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



Rough is a revolutionary non-fiction work exploring the narratives of sexual violence that we don't talk about.

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.

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.

'An incredible investigation into a frighteningly common part of our sexual experience,' Dr Fern Riddell

'Rough speaks to how many women often feel after sexual encounters ...This book is excellent and demonstrates just how valid those feelings are,' Adele Walton, founder of Humanitarian Hotgirl


  • Rough is one of the most comprehensive and interesting books I've ever read. I recommend it to all my friends and patients as essential reading in the world of psychosexual therapy. I cannot say enough good things about it. You won't put it down.
    Gigi Engle, author of 'All The F*ing Mistakes'

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.
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