Again, this is happening. The “Sex is Over” trend piece is back in a new incarnation, and it still sucks. To recap: first we had the Observer, then that mind gem from Meg Wolitzer, and now another Times piece, this time by Erica Jong. “Is Sex Passé?” Jong asks, causing this blogger to laugh out loud because are they seriously trying this one again. Let us be clear: sex is not over, it is not “passé,” and people are still having it. Is eating passé? Is breathing passé? Is the New York Times’ opinion content passé?
Well, let’s not waste too much time on this. In sum: it’s the same straw man argument about the Internet replacing sex, plus some boilerplate on how the daughters of baby boomers are different from their mothers. Logic-wise, things hold together for a while, and then the last three grafs devolve into a sort of tone poem about…something. Here’s the marrow of the piece:
Just as the watchword of my generation was freedom, that of my daughter’s generation seems to be control. Is this just the predictable swing of the pendulum or a new passion for order in an ever more chaotic world? A little of both. We idealized open marriage; our daughters are back to idealizing monogamy. We were unable to extinguish the lust for propriety.
As a bona fide young woman, I can vouch that sex is happening among the younger generation. I can’t speak to what’s happening with 30-somethings, but I think they might also be having sex too. I mean, maybe we’re not doused in patchouli, braless and rolling around in the mud with some hairy fellow at Woodstock, like Jong assumes our mothers were doing. But people are having sex, the way people tend to do. In the words of a commenter on the Times site who seems like a real handful, “Nicely written piece of old news. Next time look to your grand daughters for the next big trend and not your middle aged daughter.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 10, 2011