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reading tiger

I find this Salon essay, "“Tampa” and filthy sex" by Meghan Abbott, troublesome. I'm trying to tease out why.

Something about the statement that compulsive female sexuality is OK in crime fiction. Is it really? And is it really so unknown elsewhere? I'm pretty sure that compulsive female sexuality is portrayed as self-destructive -- but it is portrayed -- in crime fiction and elsewhere -- it is present (if not common), it is treated as dangerous and hideous but as long as it's punished and written about from distance its presence is allowed. Am I off base?

That essay on Sylvia Plath I linked to a few weeks back suddenly comes to mind. She slept around! Hideous! And look what happened to her.

What I don't see: non-compulsive female promiscuity. Unless it's indicative of a murderous bent, a la the Black Widow. The seductress, the manipulator.

Now I am thinking of Amanda Marcotte (sorry) and her essay on "Darling Nikki."

Clearly I am woolgathering with a vengeance tonight.

Comments

Erica Jong and Xaviera Hollander?
Hollander is memoir and so kinda outside the scope of what I was talking about, but that may be an artificial genre limitation, especially when Jong is also up there. So, good point.
There might be examples in romance and urban fantasy genres too. Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris' True Blood series has multiple albeit serially monogamous relationships throughout the series. I haven't read much other than that, but I get the impression that it's a genre where women get to enjoy sex without being 'punished' for it.