Erica Jong at her apartment on the Upper East Side. Photo: Washington Post. The Observer asked Ms.
Inin her debut novel Fear of Flying, Erica Jong did something no woman had previously done. She wrote about wanting sex for its own sake, with no preamble, no consequences, no romantic backstory to justify it, perhaps with a stranger on a train. Her novel thrilled a generation of young women brought up on traditional ideas of femininity sit around looking good and behaving nicely until some man turns up to claim you who were suddenly faced with the untold possibilities created by the contraceptive pill.
In the 18th century, Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley, were fiercely rebellious about sexuality. They also were great feminists. In the 20th century, Emma Goldman spoke for women who believed love should be free.
My meeting with Erica Jong was over and I was still out of breath. The elevator slowly slid down the belly of Jong's ritzy Upper East Side highrise while a short guy in a tired uniform worked the Up and Down buttons. I tried making small talk, but he didn't answer me. I wanted to ask if he'd ever had one of those legendary "zipless fucks.
Or so recants Erica Jong, who coined the term 20 million copies and 38 years ago in Fear of Flying. Now 69, the author says she doubts the pure sexual encounter described in the novel really exists. And I had been a graduate student in Columbia who published slim volumes of poetry.
Fear of Flying is a novel by Erica Jong which became famously controversial for its portrayal of female sexuality and figured in the development of second-wave feminism. The novel is written in the first person: narrated by its protagonist, Isadora Zelda White Stollerman Wing, a year-old poet who has published two books of poetry. On a trip to Vienna with her second husband, Isadora decides to indulge her sexual fantasies with another man.
It was in this novel that Erica Jong coined the term "zipless fuck", which soon entered the popular lexicon. The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives.
And married a seventh. A mood of cautious optimism should prevail. But actually my mood is better described as cautious pessimism.
Attention, Bill Clinton. Erica Jong is waiting for your call. It also drove her to eternal self-imitation.
Oh, how Isadora wants : unfettered sex, passion, adoration, unbounded love, emotional connection, intellectual communion. Bouncing between her emotionally rigid husband, Bennett, and the alluringly unavailable Adrian Goodlove, Isadora temporarily bolts, leaving her staid marriage for a truncated European odyssey. As Fear of Flying opens, Isadora is far from reconciling her desires. Along with her psychiatrist spouse, Isadora is en route to a psychoanalytical congress in Vienna.