author of MY MOTHER /MY SELF
Men’s Sexual Fantasies:
The Triumph of love Over Rage
MEN IN LOVE
NANCY FRIDAY, THE COURAGEOUS,
CANDID AUTHOR OF
MY MOTHER/MY SELF
, EMBARKS ON A BOLD JOURNEY INTO THE
SECRET SEX LIVES OF MEN.
“LIBERATING ... ILLUMINATING ... THE MOST
TALKED ABOUT AND LIFE-CHANGING BOOK
OF THE YEAR.”
-Michael Korda, author of
“A LABOR OF LOVE FOR ALL HUMANKIND.
NANCY FRIDAY IS STILL ON THE CUTTING
-The Houston Chronicle
“NANCY FRIDAY’S INTERPRETATION OF
MEN’S SEXUAL FANTASIES OFFERS AN
INVALUABLE NEW WAY OF SEEING MEN….
IT IS CRUCIAL THAT THE FANTASIES ARE
UNEXPURGATED, EXACTLY AS SHE
RECEIVED THEM; THE WORDS AND IMAGES
EMERGE DIRECTLY ... TELLING US HOW
MEN SECRETLY FEEL: THEIR ANGER AT
WOMEN, AT WAR WITH THEIR DEEPER
- Richard Robertiello, M.D.
“SHOCKING, REVEALING … AN IMPORTANT
“FRIDAY HAS GONE FURTHER INTO THE
WORLD OF MALE FANTASY AND LEARNED
MORE ABOUT IT THAN ANYONE WRITING
FOR A LAY AUDIENCE HAS EVER DONE
BEFORE.... READERS WILL BE TALKING
ABOUT THE BOOK AND ABOUT
THEMSELVES FOR A VERY LONG TIME.”
-Martha Weinman Lear,
“ASTONISHINGLY OUTSPOKEN, EVEN IN A PERIOD OF UNUSUAL SEXUAL FRANKNESS.”
BY NANCY FRIDAY
MY SECRET GARDEN
MY MOTHER/MY SELF
MEN IN LOVE:
Men’s Sexual Fantasies:
The Triumph of Love Over Rage
A DELL BOOK
Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
New York, New York 10017
Copyright © 1980 by Nancy Friday
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. For information address Delacorte Press, New York, New York.
Dell ® TM 681510, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
Reprinted by arrangement with Delacorte Press.
Printed in the United States of America
First Dell printing-February 1981
Fourth Dell printing-January 1983
I wish to thank psychoanalyst Richard Robertiello, M.D., for his professional assistance in reading all the fantasies in this book, and for giving me the benefit of his understanding of their meaning. If I have added my own interpretations to the clarity and brilliance he brought to our discussions, it is because
– great teacher that he is – he always encouraged me to question even his opinions.
Further thanks are also lovingly given to two other friends, psychotherapist Dr. Leah Schaefer and psychoanalyst Sirgay Sanger, M.D. Their generosity in giving me so much time, the learning with which they suggested various corrections to my thinking, leave me permanently in their debt.
When I hear other writers deplore the failings of their literary agents, I am always reminded how much I owe my own, Betty Anne Clarke. I may not be able to point to any particular pages of my work and say Betty Anne suggested this idea or that; but without her courageous belief in me during the past six years, perhaps the pages never would have been written.
Happy endings are made all the more poignant by the memory of unhappy beginnings. At a time when few others were interested in my work, Linda Grey came forward with encouragement, advice, counseland a contract. My debt to her is one only the most fortunate of writers can understand.
For my husband, Bill Manville,
whose name should appear
On the cover of this book with my own.
However, as women have long known,
It is not an equal world.
Drake, Harry, Bill, Allan, Lester, Clifton, Hal, Don, Jud, Julius, Burt
Leon, Bryce’s girl Helen, Vance’s wife, Lee, Penrod, Chip, Les, Warren, Christopher, Murray, Patrick, Miguel
Dan, Donald, Fred, Russell, Lou, Al, Jerry, Bradley, Ben, Wayne, Oliver, Steve, Eddie
Theo, Hamilton, John, Bruce, Herb, Walter, Seth, Alvin, Salty, Hugh
Jackie, Vito, Mitch, Lawrence, Lewis, Henry
Tim, Dyson, Bennet, Sailor, Dan, Jake, Butch, Phil, Chet, Jefferson
Roy, Kip, Neil, Tucker, Jack, Keith
Bernard, Dennis, Hank, Melvin, Fitz, Cyrus
James, Greg, Josh, Jess, Kenneth, Mel, Sandy, Maurice, Daniel
Crosby, Trenton, Clive, Steven, Prentiss, Gene, Leonard, Luke, Perry
Gerald, Buck, Rick, Dale, King, Ludwig, Craig, Paul
Michael, Conrad, Ned, Gilbert, Mort, Clement, Deke, Dayton, Rudy, Lowry, Lennie, Kent, Jason, Ed, Vern, Ben
Vance, Troy, Virgil, Austin, Susie, Thomas, Mac, Jeffrey, Reynolds, Roddy, Clayton
Justin, Lars, Harvey, Allen
Jock, Connard, Wade, Sam, David, Everett, Tex, Jonathan, Chandler
Farrell, Clark, Jones, Andre, Blake, Jeff, Will, Jimmy
Nick August, Jonas, Tommy, Philip, Red, Arthur, Fritz, Jethro, Joe
Joey, George, Dayle, Howard, Crane, Lloyd
Alex, Brewster, Horatio, “Joan”, Dean
Eliot, Tod, Larry, Matthew, Hank, Rock, Vince, Rod, Gerard, Nigel, Douglas, Peter, Dr. Lewis Brown, Ronald, Clifford, Roy, Zack, Vincent, Boyd, Benjamin
Vernon, Eddie, Omar, Buddy, Sherwin, Andrew, Shep, Milt, Cecil, Dale, Foster, Davey
This is a book about men who love women.
