A jaw-dropping re-evaluation of everything we thought we knew about men, women, and sex.
Men are biologically programmed to want sex with lots of different women, whereas women are designed to stay true to one person, right?
In Untrue, New York Times -bestselling author Wednesday Martin reveals that we are just at the beginning of understanding women’s sexuality properly. From New York to Namibia to a conference of sex researchers in Montreal, she takes us on a journey to understand women who refuse monogamy, posing questions about why we became sexually exclusive in the first place.
Martin attends all-female sex parties where married straight women fulfill their fantasies; considers contemporary societies where women take many lovers; analyses how the invention of the plough suppressed female autonomy; and presents fascinating research about why women stray (their motivations are not so different from men’s).
Frank and myth busting, Untrue validates the desires of women everywhere, including the ‘silent majority’ in committed relationships who struggle with staying faithful.
Martin (Primates of Park Avenue) brings an energetic and scientific curiosity to female infidelity in this chatty, thoughtful work. Combining first-person introspection, interviews with both experts and ordinary women, and research, Martin interrogates social assumptions about this taboo. She speaks with experts, including biophysicist Meredith Chivers, psychologist Marta Meana, and sociologist Alicia Walker, who have contributed to contemporary discourse challenging the preconception that women's sex drives are biologically lower than men's. Primatologists such as Sarah Blaffer Hrdy challenge the idea that female biology enforces monogamy in human as well as animal society. Martin reviews societal shaming of female sexual desire in multiple cultures and time periods; investigates how infidelity overlaps with and differs from polyamory and other types of consensual nonmonogamy; discusses how black women's sexuality is influenced by racism; and illuminates how the male partners of unfaithful women react (often, not as one might expect). She concludes that financial independence seems to most directly predict whether women have, and exercise, autonomy over their sex lives. Martin's thoroughly researched reconsideration of female sexual desire and infidelity will broaden readers' understanding of women, sex, and monogamy.