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Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free

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Wednesday Martin explores what people have been getting wrong about unfaithful women and the evolutionary impulses behind their desires. Blending personal stories from Martin's own history with accessible social science, cultural theory, and interviews with sex researchers, psychologists, primatologists, anthropologists, and real women from all walks of life, she reveals s Wednesday Martin explores what people have been getting wrong about unfaithful women and the evolutionary impulses behind their desires. Blending personal stories from Martin's own history with accessible social science, cultural theory, and interviews with sex researchers, psychologists, primatologists, anthropologists, and real women from all walks of life, she reveals startling insights about female sexuality.


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Wednesday Martin explores what people have been getting wrong about unfaithful women and the evolutionary impulses behind their desires. Blending personal stories from Martin's own history with accessible social science, cultural theory, and interviews with sex researchers, psychologists, primatologists, anthropologists, and real women from all walks of life, she reveals s Wednesday Martin explores what people have been getting wrong about unfaithful women and the evolutionary impulses behind their desires. Blending personal stories from Martin's own history with accessible social science, cultural theory, and interviews with sex researchers, psychologists, primatologists, anthropologists, and real women from all walks of life, she reveals startling insights about female sexuality.

30 review for Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    3 Stars. Wednesday Martin is a woman with very staunch ideas on women’s identities, adultery and sex. The idea of being “Untrue” v. True. How women and men are perceived differently if they are untrue, if they enjoy being sexual. Men are patted on the back and respected, while women are looked down upon and thought of as slutty. Ms. Martin provided anecdotes about herself and her own life, her relationships and her need for more. She conducted research, reviewed studies, interviewed women and men 3 Stars. Wednesday Martin is a woman with very staunch ideas on women’s identities, adultery and sex. The idea of being “Untrue” v. True. How women and men are perceived differently if they are untrue, if they enjoy being sexual. Men are patted on the back and respected, while women are looked down upon and thought of as slutty. Ms. Martin provided anecdotes about herself and her own life, her relationships and her need for more. She conducted research, reviewed studies, interviewed women and men and analyzed the needs and wants of women who felt the same way she does, specifically that being free and untrue is norm. Many of Ms. Martin’s stories and anecdotes are told in ways that made me laugh and gave me pause. Her novel is well told and well researched and I give her props for all of the work that went into it. So much of what Ms. Martin said is true, double standards still exist and women should not be made to feel dirty or less than because they want to live and express themselves. I don’t personally think that everyone fits in to this category, while some women may want to explore and have more freedom outside of their relationships, some may actually prefer monogamy. One size simply does not fit all in my opinion. (Guess you all know where I fall in this equation even though I read this book, lol!) Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and Wednesday Martin for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published to Goodreads on 2.5.19.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Simone Collins

    What a thoroughly enjoyable read! As having basically zero sex drive myself (let's be honest with ourselves: humans are repulsive), I blithely accepted the conventional wisdom that women had lower sex drives, cheated less, and were tempted to cheat less. Few things are more refreshing than books that help to change one's paradigm. Untrue was definitely one of these books for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Wednesday's multifaceted exploration of female infidelity, explored through different social scien What a thoroughly enjoyable read! As having basically zero sex drive myself (let's be honest with ourselves: humans are repulsive), I blithely accepted the conventional wisdom that women had lower sex drives, cheated less, and were tempted to cheat less. Few things are more refreshing than books that help to change one's paradigm. Untrue was definitely one of these books for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Wednesday's multifaceted exploration of female infidelity, explored through different social scientists', psychologists', and primatologists' opinions, as well as various subcultures, groups, one-on-one interviews, and personal anecdotes. Wednesday Martin has a knack for presenting concepts in a very engaging, relatable manner (as opposed to a purely academic or purely anecdotal fashion). I LOVE her books. Can't wait to see what she writes next.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Fascinating. Infuriating. I learned a lot that I should have learned in my many courses on the topic of human mate selection and sociobiology in college, and didn’t. I bought all the tropes Martin exposes here, and I’m pissed about it. Down with the patriarchy!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Weiner

