Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom

Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom

Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom

Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom

Synopsis

Hard to Get is a powerful and intimate examination of the sex and love lives of the most liberated women in history--twenty-something American women who have had more opportunities, more positive role models, and more information than any previous generation. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Leslie C. Bell takes us directly into the lives of young women who struggle to negotiate the complexities of sexual desire and pleasure, and to make sense of their historically unique but contradictory constellation of opportunities and challenges. In candid interviews, Bell's subjects reveal that, despite having more choices than ever, they face great uncertainty about desire, sexuality, and relationships. Ground-breaking and highly readable, Hard to Get offers fascinating insights into the many ways that sex, love, and satisfying relationships prove surprisingly elusive to these young women as they navigate the new emotional landscape of the 21st century.

Excerpt

Excited yet embarrassed, Claudia, a twenty-eight-year-old postdoctoral researcher, told me about a one-night stand she’d had the night before our interview. I listened as she described the encounter: the fun of flirting with the man at a concert, the excitement and nervousness when it was still unclear what would happen, and the pleasure of being touched by someone she found so attractive. But I noticed that her pleasure gave way to worry that her strong sexual desires might get her into trouble. “I wish I weren’t so horny, so I didn’t need to go out and get it so much. I wish I could take a pill to kill my desire,” she confided. Claudia felt some shame about her sexual desires and feared others might label her a “ho” for acting on them. She imagined that her Mexican Catholic family would be horrified if they knew about the number of sexual partners she’d had, that they would be devastated and disappointed that their daughter had not become the woman they raised her to be: a good girl who would marry her first boyfriend. At the same time, the strength of her sexual desires sometimes frightened her, and she . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.