The good, the bad, and the unwanted: women’s talk of desire and (dis)pleasure In heterosex
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 14:50 by Emily J. Thomas
Critical and feminist sexuality scholarship contends that many key sexuality concepts are taken-for-granted definitions that have accrued common sense status but are missing an exploration of what these concepts mean to women. For example, sex is treated as synonymous with penile-vaginal intercourse, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sex have implicit meanings in media representations, and consent is often seen as the dividing line between sex and sexual violence. This thesis explores and challenges these dominant constructions of female sexuality through one-on-one in-depth interviews with twenty-four women. Key findings explore how participants resist and recapitulate dominant accounts of what ‘counts’ as sex, what makes for good and bad sex, and how consent and desire are negotiated in sexual relationships. Given the considerable disparity between mainstream media representations of female sexuality and women’s embodied sexual experiences, this research aims to explore women’s discursive constructions of their sexual experiences as they elect to define them.