    Women, if you have ever wondered, "What's wrong with me?" then read this book. Men, if you have ever wondered, "Why does my woman do these things to me?" then STOP! She's not doing them to YOU . She's doing them because she WANTS to do them, because doing them is part of who she is as a woman, as a human being. Read this book and you might get some insight.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Rivard

    This book won't be for everybody. And I'll admit that my attention wandered a bit in chapters dealing with research into primates, etc. But the anecdotal sections and the historic detail of how monogamy became a thing were truly fascinating.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Nogales

    I’ll state right at the outset that this book is not for everyone. If you’re not interested in frank, open, sex-positive discussions of female sexuality—or if you’re so triggered by the thought of women who cheat on their partners that reading an account of them that doesn’t condemn them will make you fly into a rage—or if you aren’t interested in the distinction between consensual and non-consensual nonmonogamy, you probably shouldn’t read this book. Or maybe you should. Wednesday Martin is stand I’ll state right at the outset that this book is not for everyone. If you’re not interested in frank, open, sex-positive discussions of female sexuality—or if you’re so triggered by the thought of women who cheat on their partners that reading an account of them that doesn’t condemn them will make you fly into a rage—or if you aren’t interested in the distinction between consensual and non-consensual nonmonogamy, you probably shouldn’t read this book. Or maybe you should. Wednesday Martin is standing on the shoulders of the authors of Sex at Dawn, What Do Women Want?, and What Love Is and What It Could Be. From that vantage point, she can see quite a lot that our society and past sex researchers (almost exclusively male) not only couldn’t see, but actively pooh-poohed. Because she doesn’t assume, as they did, that women are more naturally monogamous than men, but is open to other possibilities, she’s able to look at existing research without discounting evidence that doesn’t fit into that box. And what does she see? That taken as a whole, women, not men, are the ones who have a harder time maintaining monogamy. That it’s at least just as natural for women as for men to cheat on their spouses or have multiple sexual partners. That it was the rise of agrarian societies, not biology, that put a premium on controlling women’s sexuality. That in societies where women are free to have more than one sexual partner at a time without social sanction, they often do. These ideas aren’t entirely new, of course. What Ms. Martin brings to them is the backing of scientific research. She then goes on to conduct interviews and research of her own, all of which are fascinating. She talks to women in long-term monogamous relationships, women who have cheated on their spouses, and women who practice consensual nonmonogamy. She visits a women-only sex club aimed at women who identify as basically straight, to see what women’s sexuality might be like absent the male gaze. And she draws some interesting conclusions. This is a very wide-ranging book; topics include social anthropology/ethnography (of both familiar and less-familiar cultures, past and present), primatology, and evolutionary psychology. The numerous interviews she conducts put a human face on the scientific studies she cites. The book does occasionally seem to wander a bit aimlessly, but never for long; another fault in her writing is the focus on female vs. male as if they were immutable categories. However, overall it's a well-researched and informative book, written in a conversational tone that keeps it highly readable. Strongly recommended for anybody who is interested in female sexuality.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I had mixed feelings about this. I was excited about the concept, because I feel like female sexuality (let's face it, female psychology in general, to the extent you can separate "female psychology" from "human psychology", which is a huge can of worms) is pretty unexplored/unquestioned territory despite our cultural obsession with sex. She turned me off a bit in the beginning with what struck me as defensive praise for women who "step out", as she likes to put it. Elsewhere she seemed to be at I had mixed feelings about this. I was excited about the concept, because I feel like female sexuality (let's face it, female psychology in general, to the extent you can separate "female psychology" from "human psychology", which is a huge can of worms) is pretty unexplored/unquestioned territory despite our cultural obsession with sex. She turned me off a bit in the beginning with what struck me as defensive praise for women who "step out", as she likes to put it. Elsewhere she seemed to be at pains to stick in the disclaimer that she wasn't advocating for or praising female infidelity, so the messages seemed both mixed and defensive. There was some fascinating stuff in here, especially the parts about primates. The case studies were interesting, as case studies generally are. And the research about women's experience of monogamous sex/relationships vs. men's was an eye-opening contradiction of conventional wisdom. I think she just got off on the wrong foot with me and I never got over the feeling that the whole thing was above all an apologia for women who engage in secret affairs. I won't say this isn't worth reading, but I much preferred Esther Perel's The State of Affairs for a balanced, humane, insightful, and compassionate exploration of the subject.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donald Powell

