Skip to main content

Book Review: My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday

“My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies” by Nancy Friday was first published in 1973. Now 41 years old, it is a classic in sexuality literature and still tumbles into the hands of curious women who want to know if their sexual fantasies are really that strange.


I initially picked this up to better understand female sexual fantasies and use the information to improve my erotica writing. But in all honesty, this book didn’t help much with that. These fantasies do not reveal any quick formulas or shed light on plot devices to entice. These are raw fantasies, completely individual to each woman, and they cannot be replicated. But in the collected voices we can shed light on some of the universal necessities, motivations, and legitimacy of female fantasies.

Some things that stayed with me after reading:

1. I was surprised to read how many women had extramarital sex or multiple partners, and that their husbands/partners knew and encouraged these relationships. I thought maybe there would be one or two of the hundreds of women in the book that were in an open relationship, but I was pleasantly surprised to read quite a few. Just as some women may think they are alone in having their fantasies, I have at times felt alone in the fact that an open relationship has been a positive influence on my marriage. So it was refreshing to read of these women’s experiences.

2. Conversely, I was struck by how many women confessed they would never tell their husbands/partners that they fantasize for fear of hurting the men in their lives. I can’t say I was surprised. And while some of the women were able to talk openly about their fantasies with their spouses, I was still sad to read instances when this was not the case.

3. While I didn’t relate to most of the fantasies personally, I understood where they were coming from. Some people may criticize and say the fantasies are exaggerated or not typical, but I don’t believe that. There were only a couple that I thought might have been contrived, but after reading the book I do believe the fantasies in the book are real to the women expressing them.

4. The amount of guilt, shame, and sadness surrounding some of the fantasies.

5. The amount of joy, triumph, and contentment surrounding some of the fantasies.

6. One very striking entry written by a widower who embraced his late wife’s fantasies.

Several sections are interspersed with the author’s evaluation of some of the implications of the fantasies and builds on some psychological concepts. I believe this holds the book together without being overbearing or making too many assumptions about the fantasizer.

There are literally hundreds of fantasies, so this book might be best to be broken up rather than read all in one sitting. The book is over 400 pages long, and thus I took a break from time to time reading it so I wouldn’t just skim over the next fantasy, and the next. Because they are all truly unique.

Overall I think this is an important contribution to how we relate to and understand human sexuality, in an intriguing blend of psychology, sociology, and erotica.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Excerpts from "Cast From the Earth" a polyamorous romance

I had so much fun sharing inspiration photos and excerpts from my novel Booked that I wanted to do one for Cast From the Earth, my polyamorous romance with zombies set in the 1890's. This book features a F/F and M/M/F pairing and lots of fighting... for love ;) Check out some snippets below!

*

Dust billowed up as the wagon ambled down a worn dirt road reserved for indigents and invalids. Curled in the back of the wagon clutching her satchel, Cordelia was certain she was neither. She had been offering a perfectly legitimate trade on that street corner back in town. Yet someone still turned her in for begging in public.

Cordelia found herself with no means to pay for a room at the boardinghouse and not a single establishment in White Spring would let her wash dishes or sweep floors for even one day.

Without any further discussion, Cordelia was shoved into the back of a wagon to be hauled off to the Clay County poor farm.

There had been a brief exchange in which the man entrusted with…

Ways Porn Has Helped My Life

Earlier this week @KelseyObsession on Twittier (SexuallyAwkward.com) posted a poll asking if porn has helped people’s lives, hurt people’s lives, or been a neutral force. I answered that porn has helped my life... because it has!
I see the sentence “porn ruined my life” so often but I can honestly say that in many ways porn saved my life. (It’s a bit too click baity even for me to use as a headline, but it doesn’t make it any less true). On top of that, there has been another anti-porn wave on social media lately, so I thought I would go ahead and dedicate a post to the ways porn has helped my life.
First things first. When I write about porn, I usually get a lot of the same questions so I’ll just preface by answering those questions now: 1. No, I don’t work in the adult industry. Aside from one erotica story I wrote being published in an alternative porn magazine and a few erotic photoshoots that have never been published except as cropped header images for my blog posts, I’ve never be…

Book Review: The Mistress Manual: The Good Girl's Guide to Female Dominance

I must confess that I become quite melancholy this time of year because I dreadfully miss going "back to school." But this time around, I almost felt like I was back in school because I had this book. Mistress Lorelei Powers has such a wonderfully authoritative and insightful voice with just enough snark, charm, and wit. I truly felt as though I were her pupil completing some very important homework as I studied this text.

Though I am involved in BDSM on some levels my interests rest mostly in fetishes rather than power exchange. So I admit that I consumed this book as a reader just as much as I did a sex blogger. And the experience was delightful.

This book is the perfect length and quite reader friendly. There is a lot of information packed into this manual, but it is enjoyable to peruse a second or third time and great to have as a reference.

The first part of the book addresses many concepts and issues in female dominance. What if you are reluctant to take the dominant…