Saturday, June 05, 2004

CASUAL TEEN SEX: THE ABRIDGED VERSION. I've been too busy this week reading about Judith Miller's sex life and Alexandra Polier's non-sex life to have set aside enough time to wade through the New York Times Magazine's big cover story last week on teenagers' sex lives. But since I've already had to fumble through several conversations about this, I set aside some time this morning, and read all 7400 words of it.

Written by freelancer Benoit Denizet-Lewis, the article - which brings new meaning to terms like "friends with benefits" and "hooking up" - is a ripping good read. After all, it's about sex. But if you haven't read it yet, you probably never will. So in the best tradition of Slate's "series-savers," I will bring you up to speed:

1. Teenagers are still having casual sex.

2. The Internet makes it easier.

3. Most adults think this is bad. A few think this is good.

As magazine feature-writing, Denizet-Lewis's story is first rate. As sociology, it's highly suspect. Other than the technological advances that ease the logistics of casual teen sex, there is nothing in here that is persuasive on the matter of things being much different from what they were 20, 30, or 40 years ago. In fact, Denizet-Lewis is too honest to claim otherwise, although there is much huffing and puffing designed to make you think things have changed dramatically.

If you were getting it then, you'd probably be getting it today, too. And if - like, I suspect, most of us - you weren't getting any then, things probably wouldn't be much different in 2004.

No comments: