Saturday, June 15, 2002

Modern Sex: Liberation and its Discontents

a book by Myron Magnet

The 1960s sexual revolution made a big promise: if we just let go of our
inhibitions, we'll be happy and fulfilled. Yet sexual liberation has made
us no happier and, if anything, less fulfilled. Why?

...Sex today is increasingly mechanical and without commitment -- a
department of plumbing, hygiene, or athletics rather than a private
sphere for the creation of human meaning. The result: legions of unhappy
adults and confused teenagers deprived of their innocence, on their way
not to maturity but to disillusionment. As the reports in Modern Sex tell
us, the beginning of wisdom lies often in realizing that what we are
doing is not working, so that instead of doing more of the same we should
be doing less. These beautifully written essays on subjects ranging from
the TV show Sex and the City to teen sex to the eclipse of the manly
ideal to the benefits of marriage add up to the deepest, most informative
appraisal we have of how and why the sexual revolution has failed and how
we might begin to reconstruct the relations between the sexes in ways
that reconcile freedom with humanity.