The Fear of Flying By Erica Jong. Are You Afraid To Fly?

In the 70’s, the book The Fear of Flying by Erica Jong was seen as the epitomy of sexual liberation and female emancipation. Isadora, the main protaganist, unhappy in her second marriage, is dreaming of the zipless f*ck.

It was a poignant read for me but not because of sexual emancipation because it made me realise that I am not always honest in my writing. I am giving you my best side. I am not telling you about my fat tummy, my stretch marks, my varicose veins, the ugly things I have done in my life, the things I regret, the people I have hurt and my certain intolerances. I am also not telling you about my true naughtiness and liberation, my genuine freedoms, my soaring mind that is limitless in my thoughts of infinite possibilities. I am not sure if I am really ready to let you know what a twat I can be and those moments that make my toes curl up to the sky. I am not sure if many people in my life are ready for my honesty and absolute truth; so for now I will just tell you about one truth. This is the story of one of my zipless f*cks because to be truthful there have been a few.

According the Urban Dictionary, it can be defined as thus:

“A phrase coined by Erica Jong in the book “Fear of Flying”. As described by her – It is a sexual encounter between strangers that has the swift compression of a dream and is seemingly free of all remorse and guilt. It is absolutely pure, there is no power game and it is free of ulterior motives. It has also been described as the perfect one night stand.

The zipless f*ck is the purest thing there is, rarer than the unicorn and I have never had one. – “Fear of Flying”

It was only after reading the Fear of Flying that I understood that I had in fact already experienced the zipless f*ck and that it had happened some 15 years ago before I knew that I was feminist. I have always thought I was free and I always have exercised my freedoms without guilt. Even today I don’t feel guilty that I am incarcerated by marriage and children. I just feel trapped like a caged bear looking for the key and working out how to unlock the door and release myself.

So this zipless f*ck happened when I was a student, at The College of St Mark and St John, or Marjons, as it was known. I was in my third year, and one day on campus I spied a fine looking specimen. He was young, handsome, lean and trendy, like a young David Beckham before tattoos; not quite Michelangelo’s David – he wasn’t perfection but he was beautiful, sculptured, young, dumb and full of cum. But I could see see inside his soul and it was clear that he had no depth. (Yes, I judged him and he was probably a young incarnation of Freud, but that is highly unlikely as most students at Marjons were studying to be PE teachers and I believe him to be one of those, so not that sharpest tool in the tin – no offence meant). He was what I would define as a man ‘who is just for Christmas and not for life’. All of the best zipless f*cks I have had are mute – the men don’t speak. I can’t engage in dialogue with them as it ruins the perfection. The first bodged zipless f*ck, I did try conversation but it just revealed how wholly incompatible we were really were.

“Ssh, sssh, ssh!” No speaking; just primitive, carnal, mutual consenting, protected f*cking please.

Thursday night was JFK’s student night and it was dominated by Marjons. Later on in the night, I was leaning across the bar ordering cheap poison when the specimen stood next to me looking as hot as ever. In my drunkeness and without a care in the world, I leaned across and said;
“How about you and me go back to my place for a no strings attached f*ck?”

He looked at me and without hesitation he said,

So we left the club, jumped in a taxi and headed back to my shared house.

What ensued was a night of animal passion and rampant humping. Safe sex, of course, welly boots and wetsuits. It was a great night, which resulted in carpet burns on my shoulders.

In the morning we both woke up and I looked across him and said;

“and your name is?”

He said, “didn’t we do this last night?”

“Just refresh my memory.”

He did reply, but I still can’t remember his name. All I can remember is that he was a deckchair attendant from Bridlington. There you have one of my zipless f*cks. The perfect one night stand. I didn’t care that I didn’t see him again and I didn’t want to see him again. He felt the same. We had agreed it from the start. All I wanted from him was that one great night. I don’t regret it one bit. He was hotter than a snakes ass and I even thought that in the morning.

In the Fear of Flying is that Erica Jong main protagonist is still Cinderella – men hold the answer to a woman’s happiness. She is still seeking their protection and permission to be loved. I think true emancipation is that the secret to happiness is found within ourselves and not from others. I am looking for the balance between men and women so that we are equally appreciated for our contribution and we are not slaves to each other.

Was this the act of true emancipation? Or was I a floozy? I don’t consider this to be the act of a floozy because I was single and I assumed he was single (although I didn’t ask as it would have ruined the moment). I wasn’t interested in exploring his personality. We were both consenting and we were sexually responsible, irresponsibly together. This is the freedom of the emancipated women to make these choices and to live with the consequences without judgement. 40 years on how, far have we come I wonder?

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