, of course, had no such agenda in mind. But Nabokov does seem influenced by Freud though he would not admit it I’m sure. There are two seductions in Lolita, a prequel if you will with Annabel whom H.H. has met and loved at thirteen. She is Lolita's precursor, just as there are two seductions of Dora at thirteen and fifteen by Herr K.
Both the writers speak in their prefaces of the necessity of hiding the identity of the people in what will be the case history and the novel. Nabokov, in the guise of a fictive editor, John Ray, Ph.D. says, “Save for the correction of obvious solecisms and a careful suppression of a few tenacious details that despite H.H.’s efforts still subsisted in his text as signposts and tombstones ( indicative of places or persons that taste would conceal and compassion spare) this remarkable memoir is presented intact.”
Freud tells us of his attempts to hide the identity of Ida Bauer. “I have picked out a person the scenes of whose life were laid not in Vienna but in a remote provincial town, and whose personal circumstances must therefore be practically unknown in Vienna. “ All of this makes us curious of course. Who and what lies behind these shocking stories? How much truth do they hide?
Nabokov even gives us some details of what has happened at the end of the novel to some of the characters ( all the main characters, even little Lolita is to die) just as Freud tells us that he has postponed the publication of this case history until hearing that a change has taken place in the life of his patient ( hinting at Ida’s marriage and the birth of her son.)
Though both writers admit to concealing names and places, they insist that it was necessary to write without what Nabokov calls “platitudinous evasions.” Nabokov like Freud is determined to call un chat un chat.
Freud says, piquing our interest: “ If it is true that the causes of hysterical disorders are to be found in the intimacies of the patients’ psychosexual life and that hysterical symptoms are the expression of their most secret and repressed wishes, then the complete elucidation of a case of hysteria is bound to involve the revelation of those intimacies and the betrayal of those secrets.”
In other words both these authors, masters at their game, insist on the necessity of their frankly divulging secrets of a sexual nature, which naturally makes us want to read on.
Both authors tell us that they are thinking of the good of the general public. Freud says, “ But in my opinion the physician has taken upon himself duties not only towards the individual patient but towards science as well; “ and Nabokov concludes his foreward with the ironic but perhaps also true words: “for in this poignant personal study there lurks a general lesson. Lolita should make all of us--parents social workers educators—apply ourselves with still greater vigilance and vision to the task of bringing up a better generation in a safer world. “
In other words both these works are necessary and illuminating for humanity which indeed they both are.
Mineral Wells, Texas: Diary of paedophile who committed suicide
Wade Y. Crockett 353 Alexander Drive Mineral Wells, TX 76067
Cape Town - A convicted paedophile, who committed suicide in police holding cells, will not be taking his secrets to the grave.
The Daily Voice has managed to view the diary of Brian Shofer which is in possession of a source close to him.
In the red Lever arch file, he chronicles how he raped young boys, and was the victim of abuse himself.
Shofer, 58, wrote that he was sexually molested by his uncle as a 13-year-old, and that his father knew about it, but failed to intervene.
In graphic detail, he also noted that during a stint in prison in the 1990s, he was sodomised by prisoners after they heard he was in for molesting children.
Slipped into the file was submission letter for parole, dated May 1, 2008, in which he claimed to feel remorse for his sick crimes, and wanted to ask his little victims’ families, the community, and his father for forgiveness.
The memoirs, in which Shofer documents his troubled life, and contains pictures and accolades, include the 13 psychiatric programmes he “aced” while at Brandvlei and Drakenstein Correctional Facilities.
He claimed the wardens and prison psychiatrists had “enormous respect” for him.
Shofer was found dead in a Mitchells Plain police holding cell on Friday after he hanged himself with a blanket.
He was arrested after his elderly landlord saw him on the front page of the Daily Voice on Monday, and called police. Police took in two young men, aged 25 and 18, the latter admitting that Shofer raped him.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority’s Western Cape spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, the teen was repeatedly raped over six years, from the age of 12. Shofer was released from prison six years ago.
The 70-year-old landlord said his tenant claimed the two were his adopted sons.
The teacher made headlines after he advertised tutoring services for kids, from Grades 2 to 11, on Gumtree.
Shofer claimed that he was rehabilitated and that parents were aware of his criminal record.
His convictions date back to 1994. His first victims, mainly from Mitchells Plain, were aged between seven and 14.
He was jailed for several counts of indecent assault, before being released on parole.
