Emma Tennant

At Your Own Risk

The Politics of Sexuality

By Anne Snitow, Christine Stansell, Sharon Thompson (Eds)

Virago 464pp £6.50 order from our bookshop

Why write about sex? begs the Introduction to this volume of assorted think-pieces, short stories and articles. Why add to the tawdry glut, insist the editors, before wondering, a few lines down, if taboo and shame ‘are among the necessary products of capitalism’; and by the time they’ve ended up with –

 Pleasure, Roland Barthes has suggested, makes us ‘objective’. It allows us to lift our eyes for an instant to the horizon to see what might be coming in our direction. Desire is ever renewed. Still, in sexual satisfaction, we find moments of rest and vision. This book, we hope, is a contribution toward hastening such moments our way.

by this time we may feel we have been wrapped in a Playboy centrefold, sold in our millions by a gloating entrepreneur – and with one bound Jacqueline was free – saved at the last ditch by a friendly old semiologist with his talk of split selves and a penchant for his mother.

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