WOMEN ON TOP by Nancy Friday

WOMEN ON TOP

How Real Life Has Changed Women's Sexual Fantasies

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Oh, that bathtub faucet. Only the Water Pik shower massage gets more kudos from Friday's respondents in this sequel to My Secret Garden (1973)--though dogs come in for considerable praise. Friday reports that, while this project was underway, a friend asked her whether she was writing ``another of your masturbatory books, Nancy.'' Friday was affronted, believing that her books open up discourse on taboo subjects, break new ground in exposing the inner lives of half of the human race, help people feel they're normal, promote understanding between the sexes, etc. And perhaps they do--but it cannot be denied that fully 75% of this book consists of women's first-person X-rated fantasies. Friday's role as commentator on the fantasies may prompt irreverent associations with the impassive, analytical doctors once used to introduce porn films and lend them an air of legitimacy. Her conclusions are: that the generation of women now in their 20s are less abashed about their sexuality than the women in My Secret Garden; that they are comfortable with masturbation; relish their power rather than seek to be overpowered by a man; and sometimes are so angry and fed up with men that they turn to other women. Some of Friday's sweeping generalizations may cause controversy, such as her analysis that feminists hate porn not because it victimizes women but because they can't accept that other women actually enjoy flaunting their power so flagrantly. One thing is for sure: Women have made no progress, judging from these accounts, in finding an erotic language of their own but are relying on the same old blunt, aggressive, consonant- constricted terms of men's porn. Women speaking of ``getting their rocks off'' just doesn't cut it--but maybe that's a subject for a future Friday project.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-64844-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1991




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