    This book is a masterful review of a topic the author admits could be several volumes. It is a general introduction of the topics discussed with research to support and anecdotal stories to bring it to life. Ms. Martin's inquiring and intelligent writing was a breath of fresh air. This book is a call: "The Emperor wears no clothes!" We should all be grateful for those intellectuals who gather data, look objectively and try to bring us forward. Our culture is the root of so much misery and basic This book is a masterful review of a topic the author admits could be several volumes. It is a general introduction of the topics discussed with research to support and anecdotal stories to bring it to life. Ms. Martin's inquiring and intelligent writing was a breath of fresh air. This book is a call: "The Emperor wears no clothes!" We should all be grateful for those intellectuals who gather data, look objectively and try to bring us forward. Our culture is the root of so much misery and basic humanity, sexuality, is the a primal example.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Galen Johnson

    Excellent re-examination of stereotypes about women's sexuality, from evolutionary ecology to personal exposition. As a biologist, I found the biologically-based discussions sound and fair. The polyamory section seemed a bit naive, from a Pacific Northwest gal who sees these things all the time, but still sensitive and insightful. As a white lady, I can hardly comment on the completeness of the intersectional view of race and sexuality/infidelity, but I definitely saw a diversity of references r Excellent re-examination of stereotypes about women's sexuality, from evolutionary ecology to personal exposition. As a biologist, I found the biologically-based discussions sound and fair. The polyamory section seemed a bit naive, from a Pacific Northwest gal who sees these things all the time, but still sensitive and insightful. As a white lady, I can hardly comment on the completeness of the intersectional view of race and sexuality/infidelity, but I definitely saw a diversity of references rarely seen in such books. Fascinating, smart, and fun.

  10. 4 out of 5

    felix

    Such an interesting book. This didn't make an easy read per se, due to the choppy writing, poor structure and lack of conciseness, but all was forgiven due to the fascinating and enlightening subject matter.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cait

    So. I'm really into the use of ethnography and participant-observation as a way to examine mainstream, western culture. That being said, I needed this to either be less anthropological or more. It might be the penalty of knowing too much, but I had a lot of questions about the ethics here & the tone at times was not great So. I'm really into the use of ethnography and participant-observation as a way to examine mainstream, western culture. That being said, I needed this to either be less anthropological or more. It might be the penalty of knowing too much, but I had a lot of questions about the ethics here & the tone at times was not great

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eve Dangerfield

    Such an important, well researched and insightful book. I hope Wednesday Martin never stops writing on this incredibly significant and misunderstood subject. I also hope the rise in books like Sex at Dawn, What do Women Want? by Daniel Bergner, State of Affairs by Esther Perel and Untrue symbolises a shift into how we as a society perceive female sexuality and the agrarian and patriarchal forces that dictated the format for modern relationships.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Destera

