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Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Sexual Fantasies (English Edition)
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Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Sexual Fantasies (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Nancy Friday

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Descriptions du produit


Part 1: Report from the Erotic Interior

It's an odd time to be writing about sex. Not at all like the late 1960s and 1970s, when the air was charged with sexual curiosity, women's lives were changing at a rate of geometric progression, and the exploration of women's sexuality -- well, it ranked right up there with the struggle for economic equality.

Today's sexual climate is somber. Gone are the lively debates and writings about sex as part of our humanity. The toll of AIDS, reports from the abortion battlefield, and the alarming rise of unintended pregnancies make sex seem more risky than joyful.

By their sheer numbers young men and women twenty years ago made sex a burning issue; later when the time came to go on to more "serious" business, they put the sexual revolution to bed. Implicit in the prim set of their lips today is that they overdid it twenty years ago; like good Calvinist children the Establishment now punishes itself for its former naughty excesses and righteously turns its back on sex. Because they are still the majority who make the rules and write the headlines, they assume they speak for everyone.

They know little of the women in this book.

These women are for the most part in their twenties, the generation that followed the sexual revolution and the initial momentum of the women's movement. Their voices sound like a new race of women compared to those in My Secret Garden, my first book on women's sexual fantasies, which was published in 1973 and is now in its twenty-ninth printing. While they have all read that earlier book and taken heart from it, these young women accept their sexual fantasies as a natural extension of their lives. Given the unique period in women's history in which they grew up, how could it be otherwise?

For them the explosive emotions we unleashed in the 1970s are still very much alive. There has never been a sexual hiatus, a cooling-off period. Sex is a given, an energy not to be deferred for "more important things." Their sexual fantasies are startling reflections of their determination to abandon nothing.

Here is a collective imagination that could not have existed twenty years ago, when women had no vocabulary, no permission, and no shared identity in which to describe their sexual feelings. Those first voices were tentative and filled with guilt, not for having done anything but simply for daring to admit the inadmissible: that they had erotic thoughts that sexually aroused them.

More than any other emotion, guilt determined the story lines of the fantasies in My Secret Garden. Here were hundreds of women inventing ploys to get past their fear that wanting to reach orgasm made them Bad Girls. All in the privacy of their own minds, where no one would know. But in the mind of the symbiotic child, mother did know. The daughter could be grown and with children of her own, but if she had never emotionally separated from that first person who controlled her totally, how was she to know what was mother's opinion, what was her own? It was as if mother continued to sit in judgment throughout the daughter's life, wagging her finger at the daughter's every sexual move and thought.

The most popular guilt-avoiding device was the so-called rape fantasy -- "so-called" because no rape, bodily harm, or humiliation took place in the fantasy. It simply had to be understood that what went on was against the woman's will. Saying she was "raped" was the most expedient way of getting past the big No to sex that had been imprinted on her mind since early childhood. (Let me add that the women were emphatic that these were not suppressed wishes; I never encountered a woman who said she really wanted to be raped.)

Anonymity also helped. The men in these fantasies were faceless strangers invented to further insure the women against involvement, responsibility, the possibility of a relationship. These males did their job and left. Being fucked by the faceless stranger made it doubly clear: "This pleasure is not my fault! I'm still a Nice Girl, Mom."

Certainly sexual guilt hasn't disappeared, nor has the rape fantasy. There is something very workmanlike and reliable about the traditional bullies and bad people whose intractable presence allows the woman to reach her goal, orgasm. But most of the women in this book take guilt as a given, like the danger of speeding cars. Guilt, they've learned, comes from without, from mother, from church. Sex comes from within and is their entitlement. Guilt, therefore, must be controlled, mastered, and used to heighten excitement. If there is a rape fantasy, today's woman is just as likely to flip the scenario into one in which she overpowers and rapes the man. This sort of thing just didn't happen in My Secret Garden.

Fantasy is where the sexual drive does battle with opposing emotions, the selection of which comes out of our individual lives, our earliest sexual histories. What were the forbidden feelings we took in as we grew? In these new fantasies, the emotions that most often dictate the story lines are anger, the desire for control, and the determination to experience the fullest sexual release.