Shofer re-offended after setting up a youth centre in Hanover Park.
He was released from prison in 2010.
A parent who has a child at Lourier Primary School in Retreat said he had still been teaching there until last term.
Police say Shofer’s suicide comes as they were formulating more charges against him.
These include: a rape case in Steenberg, a sexual assault case in Mitchells Plain, a sexual assault case in Hanover Park, and 18 cases of sexual assault involving street children in Strand, where he used to reside.
Shofer has also been linked to several Cape Flats schools, including Garlandale High and Tafelsig High.
His diary, written in a neat handwriting, revealed that he studied teaching through Unisa, graduating with six distinctions.
He also had friends who believed he was rehabilitated and took him all over Cape Town, finding him work and places to stay.
On the final page of his submission for parole, he begs for a second chance at life.
“I am truly sorry for my deeds...” he wrote.
“To my beloved father who is still alive and loves and supports me, my chaplain, members of correctional services and the Almighty, [thank you] for transforming me into the being I have become.”
Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Robbie Raburabu said a post-mortem would be conducted on Shofer’s body.
“It is believed he tore off the edge of his blanket and hanged himself on the door. The results of his autopsy will be released in this week,” he said.
Akron, Ohio: Come Again?! Multiple Orgasms, Super-orgasms and the Women Who Have Them
Martin V. Graves 2293 Rainbow Drive Akron, OH 44304
“I can achieve 100 orgasms, even 200,” the anonymous female caller told Dr. Ronny Shtarkshall over the phone. “In effect, I can enjoy an orgasm for hours,” she told the sexologist and sexuality researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Shtarkshall had known about "super-orgasmic" women from the professional literature, but he'd never actually talked with someone who'd experiences it.
Shtarkshall had known about "super-orgasmic" women from the professional literature, but he'd never actually talked with someone who'd experiences it. After meeting with her, Shtarkshall decided to research the case, along with a post-doctoral student from Harvard, Dr. Becca Feldman. Their study included conversations with her and analysis of texts she wrote about her sexuality. They then decided to write a professional article, co-signed by the “anonymous” woman.
The problem was that it wasn’t easy to find a serious professional journal that would agree to publish an article signed by an anonymous person. In the end, however, it was published about a decade ago in an international scientific journal, The Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
She wasn't an isolated case. The first unidentified woman sent another woman to Shtarkshall, he told Haaretz during a recent phone interview. She too had the same surprising ability, but in a different way: One woman experienced orgasm as long as her vagina or her clitoris were continually stimulated, but when the stimulation ended, the orgasm stopped. As for the second woman, when she reached orgasm, she had to stop the stimulus for a short while, for between 20 seconds and two minutes, before continuing to climax. Evidently there was more than one mechanism in play behind continuous orgasm, Shtarkshall realized. He wanted to understand what those mechanisms are.
Just before Shtarkshall was about to publish, a senior researcher named Irving Binik, head of the sexuality clinic in the psychology department at McGill University, Canada, visited Israel, and shrugged that he didn't believe such things exist. Shtarkshall arranged for him to meet with the first anonymous woman (in the lobby of a Jerusalem hotel, that is more usually a matchmaking venue for ultra-Orthodox couples). After two hours of conversation, Binik was convinced, and on the spot he and Shtarkshall decided to study the phenomenon more extensively.
To that end, they drafted a detailed questionnaire in English, Hebrew and French, which was disseminated online.
Serial pleasure, small screen
Here is where Haifa-born Ayelet Rosen, 33, entered the picture. Rosen ended up moving to England with her partner, a doctoral student, and enrolled in a program focusing on media format development at the BBC Academy.
In August 2014, in the context of a story she wrote on the sex habits of millennials – aka Generation Y – Rosen contacted Shtarkshall. They ended up talking about the subject of multi-orgasm; the Israeli researcher told Rosen about his study, in cooperation with McGill University, which had already begun.
Rosen, who meanwhile had joined the content development team in the productions division of Britain's Independent Television News company, realized the potential of the research, and also understood that by means of a TV production on the subject, it might be possible to help obtain funding in the future for the clinical stages of the study. She proposed the idea of making the movie to Britain’s Channel 4 and got a green light.
The 45-minute documentary Rosen produced with ITN, called “The Super Orgasm,” aired in April, brought together women who experience dozens of serial orgasms, sexuality researchers, and neurologists from all over the world, for the first time. Although the project did not involve an official professional study, and dealt with experiments performed at the initiative of the production company and for the purpose of the film – the trials were conducted by leading researchers, in designated labs.
