The Erotic Silence of the American Wife

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9780452274457: The Erotic Silence of the American Wife
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A debunking of the myth of female monogamy describes how thousands of American women--committed to their husbands, and children--enter into adulterous affairs that they maintain free from guilt and self-disgust

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Through interviews with married women of various ages who have had affairs, Heyn, a Mademoiselle columnist who's worked in women's magazines for 20 years, takes a fresh look at female adultery-- which she claims is on the rise--and attempts to explode some common beliefs about women and sex (among them, that women are monogamous by nature and that happily married women don't have affairs). Without claiming to have conducted a scientific study, Heyn draws on anecdotal material that seems to point to a new insistence on sexual pleasure for married women--whether achieved within the marital framework or outside of it. Most of the women queried acknowledge burying their sexual past when they got married and buying into what Heyn calls ``the myth of romantic marriage.'' Victims of a ``Donna Reed'' syndrome--trying to be the perfect wife--they begin to experience a loss of self. Eventually, given the opportunity, they attempt to regain their individuality in sexual affairs. Generally, these affairs empower and revitalize the women--who have no regrets. What's groundbreaking about Heyn's survey, then, is its indication that women are less willing today to sacrifice their happiness for an ideal (i.e., a monogamous marriage) that, at least in these cases, doesn't fulfill their needs. Women apparently can love two men at once, and they can love their spouse and have sex with someone else, just as men allegedly do. And an affair can act as a catalyst for positive change. What makes this book less than revolutionary, though, is that, taken one by one, something seems to be missing in the way these married couples relate to one another. And so, based on Heyn's study, one can't generalize about the limits of monogamous marriage; but one can conclude that women are less willing today to barter sexual happiness for the security of marriage. They want both. While Heyn never quite develops a coherent thesis, then, she does give appealing voice to a growing and significant phenomenon in American female sexuality. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Women having, or about to embark on, an extramarital affair will find emotional support in Heyn's nonjudgmental profiles of adulterous wives. From her own informal survey, she concludes that affairs may improve some marriages, particularly those in which women aspire to the idealized role of the "perfect wife." Sex columnist for Mademoiselle, Heyn uses interviews and case histories to glowingly portray wives who, in their secret romances, feel powerful, equal, reintegrated with their sexual selves. She wrestles with the question of whether a wife should tell her husband about an affair and analyzes the varied effects of adultery on marriage. This formulaic book is buttressed by literary examples ranging from Flaubert to Erica Jong, and by frequent summaries of other studies of marriage and adultery. First serial to McCall's, Elle and Mademoiselle; Literary Guild featured alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679413394: The Erotic Silence of the American Wife

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0679413391 ISBN 13:  9780679413394
Publisher: Random House, Inc., 1992
Hardcover

9780451176202: The Erotic Silence of the American Wife

Signet, 1993
Softcover

9780517158487: The Erotic Silence of the American Wife

Random..., 1995
Hardcover

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