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Beyond penetration ebook


« Why write a book on penetration? Because the subject is there, so present that it is invisible. Above all, I want things too often left unsaid to be heard. I want us to discuss, and think, and to consider sexuality as an element of human invention, of human culture, art and politics. I want the difficulties, the pain, the fear of being abnormal to be heard, and for us to say “fuck normality” if it signifies contempt and judgement for those who are different.  » – Martin Page

According to a recent report only 30% of women reach orgasm via penetration. Therefore, if penetration is truly about pleasure, it has to do with male pleasure and thus constitutes yet another way of perpetuating patriarchy.

Part essay, part manifesto, Beyond Penetration offers to shift our perception of what is considered the sexual norm, i.e. penetration, and see it as a social construct that, more often than not, does not take into account female pleasure. The book also includes various testimonies, some anonymous, some not, that illustrate the plurality of sexuality.

An established French author, Martin Page recognises his privileged position within society as a white heterosexual male who enjoys penetration. He offers to create a space to embrace different forms of sexuality and encourages all to question our standards of femininity, masculinity and gender stereotypes and how they all fit into society and the political spectrum; a necessary step in attaining true gender equality.

The original French edition of Beyond Penetration was edited by Coline Pierré and published by Monstrograph (www.monstrograph.com), a literary laboratory founded by Coline Pierré and Martin Page, before being republished by Le Nouvel Attila.

In the original French edition, the essay is followed by a series of personal testimonies regarding penetration, as well as an exploration of the context in which the book was written, and several pages of acknowledgements. Only the essay has been translated so far.

Martin Page is a writer and publisher. He is the author of novels, essays and books for children and young adults (www.martin-page.fr).

He and Coline Pierré (www.colinepierre.fr) edited and published Pauline Harmange’s book, Moi les hommes je les déteste(I Hate Men), Lou Sarabadzic’s book, Poétique réjouissante du lubrifiant (The Joyful Poetics of Lubricant), and the essay, Nos existences handies (Our Crip Lives), by the autonomist tetraplegic activist Zig Blanquer.

Beyond penetration has been translated in Italian and in Spanish (the Spanish translation is available for free on this website).

Roland Glasser translates literary and genre fiction, and assorted non-fiction, from French. He is a co-founder of The Starling Bureau, a London-based collective of literary translators (www.thestarlingbureau.com). He would like to thank Ruth Clarke for her keen copyeditor’s eye.


We are currently seeking an English-language publisher for this essay. 

Until then, the text may be downloaded for free on a strictly personal basis in pdf, mobi and epub formats. Prospective publishers, please contact Roxane Edouard at Curtis Brown: https://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/agent/roxane-edouard

The book is also available here at the Apple Book Store (for iPhone and iPad).

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