Ross Douthat: Welfare Mothers Make Better Lovers


New York Times columnist Ross Douthat contemplates the sex lives of the elite — Jon and Kate, Governor Sanford, Senator Ensign, and “two of the nation’s finest essayists.” What can we learn from these horrible people? That despite their “blase attitude toward pornography or premarital sex,” the upper crusties aren’t feeling the feeling. “The same overclass that was once most invested in erotic experimentation,” Douthat asserts, “ended up building the sturdiest walls against the passions it unleashed… When it comes to divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births, Americans with graduate degrees are still living in the 1950s.” You’d think Douthat, a longstanding member of the Junior Anti-Sex League, would be pleased by this development. But he thinks that “our meritocrats could stand to leaven their careerism with a little more romantic excess,” and to that end suggests “some creative matchmaking across lines of class and politics. The dutiful, somewhat-boring husbands from Sandra Tsing Loh’s Los Angeles, for instance, sound like ideal soulmates for Kate Gosselin, the soon-to-be-single mother of eight.” In other words, these bloodless toffs need some of what Lady Chatterley got — a roll in the hay with someone who stinks of honest toil, or Johnson’s Baby Powder. Maybe we can set up a federal program, or if that’s too cumbersome, give the toffs addresses of local dive bars. Though our experience suggests that they already have the directions.