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The Truth About Female Desire: It’s Base, Animalistic and Ravenous

A new book on women's sexuality turns everything we think we know on its head.

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It did strike me while reading the book that some parts might be fairly alarming for male heterosexual readers.

I think maybe it should be. I just had two funny conversations—one with a male writer, a friend of mine, who said that reading the book had inspired deep concern, and another from an editor who said that it had scared the bejesus out of him. [Laughter] I laugh, but I think that maybe it should, and I hope that it at least lets us look past the blinders that we’ve had on.

This is the question you’re probably most resistant to answering, but are there any lessons in your research for couples attempting long-term monogamous partnerships?

It’s nice of you to acknowledge that I might be resistant to the self-help approach. That said, two things. I think there’s real wisdom in what I discuss in the book, which is finding ways to, not only acknowledge, but reinstall the kind of distance in relationships. Our culture has somehow absorbed, or idealized, the merging, the “you complete me” line from “Jerry Maguire.” The idea of unconditional love within couples. And I think we’ve probably way overdone that.

The simple thing is, I sometimes think we have to be a little braver about just caring more. Caring, and being open about caring about sex, with one’s long-term partner sounds like it should be easy, but I think often it’s not because you can fail and you can feel hurt. And so I do think that candor and caring are important and then signing up to welcome distance back into relationships might well be the root to maintaining passion.

 

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow@tracyclarkflory on Twitter.

 
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