New York Times bestselling author Daniel Bergner's shocking new theories about the female libido.
YT: Do you believe that women are less connected to the sensations of their bodies than men?
DB: There’s some evidence to support this, yes. The question still remains whether this degree of disconnection is hardwired or whether it’s the result of society teaching women a certain discomfort with, or denial of, their physical selves.
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YT: How do you think women can benefit from being sexually unconstrained?
DB: Just the fact that you’re asking this question says something about the different ways we treat female and male sexuality. Would you ask this about men? Women could benefit this same way men could—they might have better sex.
YT: Do you believe that distance rather than intimacy between partners is the key to great sex?
DB: Let me talk about uncertainty rather than distance. Lots of us think we want unconditional love from our partners, that we want certainty, one hundred percent security. But in pursuing this, one thing you will almost surely lose is eros. Our partners are not our parents. Don’t treat them as parents. Don’t expect them to love you no matter what. Earn their love—and their lust—every day. You’ll have a lot better sex—and in the end feel a lot closer—if you think this way.
YT: If more and more women begin to behave like men, i.e., to seek out casual sex, rather than focus on relationship building, do you think eventually society will embrace the notion and stop branding sexually aggressive women as sluts?
DB: I hope so. The fact that my kids still refer to the reality of slut-shaming and that there’s no male equivalent, no stud-shaming, is a stark reminder that girls and boys are raised very differently when it comes to sex. This has all kinds of stifling consequences, even in our society, which can appear so sexually unrestrained. I hope that my book pulls back a societal veil. I hope that the stories I tell of individual women, like Isabel, who’s trying to decide whether to marry the handsome, adoring boyfriend she’s lost her lust for, will lead women and men into a more honest conversation about how desire works in all of us.
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