The book begins by quoting Henry Miller and Norman Mailer. Millett examines sex scenes by both authors in which a male main character seduces a compliant woman who is insatiably hungry for sex, then humiliates, beats, sexually assaults, or murders the women. Millett argues that the scenes have political undertones. By punishing women for their sexuality the male characters enforce the rules of patriarchy, which Millett defines as “the birthright priority whereby males rule females.” She feels these male characters are stand-ins for the authors themselves, whom she feels are mired in violent sexual myths designed to maintain men as a ruling class. In contrast, she applauds the writer Jean Genet for writing queer sex scenes that critically examine these myths. Genet’s work points to the “sick delirium of power and violence” that must be analyzed if society is to achieve sexual liberation