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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neither erotica nor an academic study but something in between, 12 Sep 2013
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Garden of Desires: The Evolution of Women's Sexual Fantasies (Black Lace) (Paperback)
In a follow-up to Nancy Friday's ground-breaking work on female sexuality which first started in the 1970s (My Secret Garden), this documents women's fantasies today. It should be said that this isn't either erotica or a full academic work but something in-between.

Dubberley clearly has a good sense of where academic feminism is currently in terms of work on pornography, the acculturation and commoditisation of female sexuality, and the way sex and capitalism go together, and she conveys her knowledge in an easy, almost casual way making it very accessible. This work frames the real-life fantasies of women which veer between the 1-2 line outline, to full-blown scenarios.

Most of the contributors are anonymous but it's quite noticeable than many of them are very well-educated with a much greater proportion of PhDs and PhD students than we would find in a random sample. This probably means that the women represented here are not just highly-educated but self-aware, and likely to be relatively politicised.

Dubberley poses questions in an interesting manner rather than closing down statements: for example, does the 50 Shades phenomenon reveal closet BDSM fantasies, or does it create them?

So if you're looking for a smutty read, best step away from this. But if you want a revealing insight into what is going through women's minds today, the things that perhaps even your best friend won't tell you, this is a fascinating read.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought, 8 Jan 2014
By 
N. J. Prentis - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Garden of Desires: The Evolution of Women's Sexual Fantasies (Black Lace) (Paperback)
I bought this to give me ideas as I was writing a second erotica novel. It's a thoughtful and thought provoking read, much more than just the collection of fantasies I was expecting and I'd agree with the review that says it's not so much something you read as erotica.

It's given me so much to think about (way beyond inspiration for writing) that I'm actually taking a break from dating to process it all and self-reflect. I hadn't given much though to my fantasy life - no more than someone might sit down and think about what their book or DVD collection revealed about themselves - but I realised the things I've visualised all fall into one category, not that I think there's anything wrong with that at all. I was very surprised to put it mildly and when thinking about the reasons and what that meant about past and present relationships, started seeing patterns I hadn't noticed before.

Then the pieces about consent and what that actually includes (ie more than just saying yes) and how women are shaped by society to think and act in a certain way (eg virgin/whore) added into that and you start to see why I needed some time to think!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and very engaging read, 31 Oct 2013
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well written and presented with a very personal topic being treated with great respect. I enjoyed reading Emily's commentary as well as the contributions
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and enjoyable read, 1 Oct 2013
This review is from: Garden of Desires: The Evolution of Women's Sexual Fantasies (Black Lace) (Paperback)
'Garden of Desires' is a fascinating read - full of historical and cultural insights that are both thought-provoking and mind-opening and with a style and tone of generosity and compassion that makes for an enjoyable read. The contextualization is spot-on and the writer makes some very interesting, intriguing connections between the social or political and the personal. This book greatly pushes forwarded the movement to end our social obsession with PIV sex and is a wonderfully intelligent response to the current interest in "alternative" sexualities.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!, 3 April 2014
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Bought it since I am doing research on the subject and it is a great book to understand female sexual fantasies. An eye-opener and a great solid step towards gender equality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!! I've bought copies for all my friends!!, 22 Mar 2014
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This is a book that you will want to discuss with your friends...well I did and so I ended up buying copies for them! Totally brililant.
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