Guest post by Sheila Jeffreys
My 1990 book Anticlimax, which has been out of print, is being republished by Spinifex Press this month with a new preface. It is a book of which I am particularly fond because I wrote it in the late 1980s, as a way of making sense of my own experience of the ‘sexual revolution’. The sexual history of the 1960s was being written up in the 1980s as a process of women’s sexual liberation. I did not see it that way.
I did remember that the ‘alternative’ magazines of the period, Oz and International Times, were full of women’s naked bodies, albeit painted with flowers often enough, and promoted pornography as liberating. In the book I had the opportunity to look back at what was really going on, through the sex advice literature and the pornography of the time. I wrote Anticlimax, and my first book, The Spinster and Her Enemies (1985/1997), to demonstrate that the ‘sexual revolutions’ of the twentieth century liberated men’s sexual access to women rather than women’s empowerment.