“The first thing I understood," Rosen tells Haaretz, "is that science knows very little about orgasms in general, and multi-orgasms are mentioned only on the level of footnotes in Masters and Johnson," those being the researchers who, in the 1950s, were first to study the physiology of sex.
“From discussions with researchers I realized that they have so few resources – that they prefer first of all to study the isolated orgasm. They know almost nothing about the female orgasm, or what mechanism even causes it. One of the female researchers appearing in the film says that we know more about stars than we know about what happens within a female sexual situation.”
According to Shtarkshall, the most important sexual organ in a woman’s body, as well as in a man’s, is the brain: “All the sex actually takes place in the brain. There are women who experience an orgasm if you tickle their ear. Researchers, beginning with Masters and Johnson, described the cycle of the sexual response: It was customary to believe that there is a stage of passion, then a stage of arousal, then a stage in which the arousal remains more or less fixed – and then the stage of orgasm. The last stage is [called resolution, or] dissipation.”
Fifteen years ago, the Canadian psychiatrist Rosemary Basson, who studied female sexuality, said that this cycle is too linear. "For women, she argued, there doesn't have to be a stage of passion before the stage of arousal – in other words, passion can be aroused at different stages in women. To this day there’s a debate on this subject among researchers. We have no proof, but the assumption is that in women who experience an extreme multi-orgasm, there is some kind of difference, not necessarily structural, but perhaps in the substances that are secreted to their nervous system, for example. But it’s difficult to research.”
After finding suitable women who agreed to be filmed, Rosen and her team approached sexuality researchers. The two senior brain researchers featured in her movie – Prof. Barry Komisaruk and Dr. Nan Wise, of the psychology department at Rutgers University in New Jersey – had studied orgasms and scanned the brain of a woman experiencing them, but had never scanned a super-orgasm.
"They never thought they'd manage to get that data,” says Rosen. She described the excitement when one of the participants, a young British woman named Janet, experienced two serial orgasms while lying inside the MRI machine, and the discovery of the fact that during the second orgasm, her brain activity was stronger than during the first.
The body part that secretes the hormone oxytocin was far more active, and between the first and second orgasms, there was no decline in the subject's brain activity.
The God particle?
The youngest participant in the experiment was Natalie, a 24-year-old bisexual, who doesn’t believe in monogamous relationships and works as a motorcycle mechanic; another was Francesca, 60, who grew up in a devout Catholic home in Portugal and abstained from sexual relations until she was married. In the Canadian study by Binik, too, many of the women who reported multi-orgasms grew up in religious homes.
“I don’t know what that means,” says Rosen. “Janet [also] said that she grew up in a religious home and believes in God, and she was taught that God wants us to be happy, so as far as she’s concerned, her sexuality doesn’t contradict any belief or any religion, it’s part of her. Her whole house is full of pictures of Jesus. We always see religion and sexuality as contradictory, but she has resolved this conflict.”
Another experiment conducted in the context of the Rosen's film for ITN, which involved testing both in laboratory and home settings, was examining alpha waves during orgasm. When the brain is working hard, as when solving a mathematical problem, the level of alpha waves is low. On the other hand, when the brain is at rest, alpha waves are high.
Past studies showed that when men and women are trying to achieve orgasm, alpha waves are high most of the time; in other words, the brain is at rest. But in a different study, American neuroscientist Nicole Prause discovered that a moment before the orgasm itself, alpha waves diminish and the brain is working hard: that is, it is concentrated and active. And that is the usual neurological situation during orgasm.
They saw a different pattern of activity in super-orgasmic women, Shtarkshall says. “If usually we see an increase in alpha waves and a decline right before orgasm, in their case, the level of waves remains high all the time. It’s possible that these women don’t need the sort of specific concentration that other women achieve at the moment of orgasm. In their case, the brain is always in a state of relaxation. The significance of this finding isn’t clear yet, but the difference compared to other women is clear.”
To examine the level of physical arousal of the super-orgasmic women, Rosen and her production team approached Dr. Gerulf Rieger of the psychology department of the University of Essex. Rieger built an “arousal chamber” to examine the physiological consequences of sexual arousal. The women sit inside this closed space, with a device called a vaginal photoplethysmograph inserted inside them that directs light into the vagina. Based on the amount of light that is refracted, the researcher can determine how much blood is flowing into the area.
