Q&A: Author Dan Bergner on What Women Want (Hint: Not Monogamy)

Lots of things to consider and myths to bust in dealing with desire and sexuality.

Health & Family

Even Freud felt unequipped to speculate about the true nature of women’s sexual longings, but journalist Dan Bergner was bold enough to investigate what science has since learned.  His new book, What Do Women Want?  Adventures in the Science of Female Desire, offers some surprising insights. TIME spoke with him about his discoveries about female sexual desire.

What made you want to write this book?

I had done an earlier book about desire.  One of the researchers I’d worked with for that book said, “You need to come to my wife’s lab. She’s doing some fascinating research.”  That was Meredith Chivers and she was comparing what women say turns them on versus what their bodies say using this little device called a plethysmograph [which, in this case, measures blood flow to the vagina]. That was the beginning of this journey for me.

And she found things like women apparently becoming…

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