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Women on Top

Written by: Nancy Friday
Narrated by: Raquel Harris,Athena Pappas,Annie Hinkle,Yvonne Syn,Cindy Harden
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Publisher's Summary

Nancy Friday's groundbreaking books My Secret Garden and Forbidden Flowers offered an unprecedentedly detailed and honest look at the inner fantasy lives of ordinary women. In Women on Top, Friday returns to this topic, collecting detailed sexual fantasies from over 150 contemporary women from diverse backgrounds. Based on intimate personal interviews and letters, this book updates the conversation opened in her earlier works on women's sexual fantasies, detailing how women's erotic lives have changed over the past few decades - and remained the same. 

Nancy Friday's seminal works exploring female sexual fantasy have shattered taboos, exposed hidden desires, and opened up a conversation on women and sex that continues to be relevant today. 

About the Author 

Nancy Friday is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist who established her early career writing for high-profile publications in England, France, and the US. Her first book, My Secret Garden, was an iconic best seller, offering an honest and illuminating look at the landscape of female sexuality. It was published in 1973, and since then, Nancy Friday has continued to write on themes including female sexuality, mother-daughter relationships, beauty, fetishism, and romantic relationships. She has been featured as a guest on Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Politically Incorrect, and NPR's Talk of the Nation

About the Series 

More than any other feminist writer, Nancy Friday returned again and again to the topic of female sexuality. Her Female Sexuality Collection includes her most important works: The Power of Beauty, Jealousy, My Secret Garden, Forbidden Flowers, and Women on Top.

©1991, 2014 Nancy Friday (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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  • Aaron
  • 09-12-20

Full of Man hating, extreme - feminist, victimized females.

Stories of women were interesting, some very good. This book would have been far, far better Without her hard core feminist poison throughout the entire book. She needs mental help. All her books have the same destructive point of view-Male & mother hater.

4 people found this helpful

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  • K. J. Kelly
  • 29-09-20

Dated in parts but still relevant and fascinating

I’m a woman, with a long-standing interesting in psychology and how people think. So much is hidden away inside our minds that we don’t express. This caught my eye on Audible, I decided against My Secret Gardens as this was collated and published later, the fantasies more contemporary (though as I’ll mention later, still incredibly dated at times).

As a woman (as I mentioned above), I suppose we all wonder if what we think is ‘normal’ or if we are the only one who has particular desires, wants and wishes. Well, a lot of women who wrote their own fantasies down for Nancy Friday mention the same concerns.

Friday here introduces the context in which women wrote to her, the changes happening in society leading to cultural differences in how women lived, worked and loved, and then gives us systematic chapters in related fantasies.

Friday herself sounds fairly contemporary in her overview, her thoughts on, er ‘self love’, but sometimes the women writing made me stop short: attitudes to homosexuality as being abhorrent, as something within an individual’s control, comments about AIDS (clearly written during the early fears of the eighties), all clearly place the majority of these women in an era that has in many respect passed by, the mindsets and knowledge surpassed and replaced by more accepting and liberal ways of living together.

I would have liked the context of each fantasy - participants gave name, age and a little background (in some cases, whole life histories), but WHEN they were writing would also have been a useful reference point. References to films, books and famous actors and actresses did give clues, but I wanted to be able to picture if these stories were coming from women who are now 40 or 70, knowing when they were born and what they had lived through at the point at which they were thinking these thoughts.

Some may think this smutty, and it could be used as a book of almost pornographic-like descriptions. But Friday did not intend it to be that, neither did the women bravely sending in their intimate thoughts, and her narration and scientific overview keeps this as erotic but academic in tone.

After Friday’s previous similarly-themed books, she asked for future stories to be able to include in her work, and women all over America responded. Collected into chapters such as seduction, women with women, and insatiability, with many smaller topics within, women very frankly give us insight into the thoughts that arouse them.

Some of course, you will find totally outside your comfort zone, some might appal or confuse, some may excite or get you thinking about what it is YOU enjoy. There will be no incorrect response.

I found I needed to listen in chunks, as the language and stories can become a little much. I did like the fact that a variety of narrators are used for the Audible version to give different aged women and those from different backgrounds and parts of the country different-sounding voices. It kept it from becoming monotonous (not that the fantasies would allow that!). You may prefer a paper copy for privacy reasons (I did feel embarrassed listening to this in the car and walking around town!) but conversely it might prove more discreet to listen to the Audible version on the Tube!

As as eternal student of human behaviour, I found this utterly fascinating. It will NOT be to everyone’s taste... It may teach men something about how women think and why. And women that to think and feel as they do is not wrong, or something to be worried about. And that a healthy inner sex life is a good thing and just as important as external relationships. Be satisfied with who you are and what you desire, there really are a myriad of fantasies and variations.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

3 people found this helpful