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For women, the narrative holds that sex is about the security — emotional and material — of the relationship, not the physical pleasure. Darwin agreed with this view. The “coy” female who “requires to be courted” is deeply embedded in his theory of sexual selection.

If women were as libidinous as men, we’re told, society itself would collapse. Lord Acton was only repeating what everyone knew in 1875 when he declared, “The majority of women, happily for them and for society, are not very much troubled with sexual feeling of any kind.”

And yet, despite repeated assurances that women aren’t particularly sexual creatures, in cultures around the world men have gone to extraordinary lengths to control female libido: female genital mutilation, head-to-toe chadors, medieval witch burnings, chastity belts, suffocating corsets, muttered insults about “insatiable” whores, pathologizing, paternalistic medical diagnoses of nymphomania or hysteria, the debilitating scorn heaped on any female who chooses to be generous with her sexuality … all parts of a worldwide campaign to keep the supposedly low-key female libido under control. Why the electrified high-security razor-wire fence to contain a kitty-cat?

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Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

this book is amazing.

(via paper-trains)

71,856 notes • 8:54 PM