Admitting to anger is new for women. In the days of My Secret Garden, nice women didn't express anger. They choked on it and turned whatever rage they felt against themselves.

Anger is still a difficult emotion for women to voice in reality, primarily because we get no practice expressing it in that first, most important relationship, opposite mother. But women today at least know they are entitled to anger, and fantasy is a safe playground where they can show rage at all the obstacles that stand in their way, beginning with rage at the enormous difficulty in being sexual plus all the other things a woman today must be. These new women have no models, no blueprints. They have to make themselves up. One of the ways they try out new roles is in their erotic dreams.

Don't misunderstand me; this is not just a book about angry women. These are women's voices finally dealing with the full lexicon of human emotion, sexual imagery and language. Anger is inextricably involved with lust in reality as well as in the erotic imagination. Men's sexual fantasies are also filled with rage at war with eroticism. They take a different story line from women's largely because of men's earliest experiences with woman/mother. But rage is a human emotion, and though history until recently tells us otherwise, it is not exclusive to one sex.

I will never forget these women, for they have swept me up in their enthusiasm and taught me too. "Take that!" they say, using their erotic muscle to seduce or subdue anyone or anything that stands in the way of orgasm. They take the knowledge won by an earlier generation of women who couldn't use it themselves, still being too close to the taboos against which they rebelled. These women look mother square in the face and have their orgasm too.

I have always believed that our erotic daydreams are the true X rays of our sexual souls, and like our dreams at night they change as new people and situations enter our lives to be played out against the primitive backdrop of our childhood. An analyst collects his patients' dreams like gold coins. We should value our erotic reveries no less seriously, because they are the complex expressions of what we consciously desire and unconsciously fear. To know them is to know ourselves better.

Like the X ray of a broken bone held up to the light, a fantasy reveals the healthy line of human sexual desire and shows where this conscious wish to feel sexual has been shattered by a fear so old and threatening as to be unconscious pressure. As children we feared that the sexual feeling would lose us the love of someone upon whom we depended for life itself; the guilt, planted early and deep, arose because we didn't want the forbidden sexual feeling to go away. Now it is fantasy's job to get us past the fear/guilt/anxiety. The characters and story lines we conjure up take what was most forbidden, and with the omnipotent power of the mind, make the forbidden work for us so that now, just for a moment, we may rise to orgasm and release.

Here, for the first time, these women's voices make it undeniably clear that our erotic fantasies have changed in juxtaposition to what has happened in the past years; they are not simply masturbatory diversions, derivatives of Playboy cartoons, but brilliant insights into what motivates real life -- clues to our identity as valuable as the dreams we dream at night.

This is not a scientific report. I am by choice not a Ph.D., having decided long ago to retain the writer's freedom. Also, it has always been my belief that women tell me things they say they've never told a living soul because I am Nancy to them and not Dr. Friday. This book, along with My Secret Garden and Forbidden Flowers, its sequel, represent a unique chronicle of women's sexual fantasies. Before My Secret Garden was published, there was nothing on the subject. The assumption was that women did not have sexual fantasies.

The sexual fantasies in Women on Top cover the years from 1980 to the present. They were selected from interviews and letters written to me in answer to an invitation to women who wished to contribute to a future book on women's sexual fantasies. The request was printed in the back of My Secret Garden and Forbidden Flowers. I gave a P.O. Box number and promised anonymity.

My contributors and I may form a special population: I am sufficiently fascinated by sexuality to write about it, and they to read my books and then write to me for reasons ranging from the desire for validation of their sexuality -- "I am signing my real name because I want you to know I exist!" -- to the exhibitionistic pleasure of seeing their words in print. But there can be no doubt that those who have written speak for a far larger population.

I have chosen to arrange the fantasies in three chapters which denote the themes that...

Revue de presse

New Woman A smorgasbord of sensual scenarios.

Newsweek Another Friday blockbuster.

