Fear of Flying (novel)  

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"There is nothing fiercer than a failed artist. The energy remains, but, having no outlet, it implodes in a great black fart of rage which smokes up all the inner windows of the soul."


"German toilets are really the key to the horrors of the Third Reich. People who can build toilets like this are capable of anything."


"The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not "taking" and the woman is not "giving." No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one."

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Fear of Flying is a 1973 novel by Erica Jong, which became famously controversial for its attitudes towards female sexuality, and figured in the development of feminism.

The novel is narrated by its protagonist, Isadora Zelda White Stollerman Wing, an unpublished poet. On a trip to Vienna with her second husband, Isadora decides to indulge her sexual fantasies with another man. The book resonated with women who felt stuck in unfulfilled marriages, and it has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide. Jong has denied that the novel is autobiographical, but admits that it has autobiographical elements.

Zipless fuck

In the novel, Jong coined the term "zipless fuck", which soon entered the popular lexicon. A "zipless fuck" is defined as a sexual encounter for its own sake, without emotional involvement or commitment, between two previously unacquainted persons.

The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game . The man is not "taking" and the woman is not "giving." No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife . No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.

Jong goes on to explain that it is "zipless" because "when you came together, zippers fell away like rose petals, underwear blew off in one breath like dandelion fluff. For the true ultimate zipless A-1 fuck, it was necessary that you never got to know the man very well."

The term has seen a resurgence in popularity as third-wave feminism authors and theorists continue to use it while reinterpreting their approach to sexuality.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fear of Flying (novel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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