Who decides what happens after sex? The last decade has seen a rise in activism and arguments over women’s reproductive freedom reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s. Political progress in Ireland has been countered by regressive action in the US. AFTER SEX provides personal and political perspectives from the mid-twentieth century to the present day, setting feminist classics alongside contemporary accounts and highlighting the experiences of women of colour and working-class women. These essays, short stories and poems trace past understandings of reproductive freedom and consider what it might look like in future, making urgent connections between women’s equality and access to contraception, healthcare and childcare.
The writers pay special attention to people — both fictional and real — who have sought control over their sexual lives, and the joy, comedy, difficulties and disappointments that entails. But above all, AFTER SEX testifies to the power of great writing to show us why that freedom is worth pursuing — without shame and without apology.