    I can't say I am a fan of her writing style. It seems many of her sentences run on and get somewhat confusin - One thing I am not pleased with is the author's tendency to describe the people she is interviewing. Tall, blonde, willowy, beautiful, young, what color lipstick, etc. Everyone seems to fit into the mold of the “perfect woman”. Where are the short, heavier ladies? Where are the non-binary (noted but never described)? - She cites a lot of other peoples' reseach but seems to only conduct I can't say I am a fan of her writing style. It seems many of her sentences run on and get somewhat confusin - One thing I am not pleased with is the author's tendency to describe the people she is interviewing. Tall, blonde, willowy, beautiful, young, what color lipstick, etc. Everyone seems to fit into the mold of the “perfect woman”. Where are the short, heavier ladies? Where are the non-binary (noted but never described)? - She cites a lot of other peoples' reseach but seems to only conduct her own experiments in certain situations - which seem to be high-end Skirt Parties or conventions/seminars where she might be surrounded by higher societal professionals. Did she do any bonobo research? Even to spend a few days watching the primates in the zoo? Did she travel or even try to communicate with women of the Himba tribe? Also it kind of bothered me that she needed/got her husband's “permission” to “fool around” at these Skirt Parties (which she couldn't bring herself to do). I'm not saying as a researcher she should have joined in (I doubt I could have joined in), but her husband shouldn't have needed to give permission when he knew what she was writing about. Maybe I am thinking she should have done a little more than watch.. This kind of skews the results for me knowing she did not give much hands-on approaches in any sense

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Yes, come for the salaciousness but stay for the lesson. Eye opening in a number of ways, but what stands out is how still deeply maintained in our politics, and US culture, is the ongoing subjugation of women and a demonstration how much farther we have to go. Martin, as well as Christopher Ryan Ph.D and others, have highlighted that shifting to agriculture from hunter-gatherer took us from more equal roles by placing exclusive value on brute-force farming and encouraging control: separating wom Yes, come for the salaciousness but stay for the lesson. Eye opening in a number of ways, but what stands out is how still deeply maintained in our politics, and US culture, is the ongoing subjugation of women and a demonstration how much farther we have to go. Martin, as well as Christopher Ryan Ph.D and others, have highlighted that shifting to agriculture from hunter-gatherer took us from more equal roles by placing exclusive value on brute-force farming and encouraging control: separating women allowed the isolation and marginalization of their contribution and denial of full participation. Women and people in general do not have easy or a simple range of behaviors, and this book helps to rip more stereotypes apart and throw out more assumptions.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anna Louise

    This book has good data and great insights, but it was not written well. I found the middle part to drag on and hard to push through to get to the end. Given a better writing structure, this book would have received a much better rating. It certainly made me question myself and my attitudes towards monogamy, once I pushed through the slow writing style

