“Trendy” sex is over in 2009

Best Sex Writing 2009 guest judge gave the book a great plug in his latest MSNBC.com column (and a shoutout to one of my favorite pieces about sex in a very long time, Stacey D’Erasmo’s “Silver Balling,” originally published in Ellen Sussman’s anthology Dirty Words).

He also says that “trendy sex” is over, and if so, I say, Hallelujah! The idea that people are engaging in sexual acts because “everyone else is doing it” is sad and ludicrous to me. At the same time, I think we need more sexual information and I’d love to see more sex journalism and exploration of all the nooks and crannies of sex, the hidden worlds and the smaller subcultures, because I think what happens when you ignore those on the margins is that those who are in the closet or confused or ashamed stay that way because they feel like they’re the only ones.

Here’s Brian Alexander:

There is more to this than the economic downturn. These are signs of a waning hypersexual age.

The prediction does not ratify a phony moral revival. The end of sex trendiness has a lot to do with the fact that efforts to enforce religion-based sexual conservatism are over, too, at least for now. Defiance helped animate the rise of sex trends. With less force pushing in, there will be less force pushing out.

Recent studies showing that abstinence pledges can be harmful because they don’t stop teens from having sex, especially unprotected sex, is only further evidence that religious ideology makes for bad public policy. With any luck, we are about to install a government that will actually listen to the data.

Doing it, but not so much talking about it
Neither does it mean we are about to stop having sex, or trying things new to us, nor will we stop needing solid information about sex or having fun exploring it.

Rather, people are going to choose their own sexual paths but not talk about it so much. Some will choose abstinence until marriage and monogamy and intercourse strictly for procreation. Others will experiment and explore. To each his own.

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