A new book questions the conventional wisdom about female desire. What now?
Women want sex just as much as men do, and this drive is “not, for the most part, sparked or sustained by emotional intimacy and safety.” When it comes to the craving for sexual variety, the research Bergner assembles suggests that women may be “even less well-suited for monogamy than men.” “The sexual landscape (remains) ruled by male desires and insecurities,” Amanda Hess writes in her Slate review of What Do Women Want. It is those insecurities (and the specter of the violence into which those insecurities sometimes erupt) that keep men from having their sexual desires fulfilled. As this new book shows, women’s desires are fully equal to men’s—and equally confined by men’s maddening unwillingness to abandon the useless sexual scripts they themselves have written.