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Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom

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Hard to Get is a powerful and intimate examination of the sex and love lives of the most liberated women in history—twenty-something American women who have had more opportunities, more positive role models, and more information than any previous generation. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Leslie C. Bell takes us directly into th Hard to Get is a powerful and intimate examination of the sex and love lives of the most liberated women in history—twenty-something American women who have had more opportunities, more positive role models, and more information than any previous generation. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Leslie C. Bell takes us directly into the lives of young women who struggle to negotiate the complexities of sexual desire and pleasure, and to make sense of their historically unique but contradictory constellation of opportunities and challenges. In candid interviews, Bell’s subjects reveal that, despite having more choices than ever, they face great uncertainty about desire, sexuality, and relationships. Ground-breaking and highly readable, Hard to Get offers fascinating insights into the many ways that sex, love, and satisfying relationships prove surprisingly elusive to these young women as they navigate the new emotional landscape of the 21st century.


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Hard to Get is a powerful and intimate examination of the sex and love lives of the most liberated women in history—twenty-something American women who have had more opportunities, more positive role models, and more information than any previous generation. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Leslie C. Bell takes us directly into th Hard to Get is a powerful and intimate examination of the sex and love lives of the most liberated women in history—twenty-something American women who have had more opportunities, more positive role models, and more information than any previous generation. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Leslie C. Bell takes us directly into the lives of young women who struggle to negotiate the complexities of sexual desire and pleasure, and to make sense of their historically unique but contradictory constellation of opportunities and challenges. In candid interviews, Bell’s subjects reveal that, despite having more choices than ever, they face great uncertainty about desire, sexuality, and relationships. Ground-breaking and highly readable, Hard to Get offers fascinating insights into the many ways that sex, love, and satisfying relationships prove surprisingly elusive to these young women as they navigate the new emotional landscape of the 21st century.

30 review for Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Hayes

    Being that the author, Leslie C. Bell, is a psychoanalyst I expected more from this book then anecdotal stories. I think she was going for an insider's look type feel, but grossly missed the mark. While the terminology used throughout the book was somewhat academic, it seemed to (for lack of a better word) babble instead of present real facts and evidence when presenting her collected case studies. A real disappointment. I would not recommend. I am heartbroken that I was not impressed with the boo Being that the author, Leslie C. Bell, is a psychoanalyst I expected more from this book then anecdotal stories. I think she was going for an insider's look type feel, but grossly missed the mark. While the terminology used throughout the book was somewhat academic, it seemed to (for lack of a better word) babble instead of present real facts and evidence when presenting her collected case studies. A real disappointment. I would not recommend. I am heartbroken that I was not impressed with the book because Leslie C. Bell was kind enough to send me a free copy. I was the winner of this book on Goodreads First Reads. The book is well organized. The book has very intense and informative case studies of women in their late twenties. The book does not shy away from taboo subject matter. I'm sorry the book didn't work out for me. I'll be gifting it away or donating it to a local library.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Another book club selection from our excellent group. An intense read. The author has done 30 some-odd case studies of women in their late twenties and talked to them about their sexual and relationship experiences (the book vignettes about 8 women). Their experiences were titillating, but also made me profoundly compare myself to the women described, in not my healthiest moment. Some were happy, some not, some survivors of various forms of sexual abuse, gay and straight, and various income leve Another book club selection from our excellent group. An intense read. The author has done 30 some-odd case studies of women in their late twenties and talked to them about their sexual and relationship experiences (the book vignettes about 8 women). Their experiences were titillating, but also made me profoundly compare myself to the women described, in not my healthiest moment. Some were happy, some not, some survivors of various forms of sexual abuse, gay and straight, and various income levels, and the variety of backgrounds really added to the strength of the book. However, the writing style of the book was quite frustrating. Obviously a dissertation converted into a book readable by laypersons, the conclusions that the author drew were not always clearly based on the research that she provided. It's not that I believe her conclusions to be unfounded, but more that I wished there was a way to explore the topic more empirically in this format, or explain more about why she drew her conclusions (especially the radical idea of prioritizing the relationship over a reasonable job performance... how are you supposed to alter the entire economic system to provide this?). Sometimes the conclusions seemed to ignore simple facts, sometimes they came out of nowhere. Regardless, this book and the research is important, and I hope to hear more from her.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Lucander

    A quick read, and moderately interesting. Psychology folks and gender studies people will probably be into this. Bell's research reveals something many of us have probably noticed: LGBT people are often less confused or mixed about their sexuality than their straight counterparts - probably because they spend more time actually thinking this stuff through.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I read this book over the weekend. I do agree with some of the points the author makes in the book about women in there mid twenties thinking that they have a "timeline" between "sexual freedom" and settling down for marriage. I could not particularly relate to this book because I have been in a committed relationship since I was 19 but I have seen this trend in some of my peers. I did like that she interviewed various women from a variety of backgrounds and that it gives the reader a good overall I read this book over the weekend. I do agree with some of the points the author makes in the book about women in there mid twenties thinking that they have a "timeline" between "sexual freedom" and settling down for marriage. I could not particularly relate to this book because I have been in a committed relationship since I was 19 but I have seen this trend in some of my peers. I did like that she interviewed various women from a variety of backgrounds and that it gives the reader a good overall idea of why the author thinks this and explores the paradox. I could not give it 5 stars simply because I could not relate to this book and I felt like it was geared at a single female twenty something audience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karl Kemp

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ani

  9. 4 out of 5

    Włodek

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mohosana mohosanakatun mohosanakatun

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elise Lynch

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  13. 4 out of 5

    May

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ema Kibirkstis

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marie Guermond

  16. 5 out of 5

    Estelle

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  18. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Kearney

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michaela

  21. 4 out of 5

    Js

  22. 4 out of 5

    Burim

  23. 4 out of 5

    trivialchemy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roxana Gomez

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Herrera

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ava

  27. 5 out of 5

    Monika

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  30. 5 out of 5

    Z

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