The perception is that during arousal, blood vessels in the sexual organs expand.
During the experiment, the women watched porn films, and in order to “balance” their sexual arousal, between those clips, they were shown nature films narrated by David Attenborough. The findings, says Rosen, amazed Rieger: “Already while observing the small sampling of super-orgasmic women he saw that they become stimulated more quickly than ordinary women and that the intensity of their arousal is greater – in other words, much more blood flows to the area. It was twice as fast and twice as intense.
"From speaking to these women, he reached the conclusion that they came in in advance with a more open attitude to the option of sexual arousal, they’re very interested in it and permit themselves [to enjoy it], to the point where they are much quicker to identify what it is that stimulates them.”
The last element examined was the level of oxytocin in the bodies of the super-orgasmic women. Oxytocin, aka the “love hormone,” is secreted during breast-feeding, birth and sexual relations – and also when you meet someone you like.
So that the oxytocin levels wouldn’t be affected by the proximity of women to their partners, they were asked to isolate themselves an hour before the experiment.
Oxytocin levels can be sampled in saliva. A sampling was taken an hour before the experiment, then again after the women isolated themselves, and again after they masturbated and achieved as many orgasms as they wished, in their home environment, which was comfortable for them. A fourth sample was taken about an hour after the orgasm. In addition, during one evening when they didn’t experience anything sexual, they gave another sampling.
“We found that the moment they knew that they were going to experience something sexual, even an hour beforehand, their levels of oxytocin were already high," says Shtarksall. "When you know that you’re going to have sex, you come to it more stimulated and involved. Suddenly sexting and non-physical foreplay sound very logical, because the brain is getting ready for sex and as a result, so is the body. Somehow you’re more involved."
Also, the stronger the orgasm, the more oxytocin was secreted. "It’s not the number of orgasms but the quality of them. It makes no difference if there were 100 boring ones earlier: The one or two powerful ones produce more oxytocin and it remains high longer," he says. "It’s interesting, because oxytocin is related to calm and calm is a very healthy thing. In addition, there’s a chance that you’ll have a stronger relationship with a man who gives you the higher quality orgasms. Mother Nature was thinking about you here!"
Hopefully, with better understanding of the mechanisms of extreme orgasm, non-orgasmic women can be helped, Shtarkshall suggests. “If, for example, we discover that inability to experience an orgasm stems from a shortage of a certain substances, we’ll be able to administer this substance. If we discover that the inability stems from a surplus of a certain substance, we’ll be able to administer something that will block this substance.”
He goes on to mention a phenomenon similar to the extreme multi-orgasm, but far less pleasant: women who suffer from a constant stimulation of the sexual organs. Research on the multi-orgasm should help to solve this problem, too, according to Shtarkshall.
“The American researcher Sandra Leiblum explained the defect and began to study it. When she visited Israel we talked about the idea that there may be a connection between the two phenomena – multi-orgasms and constant stimulation – although the women in one group enjoy themselves while the others suffer immensely. We thought of studying the connection between the two things. Unfortunately, three months later she was hurt in a bicycle accident and died. I don’t have a budget to study these things, because I’m actually retired."
If you ask Prof. Nicole Prause, who also participated in the film, she’ll tell you that the health advantages of sexual arousal have never been researched, says Ayelet Rosen. "Many women will say that it relaxes them, increases their confidence, and they’ll say that they masturbate in order to sleep better – and nobody has studied that. She’s trying to research it, because her vision is that a few years from now, you’ll go to a doctor because you’re suffering from sleeplessness and he’ll recommend masturbation as a cure.”
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Woman, 36, who stinks of rotten FISH and onions is forced to work night shifts after colleagues complain
Randall T. McGowan 3527 Rocky Road Philadelphia, PA 19115
People suffering with the metabolic condition regularly produce a range of strong bodily odours including rotten fish, onion and faeces – Kelly describes her own smell as ‘fishy-oniony.’
Her smell was so potent that at one point Kelly, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was having four showers a day – scrubbing her skin until it was red raw to rid herself of the odour.
After receiving several complaints about her smell at work over the years, the 36-year-old suffers with severe anxiety and works night shifts at her job as a radiographer to limit the amount of people she is exposed to.
At one stage, Kelly was having four showers a day, changing her uniform twice and using whole cans of deodorant to try and mask the smell – none of which worked.
Kelly said: “Besides the smell itself, there are very few other symptoms at all and of course you have the side effects of anxiety, social isolation – it’s hard.
