Is heterosexual sex inherently damaging to women? Is it possible for women to enjoy sensuality and pleasure with men that does not increase male power? Lynne Segal's unflinching examination of feminist thinking on sexuality over the past twenty-five years tackles these questions head on. Only two decades ago, politically aware women often declared themselves both sexual liberationists and feminists - their right to sexual fulfillment symbolized their right to selfhood. However, the most positive women's writing on female sexuality in recent years has come primarily from the lesbian community. Segal addresses the silence of heterosexual feminists on questions of sex and love and notes the shift toward sexual conservatism. She looks at the trends that followed Sixties radicalism: sex as a subversive activity, the "liberated orgasm," sex advice literature, gender uncertainties, Queer politics, antipornography campaigns, and the rise of the moral right.
Lynne Segal is Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. Her books include Out of Time, Is the Future Female? Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism; and Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men.