The Pleasure Gap, with Katherine Rowland

Episode 202 · February 18th, 2020 · 43 mins 33 secs

About this Episode

My guest is Katherine Rowland. Tens of millions of American women are dissatisfied with their sex lives. In her provocative and meticulously researched new book, The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution, Katherine Rowland, a public health researcher and journalist explores our culture's troubled relationship with women's sexuality and the many complex factors that have thrust us into an epidemic of low desire, guilt, and experiencing sex as a form of labor rather than an act of lust.

Drawing on interviews with more than 120 women and dozens of sexual health professionals, Rowland considers how factors like education, bias in scientific research, social messaging, long-term monogamy, and sexual and gendered violence contribute to women's sexual malaise. She finds no silver bullet to close the pleasure gap, but her wide-ranging foray into women's sexuality makes it very clear that the epidemic of sexual dissatisfaction is about more than a few missing orgasms. It's about the complex interaction between culture, biology, capitalism, history, and our shifting ideas about what is right and good and natural. It's symptomatic of an unfinished revolution--and nobody should settle for it.