Many of us learned this stuff the hard way, at the dawn of the feminist revolution. The 1970s were paradise for men. They told us that if we didn’t sleep with them we must be unliberated and sexually uptight. I can’t tell you how many women swallowed this cow manure before we smartened up.
But now, young women are peddling this manure to themselves. In a world that’s already disturbingly oversexualized, they insist that sexual display and promiscuity (dare I use that word?) are synonymous with female empowerment.
These days, in fact, sexual restraint is a sign that something must be wrong with you. Last week, a young woman named Ali Rachel Pearl confessed in an essay in The New York Times that she hadn’t had sex for two whole years. She can’t really explain why. There was a guy who broke her heart, and so on. It turns out that this strange condition even has a name – “secondary abstinence.” As she tells it, her friends are aghast. “How can you go so long?” they ask. “Get rid of your hang-ups.” “Be more open.” “Stop being afraid.” They all feel sorry for her.