Review: Beyond My Control: Forbidden Fantasies in an Uncensored Age
Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, is the
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Author: Nancy Friday
ISBN: 13:978-1-4022-1854-5: 10:1-4022-1854-0
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS, INC
In 1973 author Nancy Friday launched her best-selling book My Secret Garden: Woman’s Sexual Fantasies that comprised a compilation of female sexual fantasies collected through, letters and taped personal interviews. The book refuted many previously accepted beliefs pertaining to women’s sexual fantasies and it revealed that these erotic reveries were not only restricted to men but women likewise enjoyed and experienced them.
Friday has now come up with an up-dated and perhaps more daring version of her initial foray into topics that would have been considered forbidden territory not very long ago. She returns to an area without boundaries exploring our most taboo sexual desires.
Over the years, sexual fantasies have proven to be an important study topic, as they are known to provide a positive or negative experience, even both. They may reflect past experiences and even influence future sexual encounters. Quite interesting, prior to the twentieth century, many experts felt that sexual fantasy (particularly in females) were abnormal. Even Freud believed that experiecing sexual fantasies meant you were sexually deprived or frustrated or that you lacked adequate sexual stimulation and satisfaction.
Beyond My Control: Forbidden Fantasies in an Uncensored Age includes both female and male fantasies, and, as we read, there are numerous variables that influence sexual fantasy. Examining some of these fantasies, we notice how their content and goal vary greatly between individuals and how they are subject to personal desires. The fantasies range from the mundane to the bizarre. In fact, in certain instances you may also notice that they are used to escape real-life sexual restraints particularly when the confessor describes dangerous or illegal scenarios.
I have to admit that Friday’s approach is quite venturesome exploring topics that at one time were considered evil or sinful as masturbation, incest, domination, exhibitionism, voyeurism, S&M, threesomes, and living out fantasies. The language of many of the letters is raw, as contributors describe lewd, obscene and sensuous scenes. And, if you are not into reading erotica, you probably won’t appreciate this book. In fact, many of the confessions are quite similar to the vivid and graphic letters you would find published in such magazines as Playboy.
Upon reading Beyond My Control: Forbidden Fantasies many of us may wonder just how powerful are sexual fantasies and are they really beneficial in enhancing sexual feelings, relationships or are they the last resort of the lonely and desperate? Moreover, should we keep our fantasies private or should we share them with others?
According to Friday, she believes that “accepting our erotic reveries opens a new consciousness in our lives. We don’t have to act on the fantasies to feel this way. Some fully realized would become nightmares.” I question, however, who would want to share our most secret thoughts and feelings with a total stranger? It is true, as Friday states, that we have lowered our limits on what is sexually doable and that we live with less prudery and Puritanism that have helped us become an age of instant gratification, but where do we draw the line.