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What Do Women Want?: Adventures In The Science Of Female Desire Hardcover – May 27 2013

6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (May 27 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061906085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061906084
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“This book should be read by every woman on earth... a must-read for anyone with even a remote erotic interest in the female gender.” (

“...Shatters many of our most cherished myths about desire.”--The Atlantic (The Atlantic)

“Daniel Bergner has written a keenly intelligent book about a subject that often exceeds our intelligence: What Do Women Want?” (Gay Talese)

Totally engrossing.”--New York magazine (New York magazine)

“Fascinating.... Threatens to disrupt all the modern stereotypes of female sexuality.”--Slate (Slate)

“At last, we have a new perspective on the wilds of female desire, in rousing tableaux, as women, men, sexologists, bonobos, erotic gurus, and many others provide frank, vivid answers to the question that has haunted [us] for far too long: What do women want? The answer will fascinate all.” (Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of Love)

“Accessible and informative prose . . . this page-turning book will have readers questioning some of their most ingrained beliefs about women, men, society, and sex.” (Publishers Weekly)

“It’s everything you wanted to know about sex but didn’t know to ask. Daniel Bergner upends long-standing myths about women and sex—everything from nature of attraction and pursuit to prevalence of taboo fantasies to monogamy itself.” (New York Post)

What Do Women Want? adds both steam and explosives into the national conversation-or preoccupation-with what it means to be a woman today.” (Vogue)

“Bergner lays out the history of this brainwashing and then debunks it in his entertaining new book, What do Women Want?. He recaps ingenious studies that have plumbed our desires, including those we deny or hide from ourselves.” (Elle)

From the Back Cover

When it comes to sex, common wisdom holds that men roam while women crave closeness and commitment. But in this provocative, headline-making book, Daniel Bergner turns everything we thought we knew about women's arousal and desire inside out. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with renowned behavioral scientists, sexologists, psychologists, and everyday women, he forces us to reconsider long-held notions about female sexuality.

This bold and captivating journey into the world of female desire explores answers to such thought-provoking questions as: Are women perhaps the less monogamous sex? What effect do intimacy and emotional connection really have on lust? What is the role of narcissism—the desire to be desired—in female sexuality? Are political gains for women ("No means no") detrimental in the bedroom? And is the hunt for a "female Viagra" anything but a search for the cure for monogamy?

Bergner goes behind the scenes of some of the most groundbreaking experiments on sexuality today and confronts us with controversial, sometimes uncomfortable findings. Incendiary, profoundly insightful, and brilliantly illuminating, What Do Women Want? will change the conversation about women and sex, and is sure to spark dynamic discussion for years to come.

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Customer Reviews

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By Kiki Swann on Aug. 23 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is revolutionary. The journey we go on with Bergner as he interviews scientists and their fascinating research, from hot monkey sex to the hunt for a human female viagra, illuminates a little more of a still very mysterious and elusive phenomenon: what on earth is the anatomy of female desire? Bergner is the perfect gentleman to tell this story. He subtly takes the woman's side as he humbly reports the scientific facts - and quietly wonders, in the wake of what these facts reveal, if men are actually much more suited to monogamy than women are, and whether monogamy is actually a patriarchal construct designed to keep women from creating what men fear would be social-libidenous chaos. There are deep and important questions raised in this book. Alongside the discovery that silent, frigid sadness is nothing short of an epidemic for married women, a little-known devastating fact, Bergner also gives vivid descriptions of how female arousal works and why it's designed to give such ecstatic pleasure to women, seven times the pleasure of men, it seems. Every now and again a book appears that turns old thinking on its head and invites us to consider something radically new. It's not that female sexuality is new, it's that we've never been allowed to look at it this way before, and never had such diverse scientific research to draw on for answers. If unveiling taboos is profound liberation, given what we discover in this book, it's no wonder that Fifty Shades of Grey was a blockbuster blow-out. I highly recommend this book to every kind of reader. It's entertaining, informative, thought-provoking, and at times can't help being titillating. More than anything it's brave and honest.
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Format: Hardcover
How interesting to find this book using the same title as a classic feminist work about emotions and gender to address sexuality. It also takes up feminist concerns to some extent but Bergner's focus is sexual satisfaction. She summarizes recent sexology research presenting it in an attractive narrative carried by women's personal voices. It's a fun and accessible read.
The presentation of the science is a little credulous, as there's a lot more room for scepticism than Bergner allows. In particular she tends to view sexology as stripping away culture to reveal nature, which is impossible and naive to suggest. However, her account provides a welcome counterpoint to the influence of evolutionary psychology on our conceptions of sexuality. One chapter deals with that explicitly.
So don't let the narrative approach fool you... This book has a foundation in research findings that people prefer to ignore. The idea that women have broad and persistent sexual appetites threatens our understanding of the social order. It also may help a lot of women realize how very ordinary their desires are.
If you are looking for the sexy counterpart to Elisabeth Lloyd's "The Case of the Female Orgasm" then this is it. Lloyd also decries how evolutionary scientists ignore sexology research. We need not put quite the faith in it that Bergner does, but we can learn a lot from her story about what the research suggests.
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By AlexG on Sept. 9 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent book that explains and illustrates the fact that for the majority of women monogamy kills libido. If you think that many women are not that interested in sex, that they only use sex to "get" men, and soon after the men commit, these women lose their enthusiasm for sex, you owe it yourself to read this book.
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