My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies

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9780671019877: My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies

When it first appeared, My Secret Garden created a storm of outrage and exhilaration. Women who read it were astonished to find in its pages the hidden content of their own sexual fantasies. More outspoken, graphic, and taboo-shattering than any book before its time, My Secret Garden quickly became the classic study of female sexuality. Today, millions of women have made Nancy Friday's groundbreaking bestseller a mainstay of feminist literature -- a liberating force that adds a sensational new dimension to their sexual fantasies and lives.

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Review:

This book caused quite a ruckus when it was released 25 years ago because it directly quotes the sexual fantasies of dozens of women, ranging from the "very common" rape fantasy to lesbian affairs to unusually explicit scenarios that are unmentionable here. While author Nancy Friday maintains that My Secret Garden served to free millions of women from sexual oppression, there's still a need today to get rid of the guilt that millions more still feel when it comes to fantasizing, having orgasms, and making one's sexual wishes be known. "How could it be, you might ask," she writes, "that women today, at the turn of the century, would still think they were the only Bad Girls with erotic thoughts? What kind of prison is this that that women impose on themselves?"

My Secret Garden has the prurient appeal that made it one of the most passed-around books in high school study halls (it boasts chapters titled "Insatiability" and "The Thrill of the Forbidden"), but its premise, underneath the tales of lusty longings, is a serious one. Friday, also author of My Mother, My Self and Women on Top, is appalled at how parents, especially mothers, instill in their children a deep fear of sexual pleasure, and she advises how to do away with this stultifying force. While Friday can get a little histrionic at times ("Women's lust ... could bring down not only individuals, but society itself"), that doesn't make this book any less enthralling. --Erica Jorgensen

About the Author:

Nancy Friday is the author of seven books: My Secret Garden, Forbidden Flowers, Jealousy, Men in Love, My Mother/My Self, Women on Top, and The Power of Beauty. She lives in Key West, Florida, and in Connecticut.

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