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    This book is about women having affairs. I have strong feelings about this matter and want to give a thorough review of this book. To that end, I will review the book as a break down of several aspects. The good. I want to recognize that this book is written quite well. The style is easy enough to read, the wording is superb. The author clearly has an excellent style. There is one section towards the middle that feels as though it has been lifted from a college essay. Many others have commented This book is about women having affairs. I have strong feelings about this matter and want to give a thorough review of this book. To that end, I will review the book as a break down of several aspects. The good. I want to recognize that this book is written quite well. The style is easy enough to read, the wording is superb. The author clearly has an excellent style. There is one section towards the middle that feels as though it has been lifted from a college essay. Many others have commented on this so I wont waste much time other than to say it feels a bit sloppy, not engaging and lacks a coherent voice. The rest of the book reads well. Based on writing style, the book deserves a rating of a 4. Next, I want to go over a few of the research concerns. The author is quick to admit almost all of her interviews lasted an hour. Is that enough to get substantive information? Her own research saw less than 40 people. She has borrowed studies from many others, quite normal, but her conclusions differ wildly from their own or from other papers. I find much of her analysis to be troubling. The conclusions drawn are often so wide of logic it defies explanation. The tragically common survivor ship bias, especially with the author's research into polyamory, is suspect. Based on research quality, I would offer a 2. Now for the more complicated matter. I believe that her premise is deeply flawed and dangerous. Let me preface this by acknowledging that ethical non-monogamy is a choice many make. Those in a partnership, make the decision together. Having an affair is not the same thing. Having an affair is a selfish, cruel and abusive decision that is made with the belief that your moment of pleasure has more worth than someone else's life. That has to be understood before anything else. Having an affair is not a simple event. It is something that will harm the other person for potentially their entire life. The rates of PTSD after a spouse has had an affair are staggering. The deep trauma an affair can cause can markedly change someone's self worth, personality, sense of safety, even the chemistry of their brain. So while the author writes loads of anecdotes about how wonderfully happy women should be to have an affair, how they deserve it, how much better their lives will be for it, how it's time that women stand up and take the affairs they are owed and stop feeling guilty, she is forgetting something. Consent. Above all, when you interact with someone else, there is always some level of consent or consent violation. Most of the time, this is not a large issue: we step on someone's foot or sit next to someone on the bus while they hoped to save the seat. However, for this book and this free wheeling journey down a road of happy affairs, never once does the author stop to recognize the place of consent. To have an affair is to violate your partner's consent. There is no way around that. Moreover, to violate someone's consent in this way is sexual assault. Until we can recognize that, until each person understands this, the book is worthless. This book fails to recognize the basic autonomy of each individual and their right to agency and informed consent. This book is a monstrosity specifically because it seeks to deny individuals autonomy and the ability to make decisions about their own body. I want to highlight a few other points. The author asks several times, 'if monogamy is hard, why should we even try?' Ignoring how juvenile she sounds, the question is ludicrous. Why learn to walk if walking is hard? Why learn to drive a car or do division? Why learn to knit, why learn mandarin, why learn to be a good parent? The truth is, we all look at these options and see some things we want to do and some we do not. We make a choice based on our values and desires for what we think is worthwhile and best fits our goals. Monogamy may well not be the choice for many. For others, it will be and simply because it is hard will not be the reason to run away from it. For some, the fact that it is hard adds some value to it. One thing the author does quite well is to display her own judgements on women who have decided to be monogamous and faithful. The author views those women with contempt instead of with a respect that they might simply have a different desire. Her sanctimonious tones and deafening judgements become a bit hypocritical and tiresome. Worst, the author fails to recognize it. A couple last pieces I want to share. In discussing why women cheat, the author says, "Not because something is wrong with the relationship. They might do it because they were attracted to someone else and went for it." She says, "Hard as it is to imagine that something that causes so much pain, something a partner does that devastates us so thoroughly, might be unrelated to us." This is the only time in the book the author even bothers to acknowledge the trauma an affair causes. In this paragraph, the author implies that the decision to have an affair is made quickly and with little thought. The woman wanted it and so she went for it, damn everyone else to hell. The callousness in that attitude might well be deserving of scorn. Lastly, I want to drink in these lines. "(There is) a monthly event called Sip.n.Sketch in DC, where men and women come together to drink cocktails, chat, and sketch nude models. Why are we able to simple appreciate the model's body in this context...when we might objectify her in short shorts on the street."? This bit right here exemplifies the failing of the entire book. The reason why is so simple and so imperative it makes this book unworthy of printing. The difference is consent. That's it. In one example, a woman has made the informed decision to enter into that specific venue, for that purpose. In the other, the woman has absolutely not consented. That is the entire point and that premise is lost on this author. If the author fails to understand consent as such a basic level, it is impossible to listen to anything else she has to say. The author has completely missed the idea of consent and in that, has failed to respect women and men, monogamous and poly households and has continued a horrible and dangerous pattern of thought. For that reason, there is no way I could recommend this book to anyone.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    An extremely validating read about an issue that in time will hopefully change the accepted expectations of marriage and long term partnerships. This paired with Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, helps with understanding what it means to be human without judgement. An extremely validating read about an issue that in time will hopefully change the accepted expectations of marriage and long term partnerships. This paired with Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, helps with understanding what it means to be human without judgement.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Scribe Publications

