Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again
Women are in a bind. In the name of consent and empowerment, they must proclaim their desires clearly and confidently. Yet sex researchers suggest that women’s desire is often slow to emerge. And men are keen to insist that they know what women-and their bodies-want. Meanwhile, sexual violence abounds. How can women, in this environment, possibly know what they want? And why do we expect them to?
In this elegant, searching book-spanning science and popular culture; pornography and literature; debates on Me-Too, consent and feminism-Katherine Angel challenges our assumptions about women’s desire. Why, she asks, should they be expected to know their desires? And how do we take sexual violence seriously, when not knowing what we want is key to both eroticism and personhood?
In today’s crucial moment of renewed attention to violence and power, Angel urges that we remake our thinking about sex, pleasure, and autonomy without any illusions about perfect self-knowledge. Only then will we fulfil Michel Foucault’s teasing promise, in 1976, that ‘tomorrow sex will be good again’
"Thought-provoking ... [Angel's] jargon-free prose and nuanced readings of popular culture and postmodern theory enlighten. Readers will value this lively and incisive inquiry into the sexual dynamics of the #MeToo era." -Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) "An ardent, rigorous, nuanced investigation into the question of consent, at once illuminating and empowering. A truly vital guide to navigating the difficult waters of 21st century desire." -Olivia Laing, author of Funny Weather "One of our most daring, exciting and nuanced writers on the complexities of female desire, pleasure, autonomy and imagination." -Deborah Levy, author of The Cost of Living "A provocative counterargument to recent feminist dogma ... Angel raises intriguing questions about commonly accepted assumptions, and she offers reassurance to female readers." -Kirkus Reviews "[Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again] takes a taboo topic and removes the stigma by providing facts. Its titular refrain advocates for a better tomorrow." -Ashley Holstrom, Foreword Reviews "[Angel] writes about complex questions with such clarity and elegance, and amid all the polarised spats that currently pass for considered debate, her work is a breath of fresh air. [Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again] is a provocative but clear-sighted analysis of female sexuality in the wake of #MeToo ... I'd urge anyone who cares about sexual ethics to read it." -Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller ("Editor's Choice") "Excellent." -Charlotte Higgins, Guardian "[A] bible of modern sexuality and consent that all men and women should be reading." -Evening Standard "She is reaching towards something else: a world where desire does not have to be known and fixed in advance to protect people from violence." -Hettie O'Brien, Guardian "Tenderly inflected and meticulously argued, Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again should be required reading." -New Internationalist (five-starred review) "A clear-eyed intervention in the crossfire of post-#MeToo sexual politics." -TANK Magazine "Voyeuristically fascinating ... Angel dares to suggest that consent is not sexy ... we should be aiming for something more complex." -Anna Leszkiewicz, New Statesman "Offers new ways of understanding the complexity of sexual relations ... fresh and provoking." -The F-Word "Exquisite ... A breathtaking, brilliant invitation not to turn away from complexity and vulnerability." -Hannah Dawson, editor of The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing "This nonfiction tour-de-force is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring themes of consent, power, sex, and the Me Too movement. This is the kind of book that seeks not to create dichotomous binaries, but to complicate the narrative." -Rachel Krantz, The Millions "Eloquent and lucid." -Celia Walden, Telegraph "Succinct and thought-provoking." -Stephanie Merritt, Observer "Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again offers readers a blend of cultural criticism and provocative theory." -Tobias Carroll, InsideHook "Intriguing, philosophical." -Laura Miller, Slate "One of the smartest, most nuanced and thought-provoking books I've read about sex in the post-#MeToo era." -Moya Crockett, Stylist "[Angel] is right-consent as a 'yes'/'no' dichotomy cannot be everything we want it to be. We must recognise that language cannot say everything, especially for women, who have not historically been given the chance to shape it according to their own needs and desires." -The Arts Desk "[Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again is] a necessary contribution to the many conversations about sex and power we have all had since 2017, and Angel's prose, clear and lovely, nimbly navigates the complexities of her subject matter." -Madeleine Watts, Bookforum "A vital and groundbreaking work that brings nuance to a thorny subject." -Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, Guardian "Angel has dissected much of what there is to know about consent, desire, arousal and vulnerability: the four cornerstones of sexuality. Resisting definitive and simplistic conclusions, Angel has been wide-reaching in her research" -Emily S Cooper, Irish Times "[Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again] welcomes us to experience a twenty-first-century feminist version of Freud's aporia." -Jeannie Suk Gersen, New Yorker "A necessary contribution to an important conversation." -The Week "A well-researched exploration of what sex, sexism, desire and power mean now." -Mika Ross-Southall, Spectator "Angel makes the compelling argument that desire should not have to be known in advance in order to protect women from sexual violence and that consent is not static" -Daisy Schofield, Huck "A breath of fresh air ... [Tomorrow Sex Will be Good Again] describes with great, sensitive accuracy the reality of being a woman with a sex life in the twenty-first century." -Marianela D'Aprile, Jacobin "Timely ... Angel does much more than merely refresh what has become a tired conversation about consent. ... a slim, potent, elegantly argued polemic" -Zora Simic, Australian Book Review "Angel is measured and meticulous, which makes her book delightful, powerful, and worthwhile." -Joseph Fischel, Signs "[Angel marshals] pithy arguments about consent, desire, arousal, and vulnerability, and these arguments are anchored by solid and hearty feminist claims." -Shoniqua Roach, Signs "This work is misleadingly slender, more capacious than slight ... [Angel] evokes the indeterminate radiance encountered in Georgia O'Keeffe's floral paintings, a space where the possibilities of sex reside as 'an unfolding.'" -Tali Lavi, Saturday Paper "Short but rich in ideas ... [Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again] offers a thoughtful, nuanced articulation of the problems and issues we face surrounding sexual assault and bad sex, without rushing to a solution." -Elodie Rose Barnes, Lucy Writers' Platform "It should not be women's responsibility to keep sex safe. Angel argues powerfully that sexual ethics not be reduced to hard and fast prescriptions about consent" -Fiona Capp, Sydney Morning Herald "A much-needed intervention." -Vicky Spratt, Refinery29 "One of the most important books you'll read all year." -Jessie Thompson, Evening Standard "[Angel] argues for uncertainty and vulnerability Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again is part of an emancipatory project that, paradoxically, asserts a need not to be strong." -Anne Enright, New York Review of Books "Gracefully argued and informed by flashes of brilliance ... a powerful contribution to the not always rational debate about consent and feminine sexual autonomy." -Australian "Incisive and elegant ... in four searching essays that treat consent, desire, arousal, and vulnerability in turn, Angel does not reject legal and material remedies but looks beyond them, seeking succor in the interstices of our erotic relationships-in the sheer force and fact of desire itself." -Becca Rothfeld, Boston Review "Exciting." -Alexandra Schwartz, New Yorker "Angel is here to stick up for the timorous and to defend vulnerability as both a sexual virtue and a deep well of potential pleasure ... a rich companion piece to [Unmastered]" -Sarah Gilbert, Sydney Review of Books "Packs a punch." -Hannah Witton, More Hannah ("Best 2021 Books") "Brilliant." -Izabella Scott, White Review
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