.Dear Gillian: Women Invited to Send Their Sex Fantasies

Hey ladies, Gillian Anderson, the actor made famous by her roles in the television shows The X-Files and Sex Education, wants to hear what gets you off.

If that sentence makes readers uncomfortable, it might help to look back in the history of women talking about sex.

Fifty years ago, a groundbreaking book revealed the rich erotic imagination of women. Filled with reports of women sharing their sexual fantasies in their own words, Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden gave a forum to real women to open up to the world on what they never were able to talk about. Until its publication, no forum existed for women to speak freely on the subject, and internalized social guilt prevented them even from sharing privately.

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The landmark work opened up American culture to the voices of women in a way that never existed before. Reading their own secret desires reflected back to them, the book helped millions to recognize the guilt and shame tied to those dirty fantasies they were not “supposed” to have.

Now, in a time when many women feel under legal and social attack from conservative forces—see the outrage in response to the Missouri State Legislature’s new dress code rules requiring female legislators and staff to wear blazers—it might be more important than it has been in years to encourage women to speak up. Anderson is betting on it.

During the month of February, the UK-based British-American actor has put out a call for women around the world to send her their fantasies. The selected submissions will be published by Bloomsbury Publishing as a response to the anniversary of Friday’s book. Anderson wants to know how female fantasies have changed, how women feel about sharing and what can be learned from this.

Female readers are encouraged to answer this call. Too many trends today seek to shut down voices that do not come from straight white men in power. Here is a chance for women to take some of that power back, together.

Submit your fantasy at DearGillian.com.

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