Rough

Rough

How violence has found its way into the bedroom and what we can do about it

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

A bad sexual experience.

A grey area.


Not rape but...

A violation - these are the terms we use to describe the experiences we don't have words for. The way we talk about topics such as sex, consent, assault aren't fit for purpose.


Rough is a revolutionary non-fiction work exploring the narratives of sexual violence that we don't talk about. Through powerful testimony from 50 women and non-binary people, this book shines a light on the sexual violence that takes place in our bedrooms and beyond, sometimes at the hands of people we know, trust, or even love. Rough investigates violations such as 'stealthing,' non-consensual choking, and non-consensual rough sex acts that our culture is only starting to recognise as sexual violence.

The book explores the ways in which systems of oppression manifest in our sexual culture - from racist microaggressions, to fatphobic acts of aggression, and ableist dehumanising behaviour. An intersectional, sex-positive, kink-positive work, the book also examines how white supremacy, transphobia, biphobia, homophobia, and misogyny are driving forces behind sexual violence.

Rough is an urgent, timely call for change to the systems that oppress us all. It's time for a societal shift. As individuals with agency within our sexual culture we have the power to remodel our behaviour and this book shows us how.

© Rachel Thompson 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Reviews

  • An unflinching examination of the damaging sexual narratives often hidden or less talked about, Rough looks at the way culture and gender perceptions influence our behaviour in bed. Thompson's writing is burning and unapologetic, and contracts with sharpness and verve. An important, thought-provoking read which renders systems and personal attitudes, and starts a helpful dialogue (in a hope to) to kindle positive change.
    Nataliya Deleva

About the author

Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is a journalist specialising in reporting on sex, relationships, and gender. Rachel is the senior culture reporter at Mashable, and has written for The Sunday Times, CNN, ELLE, The Telegraph, and HuffPost. She is also the host of History Becomes Her podcast, which explores the inspiring stories behind women currently making history.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more