Catherine Scott

  • What Does a Man Want?

    THE JOURNALIST NANCY FRIDAY is best known for My Secret Garden (1973), a collection of the sexual fantasies of hundreds of women who responded to her call for confessions. Predating the more statistics-heavy Hite Report by three years, Friday’s first book was groundbreaking in its recognition of real female fantasy, freed from man-pleasing stereotypes. However, the book I’ve always found more striking was Friday’s less famous follow-up, Men in Love (1980). The subtitle, Men’s Sexual Fantasies: The Triumph of Love over Rage, illustrates the still-dominant myth that male sexuality is inherently

  • syllabi July 28, 2015

    Feminism, Dominance, and Submission

    It can seem a tall order to find literature about BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadomasochism) that is both erotic and cerebral, and that can depict a woman playing the submissive role without appearing to demean her. Several years ago, Katie Roiphe and other journalists seized on the popularity of E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey series to suggest that women who enjoy the bottom role in kink do so because their increasing economic and political power have begun to feel like too much of a chore. But it should be obvious that power willingly surrendered as part of