About That Whole “Men Are Sex Fiends” Thing…

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Well, this is interesting: “…for most of Western history, from ancient Greece to beginning of the nineteenth century, women were assumed to be the sex-crazed porn fiends of their day.”

Alyssa Goldstein chronicles the process by which that stereotype flipped all the way around—and why both its iterations have been bad for women. One of many fascinating passages:

In the 1600s, for instance, Francisco Plazzonus deduced that childbirth would hardly be worthwhile for women if the pleasure they derived from sex was not far greater than that of men’s. Montaigne…considered women to be “incomparably more apt and more ardent in love than men are…”


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →