Authors: Nancy Friday
Tags: #Social Science, #Gender Studies, #Self-Help, #General, #Sexual Instruction
Forbidden Fantasies in an Uncensored Age
The follow-up to the groundbreaking bestseller
My Secret Garden
Forbidden Fantasies in an Uncensored Age
Copyright © 2009 by Nancy Friday
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Friday, Nancy.
Beyond my control : forbidden fantasies in an uncensored age / Nancy Friday.
1. Sexual fantasies. 2. Paraphilias. I. Title. HQ71.F75 2009
Printed and bound in the United States of America BG 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
The best agent and, oh yes, friend! a writer could have.
a l s o B y N a N c y F r i d a y
My Secret Garden Forbidden Flowers My Mother, My Self Men in Love Jealousy
Women on Top
The Power of Beauty (Our Looks / Our Lives)
Author to Reader: Still My Secret Garden vii
Living Out Fantasies
Still My Secret Garden
Over thirty-five years ago, I called it
My Secret Garden
because collecting fantasies was like listening to women whispering in my ear. I was hearing their deepest erotic secrets—in many cases, desires they had not even told themselves until then. Still today, many women and men finish by saying, “Thank you for letting me tell you.”
I know precisely what they mean. There is something about putting sex into writing, almost as if we are taking it to the next level of reality, getting closer and closer to the flame. At the same time, it is emboldening, as in: “This is who I am—who I really am! And look…the sky hasn’t fallen, I haven’t been ostra- cized from the family, and I feel more complete, whole, part of the human race.”
Yes, I do believe that for many of us, accepting our erotic rev- eries opens a new consciousness in our lives. We don’t have to act on the fantasies to feel this way. Some, fully realized, would become nightmares. Nor share them with our partners. Often, kept from them, they can be even more emboldening. It is thrill- ing just to own the creativity of our sexual imagination. Just as learning to drive opens new paths—emotionally as well as phys- ically—so do our private sexual thoughts, at any age, take us on ever-new trips, as doors open and horizons broaden.
We like to think that we are formed by what we choose to take in, while from the day we were born, we have been absorbing the
opinions of the people on whom we are dependent. Our care- takers’ opinions (often unspoken) of our body are woven into our self-image. Later, changes that we choose to make will be in opposition to theirs.
Our tiny hand goes between our legs because it feels good and, yes, because it is our body. So, there we are, not even able to use adverbs, and the giants of the nursery are laying down lifelong prejudices. They say, “No, no, darling…” and remove our hand from that sweet crevice. We won’t remember it or a dozen other repeated sounds and actions that over time hammer home
So often our devoted caretakers would deny any role in turn-
ing us away from our sexual parts, so automatic and unthinking were their intentions. If accused in court of crippling someone’s sexual self-esteem, they would look askance.
By the time we choose a sexual mate, have a certificate of mar- riage, or become economically independent, we will also have a private stash of erotic fantasies, stored since adolescence, helping us get past the negative opinions of other people regarding
sexual parts. Now, when our mind and body want to boost us up, up, and away into orgasm, we call upon these fantasies to do their magic.
Our response to the thrill of sexual feeling in adolescence is electric. It is so sweet, so winning, yes, so natural, that it is hard to ally it with the negative experience long ago in the nursery. This is something new and beautiful, what we feel in one an- other’s arms at adolescence. That so many young girls get preg- nant when they have been raised never to let a lad anywhere near that forbidden fertile ground until the appropriate moment speaks of the beauty of erotic rapture—something the girl might understand and deal with had she been taught to respect “that
place.” But raised on distaste and abhorrence of her genitals, the girl eagerly hands herself over to the boy/man and crowns him a Prince for loving that “unspeakable” core of herself.
Before the sexual revolution of the twentieth century, most women denied their erotic fantasies. Young adults today find that hard to believe. Where did these forbidden, unacceptable fantasies go after they were enjoyed, these rich erotic thoughts that accompanied our sex? Can the mind actually entertain a sexual fantasy during intercourse or masturbation and then erase it post-orgasm?
