In recent bestselling novels such as E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey and Vina Jackson's Eighty Days series, female desire is presented as submissive and masochistic.
By placing these books in a broader cultural frame however, Anna Watz exposes how female submission has been disseminated as a consumer product. Navigating the minefield of women's pleasure in popular culture, she frames the female masochist in relation to the backlash against feminism and the resurgence of sexism in post-feminist culture. Watz also describes how renewed debates about sex and sexuality have tended towards 'sex negative' and 'sex positive' attitudes, and the impact that neo-liberalism and consumerism in the 2010s, along with feminism's recent popular revival has had on them.
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