http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID_N7rv-iN8So, 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.