Yes Means Yes (which I have an essay in and can’t wait to finish reading; it’s a top contender for a Best Sex Writing 2010 reprint!) co-editor Jaclyn Friedman has a letter to the editor in The New York Times Magazine about the Daniel Bergner cover story on female desire, which I’m reposting below. (via Yes Means Yes blog)
Women’s sexual needs are not a scientific mystery. Want to increase female libido? Put down the pharmaceuticals and free our minds with equal pay, affordable child care and equitable distribution of household responsibilities. Wondering why women gravitate toward sexually passive roles? The answer has far less to do with evolution than with the ways women are shamed for expressing aggressive desire and with the pervasive idea that women who pursue their own satisfaction are asking to be raped.
What this woman wants is an end to tired clichés dressed up as science and the beginning of a world in which women are treated as individuals, each of whom may or may not be turned on by intimacy, back-alley ravishment or any number of things; a world in which anyone wondering what a woman wants knows that the best thing to do is just ask her.