Women may not easily recognize that emotion in these pages. These are not conventional valentines. His secret garden is not like mine.
A contemporary confusion is that if the sexes are equal, it must mean they are identical; men often predicted I’d find their fantasies similar to women’s. We may seek the same goal in fantasy sexual excitement but men and women get there by different paths.
A fantasy is a map of desire, mastery, escape, and obscuration; the navigational path we invent to steer ourselves between the reefs and shoals of anxiety, guilt, and inhibition. It is a work of consciousness, but in reaction to unconscious pressures. What is fascinating is not only how bizarre fantasies are, but how comprehensible; each one gives us a coherent and consistent picture of the personality the unconscious of the person who invented it, even though he may think it the random whim of the moment.
A man has a reverie of meeting a blond woman in a purple nightgown. He doesn’t know why the colors are exciting; his unconscious does, but doesn’t bother to explain. The man only knows the blonder, the purple ier, the more heated he grows.
Soon he is inventing scenarios of bare-breasted models hired to test new peroxide hair bleaches, supplied by a company that arbitrarily orders all contestants to wear purple underwear. If the plot seems silly, what does it matter? The erotic has its reasons that reason doesn’t know.
Like an Einsteinian equation whose logic would take hours to unravel, a fantasy appears in the mind with the speed of light, connecting hitherto seemingly unrelated and mysterious forces mysterious forces in the internal erotic universe, resolv-Nancy Friday
ing inconsistencies and contradictions that seemed insuperable before. Nothing is included by accident. If the woman is tall or short, if she forgets her birth control pills and so intercourse carries the risk of pregnancy
– if there is a cuckoo clock on the
– it is all meaningful to the inventor’s heightened sexuality.
In real life, ambivalence abounds. Women want men, men want women; our dreams of one another, fantasies, not only express our most direct desires but also portray the obstacles that must be symbolically overcome to win sexual pleasure.
Fantasy is as close as we will ever come again to the omnipotent joys we once knew as infants. In a moment of rage we say,
“I’d like to kill you!” This is a fleeting fantasy, a satisfying violent image which expresses the overheated mood of the moment. But how likely are we to pull a gun and do it? It is important to recognize that not all fantasies are frustrated wishes. This is one of the most common misconceptions about fantasy.
The very courage of fantasies in facing up to, and giving relief to, unconscious horrors, can sometimes make them hard to take. In 1975, I met a man who had written a book on men’s sexual daydreams. “The material was so awful and creepy,” he said, “I couldn’t even talk to my contributors on the phone. I made them speak into an automatic answering machine, and then had the stuff typed up. I couldn’t even bring myself to correct the galleys.” I had not read his book and was not surprised never to hear of it again.
Beneath their locker room camaraderie and famous mutual support systems, it appeared, men were as sexually restrictive and normative with one another as women have traditionally been with their sisters. Wouldn’t a woman who does not see men as competitors or sexual rivals have fewer hurdles in accepting male sexuality, no matter what turns it might take? All my life I’d dreamed of men and sought their company. Even more than the eight years I’d spent researching two books on women’s fantasies (
My Secret Garden
Forbidden Flowers), I
believed this simple, uninstructed love of men was my best credential for undertaking this work.
Men In Love
I found I had awarded myself the palm too easily.
While the sexual fantasies of many men were a pleasure and easily available to my emotions right from the start, others disgusted or frightened me. Many seemed outpourings from macho braggarts out to shock or trap me in filth. I was like the Victorian husband who encourages his wife to tell all. When she does, he leaves her.
Oh, I’d had a few difficult moments in my earlier books with women who were aroused – for instance – by a loss of bladder control; but on the whole I was able to accept any feminine notion, if only on grounds that it came from a woman. When a woman called a cock a cock, talked of being rammed or reamed, described her cunt juices or the sensation of sucking on a dog’s erection, any trepidation I might feel was outweighed by admiration: Our side was breaking through the centuries of female silence at last.
But when men used words like cunt lapping or pussy, they aroused early, primitive fears. Louder than the unabashed sensual love the words were meant to express, I heard the harsh-ness and disdain of the street slang. Long before sex and men had entered my life, a woman had taught me to be a lady. “Excuse my vocabulary,” more than one man wrote me. At first I would smile at these apologies. I have come to see that my contributors knew me better than I did.