I thought I’d heard everything with regard to my favorite sub- ject until I received this missive in 2002 from a twenty-three- year-old English woman:
“Dear Nancy, I always thought it was only famous, rich, suc- cessful—as in some way privileged women—who had sexual fantasies. Finding out that so many ORDINARY WOMEN [her caps] enjoy sex so much is a fantastic thing to know. It makes me feel so much better to realize that anyone can have a great sex life.”
Such a funny, sweet thought makes me want to put my arm around the dear girl and welcome her into the club.
But, of course, masturbation only came onto the scene, front and center, in the last thirty years. Certainly, some women masturbated but not in the epidemic proportions we do today. (Hah! Fun to imagine an “epidemic” of women masturbating; the headlines in the newspapers: “All traffic comes to a halt as women across the world masturbate for world peace!”)
One thing I’ve learned absolutely is that forbidden sex gets us higher faster. We may love our mate, but love and sex are separate, different, and there is no denying the thrill of stolen
sex, in fantasy and in reality. The more forbidden, the more in- tense the orgasm. And if the man inside us isn’t off-limits, well, then, within the secret room of our imagination, we envision someone who is. Not only is the man off-limits but so is the locale where we do the dirty deed—the bus, a train, behind the cereal section in the supermarket, under the table in the res- taurant, or perhaps with the handsome stranger beside us in an airplane. We wait until the movie begins, the lights lower, and the blanket, hopefully still provided by the flight attendant, can shield him as he slips between our legs and applies his hands, his mouth, his considerable talent to bring us to orgasm.
We can’t afford to actually have sex with the man next door with whom our husband plays golf, but when we want to climb to orgasm, we imagine him breathing heavily in our ear during the dance, and we two disappear when no one is looking. In seconds, we’re secluded or—more dangerous and exciting—we take a terrible chance of getting caught and pull him down upon us in the guest room. Quick, quick! His penis is inside us, it no longer matters if we’re found, so close are we to orgasm.
Could Adam and Eve resist the apple? Do we really believe it was all about an apple? There is no way to make the safe sex of marriage as exciting as the forbidden. We salt and pepper sex with our legal mate, imagining forbidden men in forbidden places.
Is it any wonder pain, force, verbal abuse are often attached to our real sex, maybe something slight like the bite on the nipple, the added thrust of the penis, abusive words: “You are a bad little bitch, and Daddy’s going to punish you,” our lover says playfully. “Harder! Deeper!” we cry out when his penis is inside us, so deep we get the pleasure and the pain confused.
Why do we seek a certain form of intimacy or avoid it? What- ever “fits” may have its roots in a time before we can remember.
Money, too, is part of the sexual drama because it symbolizes undeniable power. Men and women have always been afraid of each other. Why do you think at some point most men have paid for sex? It was a high price, but the alternative would have meant never getting away from the first woman who controlled his life totally. Oh, yes, he loved her, but you know as well as I that the stories of guys who never get away from their mothers are either comic or tragic.
“Powder me, powder me!” a former lover cried out when I was crouched between his legs, his cock in my mouth.
Where did that come from? I asked myself and answered: Hadn’t I interviewed him in our early days together? His early memory of days with his mom had to do with her weeping when she bathed him because his father was away in the war. And he, only a very little boy, would say to her, “But I’m here, Mommy!” To which she would reply, sadly, “You are not enough.”
She got him coming and going, so to speak. By the time he ended up in my bed, he was a mass of contradictions, wanting to be babied and on top. But he is not alone in his sexual split. Most men solve the Madonna/whore dilemma by making their wives the safe haven (calling the wife “mother”) and looking for forbidden sex with “bad” women.
A comfortably married woman tells me: “Before marriage, we were more adventurous. (Mild bondage, lots of head, etc.) After marriage, my husband would pull me up when I’d go down on him—like, now that I was his wife, it was somehow ‘dirty.’”
The above may be more true of traditional men and women— meaning pre-feminism—than of couples today where both work outside the home. Nothing has changed women more from the stereotypical housewife who took care of home and nur- tured children than women’s entry into the workplace. There is