“As far as I know, this condition affects 300 to 600 people worldwide – it’s not very well known.”
Kelly’s condition means her body is unable to break down certain compounds found in foods that contain a substance called choline.
This results in the body disposing these compounds in a person’s sweat, breath and urine instead – emitting the most pungent of smells that Kelly herself cannot detect.
She said: “Having no sense of smell, I don’t know with me what really affects it.
“There is no magic pill that you can take to make it better, I personally take a cocktail of medications.
“One of the things they [the doctors] turn around and say to you is: ‘If it smells going in, it’s going to smell going out.’
“So things like fish and seafood are major triggers.”
Kelly’s lack of smell is an unfortunate coincidence and is not part of the condition.
Despite only receiving a diagnosis two years ago, Kelly doesn’t know whether it was passed to her genetically or she developed it during her later youth.
But she began to notice something was wrong during her early school years.
Kelly said: “There was more than one occasion where I would say: ‘I’ve had fish paste sandwiches for my lunch,’ when kids would say ‘You smell like fish.’
“That was difficult to deal with as a teenager.
“I was spending a stupid amount of time in the shower just before my diagnosis. Using red hot water, scrubbing until my skin was bright red and it was just too stressful.”
Kelly’s mother, Sandra Fidoe, added: “The fact that she was bullied about it made it ten times worse for her and certainly for me. It bothered me.”
Kelly started seeing a doctor in her late teens, but nobody could diagnose her. After researching her symptoms and watching documentaries, she pushed doctors for an answer and was diagnosed with Trimethylaminuria in 2015.
Learning more about her condition led to her discovering that the copious amount of scented deodorants she was using and the relentless showering was actually making her skin react, which caused her odour to be stronger.
Now, Kelly uses Seba-Med body wash, which is PH neutral and much more sensitive for her skin.
She also takes regular medication including; daily B-2 tablets which enhances her body’s ability to metabolise the choline in her diet and Acidophilus, which is a pro-biotic that rebalances the bacteria throughout the body.
On top of that, she takes Activated Charcoal once a day after she has eaten to clean out her digestive system.
Thankfully for Kelly, she found love online 16 years ago with her now husband, Michael, who she says makes things easier for her.
Michael, 45, said: “Kelly’s smell has sometimes affected me in a negative manner but I haven’t said anything to Kelly. I’ve just kept it to myself.
“When we were living together at the start I did notice it.
“But it wasn’t straight away when we first started seeing each other – it was never a problem.
“I don’t believe she tried to hide it either.
“Kelly wasn’t that confident when we first met – and I think the best way of me helping her with the condition is to just be supportive about the condition.
“If that was me living with the condition, I think I would struggle to do as much as Kelly does.”
Kelly added: “Michael has helped me to cope by making me see the funny side of the condition.
“I am sure he won’t mind me saying this, but he produces his own smell anyway!”
Since working night shifts at The Royal Oldham Hospital, Kelly has recently been more open and honest about her condition with her closest work colleagues.
Faysal Bashir works alongside Kelly as a CT/MR radiographer.
He said: “You could trace Kelly’s smell up the corridor. It’s quite a strong, distinct smell you get from Kelly.
“When Kelly told me about her condition I didn’t take it in for some reason and so I have always called it ‘fishiyatitus.’
“I have had many complaints about Kelly’s smell to me and from a variety of staff in the department.
“It’s hard when you get these complaints as Kelly is a good friend.
“But working with Kelly for two years as my night buddy means we have a good communication where I could tell her to go and freshen up.”
KILLER disease' Asha Feroz, a diagnostic radiographer who also works with Kelly, said: “Certain people do make comments.
“It was upsetting how people were dealing with it and at that point, Kelly wasn’t herself.
“I have got used to the smell. So it doesn’t affect my work at all.”
As much as Kelly’s friends and family have helped her through the hardships she has faced in life, it was the final diagnosis she received that allowed her to start accepting the condition with a sense of closure.
And now Kelly feels confident enough to raise awareness and speak about her condition in the hope that she can destigmatise it and people can tell her what is working to calm the smell.
Kelly said: “From watching documentaries, things started to fall into place and it sounded like it could be me when someone said it’s not just a fish odour.
“And ultimately I ended up being tested and it came back positive.
“I am more chilled about it now. I can’t say that if somebody complains tomorrow, I wouldn’t still find it a little bit cutting.
“But I deal with it by educating that person now.”
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