I was born in the mid-1940s and brought up in post-World War II America. Women were housewives then; they stayed home with the children. They baked pies, waxed linoleum, watched soap operas, and joined the PTA, while men ran the world and brought home the bacon. As a girl-child, I understood that I was expected to do the same.
With the advent of my entering puberty, my dad began eyeing teenaged boys with mistrust, and my mom, foreshadowing Nancy Reagan, strongly advised me to “just say no” to any touching below the neck. Consequently, I married straight out of high school, in 1962, having swallowed whole the prevailing myth that girls who had sex before marriage were sluts — but not so much if they married the boy they’d had sex with. And as a young wife and mother, I pretty much missed out on the sexual revolution, occupied as I was with diaper changes, shopping lists, and earning my university degrees.
As a stay-at-home mom, I was far removed from gender inequities in the workplace. Still, certain glaring inequities between the sexes did not escape me. For instance, I gave up my last name when I married, while my husband did not. And while my husband experienced orgasm each time we had penetrative sex, I did not — despite coming frustratingly close. Over the years, although I did achieve some splendid orgasms via sufficient oral or manual stimulation — vaginal orgasm, my alleged birthright as a modern woman continued to elude me, becoming a source of friction and disappointment for me and my husband and casting a pall on my sexual life. By the time my marriage collapsed, twelve years later, I was twenty-nine-years-old, believed myself frigid, and set out on a personal journey of erotic self-discovery.