The Intimacy Dance: 8a Guide to Long-Term Success in Gay and Lesbian Relationships

Betty Berzon, Author
Betty Berzon, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-525-94234-4
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-452-27747-2
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A book on the problems of gay and lesbian couples faces two major challenges. It must first establish what, other than specifics of physical intimacy, differentiates gay and lesbian relationships from heterosexual ones. Second, it must not dwell on those differences to the exclusion of constructive observations and advice. This book succeeds on both counts and so qualifies as a helpful guide to maintaining long-term relationships, which Berzon (Permanent Partners), a Los Angeles psychotherapist, defines as those connections that weather the gay and lesbian three-year itch. The book falters, however, in its construction and its writing, and these failings are sufficient to make it at times exasperating reading. Its chief expository device is synoptic case studies that alternate between male and female. These snippets are far too simplified to offer much. But the book manages to shine in its extended recognition not only of homosexual relationships in general but of long-term homosexual relationships. In this, the case studies serve a purpose, as do Berzon's frequent references to her own 22-year lesbian relationship. And as she implies toward the end of her study, in the realm of gay and lesbian couples, psychotherapeutic theory and practice are not nearly as important as a generally affirmative attitude. (Sept.)
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