Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again
Women and Desire in the Age of Consent
by Katherine Angel
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 02 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 02 Mar 2021
Verso Books (US), Verso
A provocative, elegantly written analysis of female desire, consent, and sexuality in the age of #MeToo
Women are in a bind. They are told that in the name of sexual consent and feminist empowerment, they must proclaim their desires clearly and confidently. Sex researchers tell us that women don’t know what they want. And men are on hand to persuade women that what they want is, in fact, exactly what men want. In this environment, how can women possibly know what they want–and how can they be expected to?
In this elegantly written, searching book Katherine Angel surveys medical and psychoanalytic understandings of female desire, from Freud to Kinsey to present-day science; #MeToo-era debates over consent, assault, and feminism; and popular culture, TV, and film to challenge our assumptions about female desire. Why, she asks, do we expect desire to be easily understood? Why is there not space for the unsure, the tentative, the maybe, the let’s just see? In contrast to the endless exhortation to know what we want, Angel proposes that sex can be a conversation, requiring insight, interaction, and mutual vulnerability–a shared collaboration into the unknown.
In this crucial moment of renewed attention to violence and power, Angel urges that we remake our thinking about sex, pleasure, and autonomy without any illusions of perfect self-knowledge. Only then will we bring about Michel Foucault’s sardonic promise, in 1976, that “tomorrow sex will be good again."
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
I am not familiar with the author's work, but I admit I had expected the book to be much more in the journalistic quasi-self-help vein of books like Emily Nagoski's 'Come As You Are' and various other titles, featuring interviews with or vignettes of women and their various experiences with sex. Instead, 'Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again' is a highly academic text, the kind I might have expected to be assigned to read at university. This often does the author's vital analysis a disservice - there were many times when the same point was reiterated repeatedly and unnecessarily, and the language was often opaque. For example: "These kinds of maximally inclusive accounts in fact push the concept of 'reasons' to the limits of intelligibility". That said, I honestly feel liberated by this book. It has torn the covers off so many social and cultural phenomena that have made me quietly uneasy without being able to articulate the reasons for this. The author's analysis was new and original to me, and yet, it instinctively spoke to me. Her prose could also - when not hung up on maintaining dry academic appearances - be astoundingly beautiful, profound, and even erotic. This is a treatise that I wish every person in the world would read. I just hope the style of writing and argument doesn't put the book's potential readership off. (With thanks to Verso Books and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review)
TOMORROW SEX WILL BE GOOD AGAIN has left me reeling. I have so many questions, so many overlapping thoughts, and I'm finding myself reconsidering past experiences and thought-patterns in light of the author's analysis and reflections here. This is a compelling look at desire, vulnerability, power, and consent in the age of MeToo and beyond, It explores these issues, and the shaping of contemporary thinking around them, with explorations of Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, the feminist movement, MeToo, and more. What does it mean to be a powerful woman, claiming her sexuality, and fiercely self-defined while surrounded by constant reminders of our vulnerability and body vs brain sexual responsiveness, and confusion over what constitutes desire? I'm fascinated, and I will be reading more.
I LOVED THIS BOOK. The analytical and thought provoking and descriptive way this book talks about women's sexual desire is phenomenal. It really made me question what I think about my own desire and made me think about every sexual encounter I've ever had and ever will have. I had a great discussion with my boyfriend on sex and intimacy after reading this book, and for that I am grateful. I also really appreciated the insight into women's sexual liberation often being confused with male oppression in a dress. Anyways, thanks for this copy! I loved it and spread my love far and wide. You can read my full review at my IG @babewithabookandabeer or at The Book Slut.
This is a fascinating book about sexuality and consent. At times I was unclear what point the author was actually trying to make as the style is overly academic and unclear. Still, there are some very interesting sections and the author discusses a wide range of books, studies and ideological viewpoints.
Wow! Such a great, informative read. This book is very well researched with multiple studies and perspectives presented throughout the text. I also think there was a great balance between discussion of the #MeToo movement and rape culture, while also exploring female sexuality. Most of the discussions do surround heterosexual relations, which the author does point out. The text is quite dense due to the amount of research, but I still enjoyed the reading experience as I learned a lot!
This is such an interesting read. When I picked it up, I wasn't really sure what I was in for. Katherine Angel does a great job of combining an immense amount of sexual literature in one spot to determine how women can take back their power in sex. Focusing on the #metoo movement, previous infamous murder trials, James Deen's Girl X, and other instances allows you to work through how different perceptions are made and how to counter them. If this is a topic you want to dive in on, I highly recommend reading this. It will not only give you a great amount of information but also give you many other sources whether it be former research projects or other books. Overall this book does read more along the research paper type versus the female empowerment approach. Thank you Katherine Angel, NetGalley, and Verso Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
An absolutely fascinating read. Women so often are taught to suppress their desire and now more than ever how do they express it without being labeled a slut or told they 'were asking for it.' Katherine tackles decades of information of women's desire and put it into a, easily digestible format. In a book ultimately about power and those who have it, don't, and those who want it, this is an excellent read for all.
I would like to thank the publisher of this book for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I finished this book in one sitting. I always enjoy reading non-fiction feminist books and this book was incredibly informative. We need more excellent books like this one. Women need to have agency over their bodies, their sexuality and their pleasure. Women need to learn to trust more their bodies and less the social norms of the meaning behind sex. This book presents a lot of important research on desire, treats the issue of vulnerability and risk-taking in sex. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be better informed and is ready to question his/her beliefs and prejudices about sex.
A book everyone should read now! Incredibly timely, and full of information based on research, interviews, and pop-culture, this is one book that should be read in every home every school throughout the country.
Katherine Angel’s Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again explores the acutely timed discussions of consent, desire, and arousal and how they are politicized against women. Though academic, Angel's text is accessible and will provide a brief (but expansive) overview of sexual history for those unfamiliar with the big names in the field. I think this book is a perfect length for the punch it packs and will interest many feminist readers wanting a denser read than the "girl power" titles saturating the market right now. This book definitely goes beyond the general discussion of the power dynamics present between sex and gender and expects you to already be questioning current feminist movements and popularized conversations. I'm excited to get this in the hands of some of my patrons!