In Vagina, Naomi Wolf is All Up In Your Ladybusiness

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Feminist author and ladyparts researcher Naomi Wolf.
Naomi Wolf has spent her career defending women from the culture they live in, from 1991's The Beauty Myth, an assault on the value of women's physical appearance in society, to Misconceptions, a feminist examination of the world's response to pregnancy and childbirth. But in her latest work, she's defending the very thing that defines femininity itself, at least from a scientific standpoint: the vagina (and its associated female reproductive parts).

Born from Wolf's own medical quest to regain her own sexual vitality, Vagina is a look at the science of ladyparts -- and how that science can affect society at large. In advance of her reading at the Miami Book Fair International on Saturday, we spoke with Wolf about the difference between good sex and great sex, feminist haters, and of course, her favorite euphemism for The Big V.

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Crazy awesome mindblowing orgasms have physical and mental effects that reach far beyond the bedroom, Wolf argues in her book. "A lot of women have talked to me about ... the connection between [orgasms] and other kinds of energy -- creativity and positive feelings that women report in other areas of their lives," she explains. Vagina is filled with stories of women who overcome depression, get better at their jobs, and even discover new talents when their sex lives are particularly frisky. And an absence of orgasms can have the opposite effect too, Wolf says. "We deride and degrade the vagina in this culture, but if it's a medium [to release] all of these powerful, positive neurotransmitters, maybe we shouldn't dismiss it so quickly," she says.

The trouble is, the conditions for great sex in women are hard to come by (no pun intended). Earlier generations of well-meaning feminists insisted on equality of the sexes, leading to what Wolf describes as a harmful societal expectation that "women should fuck like men." Vagina presents statistics indicating that women physically need romance, respect, and relaxation in order to have killer orgasms. But these days, those things are "dismissed as foreplay -- 'oh, that's not important, that's what you have to do to get to the real thing.'" Wolf laments.

If that sounds like a strangely conservative statement to come from one of the world's biggest names in feminism, you're not alone. Vagina has had a controversial reception, especially among some feminists who see its evolutionary science as a step backward for women. But Wolfe insists it's all in how you view the research. "You could say, 'Oh, [these findings] mean women are fragile flowers and they need male protectors. Well, that's nonsense," she explains. "Or it could mean that you really have to respect a women for the rest of her life if you want her to have sex with you enthusiastically -- so maybe help with the dishes."

Still, Wolfe's not letting haters get her down. She says she receives letters from readers on a regular basis, sharing their own stories about their sexuality and how the book reflects or has improved their own sex lives. She's mulling the possiblity of a follow-up to Vagina to share those stories with a broader audience. And she's still delighting in her subject matter. Take her favorite euphemism for vagina, for instance.

"I have to say it's 'The Force,' she giggles. "It's so hilarious, it's so funny, and it's one of the very few words ... that isn't infantalizing or, you know, gross. May 'The Force' be with you!"

Wolf speaks Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Visit miamibookfair.com.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.


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6 comments
Guest
Guest

"We deride and degrade the vagina in this culture"

 

That's probably because the platinum pussy is so all powerful...and so all encompassing.  And as we all know absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Now add bigoted gender feminist an already 'vulnerable' but hardly oppressed organ and you take the already historically dangerously poisonous potential to a whole level.

Guest
Guest

The  whole idea that ANY man would dip his wick in a feminist's hole...and particularly a feebleminded vagina MONO-logue feminist is absurd.  News flash for feminists, much as we love sex, we don't enjoy plumbing the depths of the estrogen sewer.  There are no filthier, more disgusting, and deadlier holes than those carried around by feminist bigots.

 

 

Brian1001
Brian1001

She has done some interesting work in the past, and has some very valid points about cultural liberation, but I think Naomi Wolf's overall emphasis on vaginal intercourse is...highly questionable. People can obviously get down however they like, and do whatever is most enjoyable for them personally, but that being said, there's more evidence leading in the other direction than in the direction Naomi Wolf and others are pushing for. The fact that 70-80% of women don't orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone would be a good place to start. Here are two videos on the subject (which is a pretty important one)... "Is your relationship M.I.B.? (mutual in bed)" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRHBhTtB0Jgand "It's Not You...It's Sex." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-64YvFTp8Q

Valerie
Valerie

And the problem is...American women don't have nearly enough mouth on their muff down south. They need to leave the phobia baggage, spread out, and let those that want to kiss it, lick, suck and...eff it, do so to their heartless content. They are men, what do you expect love? More orgasms, happier women. Men DO want only one thing - SO DEMAND THEY SET YOU ON FIRE FIRST THEN LET THEM HAVE IT. Stop stuffing you face and start stuffing your crotches - with OMGasm kisses. 

Anthonyvop1
Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

How do real men give a woman an orgasm?

 

 

Real men don't care!

 

 

 

Guest
Guest

 @Valerie Love this post.  Honesty, humor and pithiness in the pigheaded feminist PC world is so refreshing.  Imagine were all women as honest, straightforward and interesting. 

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