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Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire Paperback – April 10, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press; First Edition edition (April 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568581807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568581804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The feminist battles over pornography in the 1970s and '80s left Gen-X third-wave feminists with a complex set of questions, says Johnson. Why do women still settle for unsatisfying sex? What does a thoughtful feminist do about her politically incorrect fantasies? Is heterosexual romance incompatible with female self-determination? While some feminists might tackle these questions without mentioning any body parts, much less their own, the contributors to this racy volume make a great effort to speak honestly about their erotic experiences in intimate, jargon-free essays edited by Johnson, a former stripper with a Ph.D. in English. There are entries from women working as prostitutes and strippers, women into exhibitionism, self-mutilation, muscle-building, girl gang-banging even women working out the impulse toward heterosexual marriage. While no one claims to have definitive answers to the big questions, certain perspectives do emerge. Among them: desire is "both socially constructed and beyond social construction"; viewing sex as a performance a deliberate trying on of other roles can be empowering; anything that defies the traditional heterosexual rules of engagement be it wanting a spanking or masturbating to rape fantasies makes space for different sexualities; and, maybe most importantly, contradictions are okay even feminists don't have to make sense all the time. It's not for the straitlaced, but sex-positive feminists will find this a provocative, important anthology that speaks honestly to the question of pleasure and how to get it. (Mar. 15)Forecast: Jane should please readers of Nerve.com and forward-thinking Camille Paglia fans. Antipornography feminists may want to steer clear.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

Feminism reinvents itself with wit and moxie. -- Nashville Scene, March 14-40, 2002

Over 15 writers gracefully address the possible paradox . . . of feminism, tackling the more subtle issues of human psychology. -- Boston Weekly Dig, May 8, 2002

Customer Reviews

This book was a very interesting and fun read.
Emily N. Stickel
Vulvodynia: On the Medicinal Purposes of Porn, by Katinka Hooijer - A great piece about a woman's experience with vulvodynia and the way she experiences her sexuality.
Nicole
Reading this book should make any woman feel more comfortable with the thoughts/wants/needs she has that may seem to be anti-feminist in nature.
J. S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. S. on October 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is extraordinary. It provides first-person narratives on a wide variety of sex-positive practices/experiences, and also argues that such practices/experiences are normal. Reading this book should make any woman feel more comfortable with the thoughts/wants/needs she has that may seem to be anti-feminist in nature.

Personally, as a feminist-identified stripper, I was thrilled to see that such a book had been compiled. Each narrative is intelligent and edited perfectly. At times the stories are hilarious, at other times sad. Its honesty is unbelievably refreshing (feminists DO experience seemingly-anti-feminist feelings), and inspiring. You can read this book all the way through, or you can peruse different subjects and read the (relatively) short essays one-by-one.

I would recommend this book to any woman...especially those with internalized feelings of sexual guilt, or even those who are merely curious about topics like stripping, spanking, marriage, surviving abuse, controversial masturbation fantasies, female ejaculation, prostitution, , pornography, etc. There are enough narratives to make the book flow well and stay entertaining, yet there are also enough analytical segments to place the book in an intelligent, revelatory sphere.

Buy this book if you have an open mind, or even if you want to gain a different perspective on a variety of sexual issues. I cannot thank the editors/essayists enough for putting such a daring and HONEST book on the market. Women are so much more complicated than sex-negative feminist perspectives would like to think.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jennie on July 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's comforting to know that I am not the only feminist who feels slightly guilty for liking men and sex. Some of these essays are brilliant and thought-provoking. Some are deeply personal and moving, some are self-serving and trite, and some show an amazingly poor level of scholarship. Interestingly enough, the worst essay in a section is often positioned next to the best, offering an interesting juxtaposition that allows you to think about the issues even more. Is this something that can be studied academically, or needs to be? Academic studies showing that women like sex (and even with men!) seem silly, but the essays that speak from experience and don't try to make broad generalizations or deep insights on society as a whole make this book worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaitlin D on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great for what it is: a discussion on sexuality. There are many interesting an intellectually stimulating chapters. It's not stimulating, however, in an erotic way-so don't purchase this imagining it to be feminist erotica, or something of that nature, which it outwardly seems like it may be.
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Format: Paperback
I thought for awhile what to write for this review... There is just so many pieces of this book that jumped out to me. Stumbling across this book, randomly, was for me, like running into a best friend, just when I needed her most.

This collection of "confessions of feminist desire" was one of the best essay collections I've ever read. Almost every essay was engaging and had me considering something through a new lens. I would have loved to read this book as a part of a book club or a gender studies class, debating and discovering even more depth than when I got from the first read.

For me, one of the best parts of this book was how easy it was to relate to the different perspectives - or know someone who could relate. I constantly found myself wanting to lend the book to friends (but not before I was done reading it) so they could read that one particular essay that reminded me of them.

Some of my favorites:
Cutting, Craving and the Self I was Saving, by Jennifer Lutzenberger - This essay offered such a unique perspective of self-injurious behavior and the way in which it truly became a defiant, saving act of agency.

Of the Flesh Fancy: Spanking and the Single Girl, by Chris Daley - A great essay about the power in pleasure and what that means when women mix a little domination into the mix.

The feminist Wife: Notes from a Political "Engagement," by Patricia Payette - This is one of the essays I wanted a few friends to read - it's a great piece about a feminist woman who is struggling with what her marriage (to a man) means for her feminist identity.

Vulvodynia: On the Medicinal Purposes of Porn, by Katinka Hooijer - A great piece about a woman's experience with vulvodynia and the way she experiences her sexuality.
Read more ›
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