Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality

Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality was the first collection of Journal of Polymorphous Perversity® articles, published in both hardcover and paperback formats. Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality won the Diagram Group Prize at the Frankfurt International Book Fair in 1986 as the funniest title of the year.


The hardcover edition of Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personalitywas published in 1986 by Brunner/Mazel (at the time the most prestigious publisher of serious psychoanalytic books in the United States). Brunner/Mazel took a risk in acquiring and publishing the book, particularly given their history of only publishing serious books. Ultimately, Brunner/Mazel laughed all the way to the bank because the title ended up being a big hit for them, going through 3 printings.


The paperback edition of Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality was published in 1987 by Ballantine Books (a division of Random House). Oddly, Ballantine decided to release the book as a mass market (rather than trade) paperback. The mass market paperback format is a smaller format than trade paperback and allows for copies to be sold in racks in airports. Apparently, this was not a bad decision. Ultimately, the paperback edition went through 8 printings.


Rights to the German-language edition were acquired by Kruger Verlag (a division of S. Fischer Verlag) and the book was published in large trade paperback format under the title, Journal Fur Seelische Radschlage.


Japanese-language rights were acquired by Seiwa Shoten Publisher, which released the book in hardcover.

The Articles

Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality consists of 55 articles drawn from the first three years of the Journal of Polymorphous Perversity®. The title of the book is based upon the article of the same name, authored by Glenn Ellenbogen – the Editor-in-Chief of JPP

In “Psychotherapy of the Dead,” the author notes that “Many beginning therapists have trouble with long silences during the therapeutic hour. The author has found that one of the best ways to desensitize psychologists in training is to assign them to a dead patient.” Later in the piece, the author addresses pragmatic concerns with this specific patient population, namely, “Reluctance to Pay Bills.”

In “On the Differential Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Afflictions,” the author (writing under the names of Increase Mather and Cotton Mather – the actual names of the judges of the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials) compares the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association with the proceedings of the Salem Village witchcraft trials, offering four groundbreaking diagnoses for 17th century New England: Possessed By Satan, Not Possessed By Satan, Satanic Possession In Remission, and Latent-Blatant Possession Circular Type.

In keeping with the ground-breaking, creatively divergent work of the Journal of Polymorphous Perversity®, the article “Recurrence of the Déjà vu Phenomenon Among Professional Psychologists” actually appears twice in its entirety in the book. Therefore, all readers will eventually have a déjà vu experience!

Here are some of the titles appearing in Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality:

  • The Etiology and Treatment of Childhood
  • Behavioral Strategies for Coping with Urban Crime: Vigilante Effectiveness Training (V.E.T.)
  • Thanatotherapy: A One-Session Approach to Brief Psychotherapy
  • The Nasal Complex and Other Recent Advances in Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality
  • A Brief Report of a Psychodiagnostic System for Mental Health Clinic Patients: Diagnosis by Parking
  • The Scale of Mental Abilities Requiring Thinking Somewhat (S.M.A.R.T.S.): Test Construction, Normative Data, Administration, Test Items, and Scoring
  • The Issue of No-Show Subjects: A Failure to Replicate Non-Data on Non-Volunteer No-Shows
  • the journal of underachievement
  • A Grammatical Overview of Medical Records: The Write Stuff
Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality is now out of print. However, both the hardcover and paperback editions can be purchased as used books at the following websites:
Link to Abe Books

Link to Alibris Books

There is now a Kindle e-book version of the book, and it is available from amazon.com