    Scientifically literate and sexually cliterate … an exuberant unfettering of female sexuality that challenges us to ‘think outside her box.’ Viva la Vulva! Ian Kerner, Sex Therapist and Author of She Comes First If you have ever felt different, other, or just weird when it comes to love, sex, or intimacy, read Untrue. Wednesday Martin bulldozes the sexual stereotypes that have silenced women for eons. By bringing the voices of women who love in a range of ways to the surface, she shows us all that Scientifically literate and sexually cliterate … an exuberant unfettering of female sexuality that challenges us to ‘think outside her box.’ Viva la Vulva! Ian Kerner, Sex Therapist and Author of She Comes First If you have ever felt different, other, or just weird when it comes to love, sex, or intimacy, read Untrue. Wednesday Martin bulldozes the sexual stereotypes that have silenced women for eons. By bringing the voices of women who love in a range of ways to the surface, she shows us all that it's not us and our desires that are abnormal: it is a system that has constrained and shamed women. I love this book. Rachel Simmons, Co-Founder of Girls Leadership and Author of Odd Girl Out Wednesday Martin understands female sexuality – from the #MeToo movement and polyamory to women’s prehistoric and cultural heritage. She goes far beyond our current psychological understanding of women’s infidelity to tell the real story of women’s ubiquitous, tenacious, and primordial sexual strategies. And her writing is not only informative, timely, and refreshing but wonderfully engaging. Brava, Wednesday. Helen Fisher, Author of The First Sex and Why We Love For centuries, men have been telling the story of female sexuality. Unsurprisingly, it was was riddled with condescension, bias, and sheer ignorance. With Untrue, Wednesday Martin sets the record straight, shining a light on some of the female researchers reshaping our understanding of what turns women on, and why. This is an important story, beautifully told. Highly recommended. Christopher Ryan, Co-Author of Sex at Dawn A simultaneously frothy and substantive tour of female sexual desire … An indispensable work of popular psychology and sociology. Kirkus Wednesday Martin deconstructs many of the false beliefs that have negatively affected the way women's sexuality is viewed … This book turns everything we think we know about women and sex completely on its head, essentially undressing the falsehoods of female sexuality to reveal what lies beneath the layers of distortion women operate under. Kerri Jarema, Bustle Chapters cover topics like infidelity, open marriage, polyamory, and even cuckolding to show that women are not the demure, sex-hating bearers of morality that history and long-standing research (by men) would lead us to believe. Kathy Sexton, Booklist Riveting. Stephen A Russell, The New Daily At times playful, the narrative teems with fascinating commentary about everything from bonobos and paleolithic gender roles to Craigslist ads, as Martin examines how female sexuality continues to be shaped and stigmatised by artificial social constructions, sociopolitical values, and economics, all under the guise of ‘natural’ female biology and desire. A timely take on femininity and sexuality. STARRED REVIEW Emily Bowles, Library Journal Combining Barbara Ehrenreich’s immersive reporting style and Carrie Bradshaw’s savoir faire, [Wednesday Martin] dispels many myths about female desire. O, The Oprah Magazine