Esquire The fantasies are fascinating.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1224 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 566 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0671750542
  • Editeur : RosettaBooks (7 février 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  39 commentaires
36 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Erotica, Therapy, Sociology--The Most Amazing Book About Sex 28 juin 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
I first found this book in my Dad's bedroom when I was 15-years old. I am now 21 and I still think it's incredible. The only thing that has changed is my appreciation for it. I now know how rare it is to find such fearless and honest erotica that really turns me on. Some of the fantasies, notwithstanding, aren't for me.
This book is also therapeutic: A friend of mine was recently thinking of seeing a sex therapist. She did, but I also helped by giving her my copy. She hasn't given it back, so this will be my third, counting my Dad's which I read until I moved out.
"Women on Top" is a great reminder or proclaimer of the fact that sex is a natural part of our existence and our everyday lives, and should not be taken for granted.
I think everyone over age 15 (depending on individual maturation) should own this book and be given a sexual education that includes teaching the biology, anatomy, intellect and emotions of sex.
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Go Nancy! 25 juin 2001
Par M. Nichols-Haining - Publié sur
I've owned this book for years, and it hasn't left my beside in all that time. When I bought it, I was in my twenties, and it made me realize that fantasy lives were not restricted to men. And that my fantasies were normal--even (gasp) healthy! Did I learn that from Friday? Nope. I ignored her introductions, as I'm sure most of us did. I figure it out from the numerous women who wrote her and shared their intimate moments. Although our fantasies may differ, they reaffirm that we have every right to relish our own sexuality.
On a side note: the Editorial review really ticked me off. Why is it just fine for men to fantasize using "dirty" words but if we use them, we're no longer feminine? Who declares we must be "dainty" in order to be evolved? Just know when you buy this book that it's not the flowery language you'll find in your drug store romance novel. It's real (sometimes a little out there, but real nonetheless).
I'm not embarrassed to admit that Nancy Friday's books come very close to being a woman's equivalent to Penthouse. We love the words--the men love the pictures. (okay, so I'm not embarrassed unless my mother-in-law reads this) It's all healthy. Go Nancy!
82 internautes sur 96 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not as great as it could be 19 août 2000
Par Jonathan J. Casey - Publié sur
Buyer beware: there is a LOT of sex with animals in this book, and you're never warned ahead of time: the dogs just come out of nowhere and the average reader gets caught. I felt very guilty when I loaned this book to someone without warning her first and she was not pleased. I mean, don't get me wrong, fantasize about whatever you want...but this is not something I enjoyed reading about. While I admire and respect the concept of this book, it is also marred by Nancy Friday's hamhanded psychoanalysis. I frequently disagree with her theories and find that the best way to read this is to skip all that and jump right into the women's fantasies, some of which are really amazing. While the writers don't stand as representative of women in general (is such a thing possible?), I think the overall scope of the book is such that anyone- whatever sexuality, gender-identity, race, religion, or class- will find something of interest here, be it for education or arousal...and that's what a good book in this field should be, as far as I'm concerned. Negatives aside, I'd like to see a lot more of this out there. If and other such sites would focus less on commerce and big name authors we might start to see a change in the way Americans view sex...but I digress. Take a look at this one, but don't get your hopes too high.
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book awakened a lot of my sensuality! 10 avril 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
Wow! I just stumbled upon this book by accident and was totally amazed by it. I really liked hearing all the stories about first sexual experiences and first becoming aware of one's sexuality at early ages, and how this self- concept of sexuality develops. I found the interpretations by the author to be eye-opening especially the ones dealing with how mothers and society in general have totally different expectations and feelings regarding the sexuality of daughters vs. sons. I do feel there is a double standard and girls are suppossed to be "good" and not want sexual things done to them. Where boys do not have this pressure or expectation put upon them in the same way. This book gave me more freedom in expressing my sexuality with my husband and there are things I've always wanted to try, but felt like I "shouldn't". I feel so much more in touch with my sensuality and this book has made my already good sex life, really really great. I also like the distinction the author makes between fantasy and reality and how she points out that there are some things we love to fantasize about doing, but would not want to do in reality - and that's normal.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The most I've ever learned about myself! 19 octobre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
There are so many things that I have always fantasied about, but was brought up in a sexually suppressed environment and was taught that they were wrong. Nancy has become like a friend holding my hand telling me that I am normal and that it's okay! I feel like a sexual weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and I can now live my life guilt free! I will be grateful forever for what I have realized in the short time that it took me to finish your book. My husband has even noticed a positive change in our sex life, now that I'm not as insecure! Thanks again, Nancy!
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