The tension between sexual danger and sexual pleasure is a powerful one in women’s lives. Sexuality is simultaneously a domain of restriction, repression, and danger as well as a domain of exploration, pleasure and agency. To focus only on pleasure and gratification ignores the patriarchal structure in which women act, yet to speak only of sexual violence and oppression ignores women’s experience with sexual agency and choice and unwittingly increases the sexual terror and despair in which women live.
Carol Vance, “Pleasure and Danger: Towards a Politics of Sexuality”, in Carol S Vance (ed.) Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, Pandora: 1992, extracts reprinted in Feminisms, Sandra Kemp and Judith Squires (eds), Oxford University Press: 1997