Now Let’s Talk About Abstinence, Ada, I’m not done talking about sex! When I was writing about Flanagan’s piece, I started thinking about a recent article by Jessica Grose, with whom—disclaimer—we are both friendly. In an article entitled “Sex-Positive Women Reconsider Abstinence.” Jessica chalks some of twenty-something women’s new interest in not having sex to their cycling through sexual rebellion and regret more quickly than past generations, partly thanks to their sex lives being publicly chronicled via the internet.

I think this emphasis on abstinence is concerning. I think girls not having sex in high school or college or whenever it is that they don’t want to is totally cool. For all my early and intense sexual experimentation, I didn’t actually have sex until college (for a variety of reasons—including that I was afraid that I was totally sure I was going to get pregnant and totally sure that I would never get out of my shitty town). But I hate the idea of abstinence being A Thing, something girls declare about themselves a la “I’m abstinent!” Deciding whether or not to have sex seems like it should be more of a fluid, case-by-case, moment-by-moment thing, and not something that gets bound up in an identity or even a politics. Because that was another thing we talked about today: how damaging the 90s identity politics witch hunts could be.

I’m only skimming the surface here. There is tons more to parse. But I wonder: are there other ways to think about sex and romance in the lives of 90swomen and of teen girls today? How do we think about this supposed new emphasis on sexual abstention in that context? Do you regret being slutty in the 90s? Just kidding! I know you don’t. Wait, maybe not kidding. Whether or not we–and other 90swomen–regret the kinds of experiences that Flanagan seems to think we do or we should actually seems like a good subject.

And I didn’t even get into one of our main topics today—and one of both of our favorites—which is the place of performance when it comes to sex. Another thing for us to discuss?

PS. Please enjoy the (80s) video. I remember this song coming on the radio when I was sitting in the backseat of my mom’s car with my aforementioned grade school obsession one day when she was driving us home. We laughed and laughed.

1 Comment

Filed under Kara

One response to “Now Let’s Talk About Abstinence

  1. PS. Does this post even make sense? It did in my head. Regardless, I am interested in the sluttiness question.–Kara

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