‘Tomorrow Sex Will be Good Again’ is a read for your feminist nerd days, when you’re craving long essays that tickle your brain cells.
So, what’s the scoop between its pages? Katherine Angel dives headfirst into the topic of consent and sex. But, hold on, she's not just here to say, "consent is king." She flips the script and questions if consent alone should be the judge of great sex. It's like turning a kaleidoscope and seeing things from a whole new angle.
As we move into the heart of this read, we explore the unequal power dynamics in the bedroom. Who really has the power to say no? How long are we going to turn a blind eye to the fact that a woman's consent often resides in their subconscious rather than the overtly vocal?
And what about the times when we do not know what we want? Does not knowing exactly what we want mean that women should put up with lousy or even degrading encounters? Should they feel compelled to bring a fully developed sexual profile to the bedroom just to safeguard themselves from coercion.
Katherine weaves together four contemporary essays - on consent, desire, arousal, and vulnerability in turn. But don't worry, it's not a boring lecture. It's like chatting with a friend who spills the tea on the history, science, and politics of it all. Plus, she throws in pop culture references that'll make you go, "Aha!".
What REALLY works well
The book packs a punch with personal stories and insights that Katherine generously shares. What really struck me was how she bravely talks about the risks of publishing essays like these in today's world. Think about rape trials, where a victim's past interest in sex has been twisted to argue they should always be up for it. Katherine even admits that writing about her own sexuality could potentially harm her or let an attacker off the hook – it’s heavy stuff, but this is what drives her conversations home.
Oh, and did I talk about her juicy research bits? Katherine delves into intriguing studies of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, who meticulously explored women's desires, even using a 'penis camera' in their research (quite a visual, isn't it?). She also weaves in Alfred Kinsey's study on how many orgasms people have and how they reach there. Although some of these studies may seem outdated, it's quite entertaining to trace the path that led us to where we are today!
What also sets this book apart is its daring stance. We've heard a lot about how important consent is, right? Well, Katherine takes a bold step by suggesting we might be going a bit overboard with it. She's not just singing the "consent is key" tune, she's shaking things up. She argues that putting too much emphasis on just consent as a parameter shifts the blame for society's power imbalances onto individuals. And she makes a good point.
Now, and here's the real kicker – her fight against bad sex. She's all in, saying that even if it doesn't cross the line into sexual assault, bad sex is a serious problem. In a world where male heterosexual desire often calls the shots, her call to action for young women is like a wakeup slap (but a gentle one) that we all should hear.
What COULD have been better
Okay, here’s a slight shocker : Angel didn't exactly win me over with her arguments. I know, I know, I just raved about how interesting they were, but here's the catch : while her points are intriguing, she doesn't quite do the best job at convincing the reader. It's like she's saying, 'Here's my idea, take it or leave it.’ A bit more persuasion would have definitely sealed the deal.
And, you know what's missing? More personal stories from other folks. This addition would have brought the book out of its abstract, cerebral space and made it feel more relatable.
There are also quite a couple of missed opportunities. For instance, Angel spends a good chunk of time critiquing the consent movement, even in the chapters that were meant to be for other areas. While we’re all here for it - she could have used that space to kickstart a variety of other discussions about desire and vulnerability.
Another drawback, which Angel herself acknowledges, is that the book mostly revolves around cis heterosexual desire. It's great that she's aware of this limitation, but the book would have packed a more meaningful punch with insights on how the LGBTQIA+ community views sex, gender, and consent. Talking solely on heterosexuality can keep the same old gender stereotypes alive that we are trying to look beyond.
Note for the Reader
In the end, "Tomorrow Sex Will be Good Again" is like a rollercoaster ride for your brain. Katherine Angel may not have convinced us all the way, but she sure lights a fire under some seriously crucial topics. If you're up for a read that'll make you rethink consent and all the jazz around it, this is most definitely your golden ticket.
Juicy Reads by That Sassy Thing is an initiative where we will review books that align with our vision of making the world a safer, more pleasurable space.
We'll review one book each month and as we grow, we'll have lots more coming your way!
About the Author
Hemali (she/her) is an explorer of the realms of sexuality, intimacy, and dating. She talks endlessly about the evolving landscape of feminist narratives on the big screen and makes you reanalyze the portrayal of women in mainstream culture. If you're looking for alternative conversation starters, take your pick from: Biryani, Art Fairs, or Spoken Word Poetry.