  19. 5 out of 5

    Scribe Publications

    Scientifically literate and sexually cliterate … an exuberant unfettering of female sexuality that challenges us to ‘think outside her box.’ Viva la Vulva! Ian Kerner, Sex Therapist and Author of She Comes First If you have ever felt different, other, or just weird when it comes to love, sex, or intimacy, read Untrue. Wednesday Martin bulldozes the sexual stereotypes that have silenced women for eons. By bringing the voices of women who love in a range of ways to the surface, she shows us all that Scientifically literate and sexually cliterate … an exuberant unfettering of female sexuality that challenges us to ‘think outside her box.’ Viva la Vulva! Ian Kerner, Sex Therapist and Author of She Comes First If you have ever felt different, other, or just weird when it comes to love, sex, or intimacy, read Untrue. Wednesday Martin bulldozes the sexual stereotypes that have silenced women for eons. By bringing the voices of women who love in a range of ways to the surface, she shows us all that it's not us and our desires that are abnormal: it is a system that has constrained and shamed women. I love this book. Rachel Simmons, Co-Founder of Girls Leadership and Author of Odd Girl out Wednesday Martin understands female sexuality – from the #MeToo movement and polyamory to women’s prehistoric and cultural heritage. She goes far beyond our current psychological understanding of women’s infidelity to tell the real story of women’s ubiquitous, tenacious, and primordial sexual strategies. And her writing is not only informative, timely, and refreshing but wonderfully engaging. Brava, Wednesday. Helen Fisher, Author of The First Sex and Why We Love For centuries, men have been telling the story of female sexuality. Unsurprisingly, it was was riddled with condescension, bias, and sheer ignorance. With Untrue, Wednesday Martin sets the record straight, shining a light on some of the female researchers reshaping our understanding of what turns women on, and why. This is an important story, beautifully told. Highly recommended. Christopher Ryan, Co-Author of Sex at Dawn A simultaneously frothy and substantive tour of female sexual desire … An indispensable work of popular psychology and sociology. Kirkus Wednesday Martin deconstructs many of the false beliefs that have negatively affected the way women's sexuality is viewed … This book turns everything we think we know about women and sex completely on its head, essentially undressing the falsehoods of female sexuality to reveal what lies beneath the layers of distortion women operate under. Kerri Jarema, Bustle Chapters cover topics like infidelity, open marriage, polyamory, and even cuckolding to show that women are not the demure, sex-hating bearers of morality that history and long-standing research (by men) would lead us to believe. Kathy Sexton, Booklist Riveting. Stephen A Russell, The New Daily At times playful, the narrative teems with fascinating commentary about everything from bonobos and paleolithic gender roles to Craigslist ads, as Martin examines how female sexuality continues to be shaped and stigmatised by artificial social constructions, sociopolitical values, and economics, all under the guise of ‘natural’ female biology and desire. A timely take on femininity and sexuality. STARRED REVIEW Emily Bowles, Library Journal Combining Barbara Ehrenreich’s immersive reporting style and Carrie Bradshaw’s savoir faire, [Wednesday Martin] dispels many myths about female desire. O, The Oprah Magazine

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eleanore

    Once again, this didn't take me so long to read because it's a difficult or bad read; I'm just in a weird sort of reading rhythm slump this year I haven't been able to shake yet. It's starting to get quite frustrating. But I digress! This was fascinating, particularly as it pertains to how things you'd probably never expect to inform cultural and societal assumptions about women and their sexuality -- plough agriculture! -- having such an immense and lasting impact on us. It also was very illumin Once again, this didn't take me so long to read because it's a difficult or bad read; I'm just in a weird sort of reading rhythm slump this year I haven't been able to shake yet. It's starting to get quite frustrating. But I digress! This was fascinating, particularly as it pertains to how things you'd probably never expect to inform cultural and societal assumptions about women and their sexuality -- plough agriculture! -- having such an immense and lasting impact on us. It also was very illuminating as to the realities about women's sexual appetites, the difficulties with monogamy for many, social stigmas we tie ourselves into knots attempting to circumvent, and the true power of female sexuality and choice. I'd recommend it to anyone, regardless of gender, though I especially wish those with very staunch and outdated assumptions about "women vs. men" in this regard would give it a chance, no matter how long those odds are.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    2.5 for me. This book wasn't exactly what I expected. I agree that female desire feels taboo to talk about. I did learn about some stuff people are into that I didn't know people are into (throuples? Hot wifing?). I'm not entirely sure that some of this that looks like female sexual freedom isn't just another way to attend to men's desires, a different objectification, but to each their own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tawni Winns

    This book pretty much blasted through those old tired stereotypes that ALL women are creatures that long for monogamy. This book dismantles societal ideas (created by men) with scientific facts and studies of other cultures. I learned so much about the world and my own biology reading this book and recommend it for single and married women. GIRL POWER!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

    This book was such a great read and I could not put it down. Wednesday Martin covered the topic of female infidelity in depth and her research was simply fascinating. I learned so much and this book kept my attention from beginning to end, it challenged a lot of the assumptions about women and what motivates them to cheat. Trust me on this, just read it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Verne

