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“nobody does porn just because they’re Jewish”

October 22, 2012

Picture a Jewishy guy from a recent blockbuster movie, whether it’s Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, or Jesse Eisenberg. He’s likely a nebbish, some clumsy man-child who wants desperately to have sex but can’t quite figure out how. This image has its history, too, of course — you can trace it back to Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Silverman discovering masturbation in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs, and before that to Dustin Hoffman, Elliott Gould, and Charles Grodin in the late 1960s and early 1970s, who seized upon Freudian sexual neurosis, by way of the stand-up of Woody Allen and Shelley Berman, and smelted it into curly-haired, American New Wave gold.

What Deen manages to do is to destroy this cliché of the sexually passive Jewish man that still pervades our popular culture, replacing it not with its anti-Semitic mirror-image, that old chestnut about insatiable Hebrew lust, but with an image of unselfconscious, upbeat, healthy male sexuality.

Read More | “James Deen Vs. The Nebbishes” | Josh Lambert | LA Review of Books