Chapter 1 provides foundation for the “Desire” section. Providing a historical backdrop from psychoanalytic literature on women and desire, it traces Freud’s legacy, along with the psychoanalytic theorists diverged from his deficit-oriented, phallocentric perspective. The chapter describes desire as a developmental path. By proposing that desire may be nurtured or thwarted during the course of development, it is possible to consider the context within which each woman’s desire may be affected by sexism, bias, and culturally dated stereotypes and norms, thwarting the healthy expression of creative, imaginal capacities.