    Great book

  25. 4 out of 5

    madison

    this was okay.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Interesting enough conceptually but quite tangenty and just all around not well written enough to be recommendable.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    So interesting. Maybe just maybe we’re not all supposed to stay inside the lines.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cristine Mermaid

    Enlightening book about the myths surrounding women's sexuality. It contains heaps of research breaking myths such as "women are biologically wired for monogamy", "women need to be 'in love' to enjoy sex and can't have sex without falling in love", "women have low sex drives", "straight women can't be attracted to other women" etc etc. The research and science behind the studies along with their conclusions is downright fascinating although it did go a bit too long about primate sexual behavior Enlightening book about the myths surrounding women's sexuality. It contains heaps of research breaking myths such as "women are biologically wired for monogamy", "women need to be 'in love' to enjoy sex and can't have sex without falling in love", "women have low sex drives", "straight women can't be attracted to other women" etc etc. The research and science behind the studies along with their conclusions is downright fascinating although it did go a bit too long about primate sexual behavior for me. The anecdotes and women's stories were diverse and interesting and added a personal touch to what otherwise might be a slighly dry text book tone. I have read similar books before so I knew of the views on how women weren't seen as men's property until the agricultural age when men wanted to be sure that they were leaving the land they owned to their genetic offspring but this went a great deal more in depth. It also thoroughly explained the cultural/societal expectations and teachings that insisted women were a certain way and how they were punished when they dared to break out of those narrow restraints. I read other reviews and just as the book discussed, this made a lot of people angry. Why? For those who were insisting that they are naturally geared toward monogamy, the book wasn't saying that you weren't. It was about women as a whole, of course individuals vary. It also wasn't saying that people couldn't choose to be monogamous. However, it made the point that there is a wide spectrum and that lifelong strict monogamy could be challenging for many and that there are other options. It also discussed other arrangements such as open relationships, polyamory etc and how these types of relationships are a much better fit for so many people and even though they still seem to anger a lot of traditionalists ( why? no one is trying to force it upon you, it doesn't affect you), they are becoming more and more common.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Some women like to have sex. Some women like to have sex more than their spouses. Some women like to have sex with partners other than their spouses. That's the sum takeaway from this book, which, if you've been alive for more than 20 minutes and have known some women, is not exactly a shocker. The author summarizes the work of and interviews people who have researched or written about female sexuality, whether in terms of psychology, sociology, anthropology, or primatology (why one primate speci Some women like to have sex. Some women like to have sex more than their spouses. Some women like to have sex with partners other than their spouses. That's the sum takeaway from this book, which, if you've been alive for more than 20 minutes and have known some women, is not exactly a shocker. The author summarizes the work of and interviews people who have researched or written about female sexuality, whether in terms of psychology, sociology, anthropology, or primatology (why one primate species is relevant but others are not is not explained), but there is nothing new here. It reads like a collection of loosely connected online magazine articles. Worst of all, the author insists on interjecting herself into the book on nearly every page, but she has no insight, personal or otherwise, and both her style and her persona are breathlessly dull.

  30. 4 out of 5

    AM AM

    I understand why some people would feel drawn to this book, but while it promises some breakthrough in feminism based on suppressed science and liberating anthropology, it simply fails to do that through any means other than misleading the reader. This book is so decisively founded on errors and flat out debunked statements on science, misleading anthropology, cherry picked and misleading history, and a complete manipulation of the feminist tradition that beyond some incredibly basic points it ca I understand why some people would feel drawn to this book, but while it promises some breakthrough in feminism based on suppressed science and liberating anthropology, it simply fails to do that through any means other than misleading the reader. This book is so decisively founded on errors and flat out debunked statements on science, misleading anthropology, cherry picked and misleading history, and a complete manipulation of the feminist tradition that beyond some incredibly basic points it can’t offer anything new or accurate to the public discourse. I reviewed this elsewhere in detail and I recommend you avoid this book if you don’t want to be misinformed. https://medium.com/@Careful_Writing/t...

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