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In Defense of Sexual Freedom

Posted on March 5 2010 11:49 pm
Jenn escaped blue state academia for redder pastures in the South. Follow her on Twitter and read more of her work at

Dirrrty girl Christina Aguilera has given up half-naked floor humping and even the fictional Carrie Bradshaw recently traded in her Sex and the City escapades for marital bliss. Apparently, there’s something terribly wrong with these developments.  There’s a “new backlash against casual sex,” says Jessica Grose in her latest piece for Slate, a “new wave of anti-orgasmic sexual conservatism that makes you hate yourself for what you did last night.”

Grose blames cultural conservatism and neo-Victorian morality for the latest iteration of what she calls “the shame cycle,” an era of sexual regret among women who participate in casual flings. Internalized conservative values, it seems, are forcing women to end their delightfully liberating one-night stands with the dreaded walk of shame, causing many to consider more chaste lifestyles.

The five or six celebrities and authors Grose says have jumped on the chastity bandwagon are hardly evidence of a cyclical phenomenon. But even if we are entering a period in which women are rejecting their inner Girls Gone Wild, why the blame game?

Shouldn’t genuine feminists celebrate women seizing their sexual destinies? Or is embracing your inner hoochie the only path to sexual freedom?

Grose answers that question by linking approvingly to a quote from it is a “feminist duty to 1) seek pleasure and feel entitled to it and 2) to make the world a more orgasmic place for other women.”

Got that, ladies? If you’re not out there hooking up with every passing fancy, you’re shirking your feminist responsibilities.  You owe it to your comrades!  Is it any wonder that Feministing founder Jessica Valenti made an abstinent college student cry during a lecture on the myth of purity?

The problem with viewing sex as a “feminist duty” is that it muddies the waters between the personal and political in a way that is ultimately damaging to men and women alike. When casual sex is a feminist act, it’s a political act, not a personal, sensual one. And having sex out of a sense of political duty is disturbingly antithetical to the notion of sexual freedom.

I was born in 1975. There’s never been any doubt in my mind that I can pursue the same opportunities as men, including promiscuous sex if that’s what rings my bell.  But it’s not my political responsibility to demonstrate that women can do anything men can do.

Who really gains when the personal and interpersonal get lost in the political? Instead of individuals examining our desires and weighing them against potential consequences, the “feminist” Left encourages women to measure desires against how well their fulfillment would exemplify sexual liberation as a political ideal.

At some point, feminism shackled us to a single interpretation of sexual freedom.  But “girl power” doesn’t come packaged in last night’s dress with a monster hangover and a DNA stain of indeterminate origin.

Sexual freedom is about self-discovery and self-determination, not eyebrow-raising political statements. It’s about real choice, not a sanitized list of acceptable options.  And it’s about finding a morally comfortable place between promiscuous and puritanical without the pressure of a hook-up culture that devalues and derides courtship, dating, and emotional attachment.

Jessica Grose says that part of the “backlash against casual sex” comes from the “73 percent of women born between 1977 and 1989 [who] place a high priority on marriage.” I guess their version of sexual freedom is the wrong kind.

Watch out for those marriage fetishists! They’re bound to leave Western civilization in ruins.


Follow Jenn Q. Public on Twitter and read more of her work at

25 Responses leave one →
  1. March 6, 2010

    It sometimes seems like people today have forgotten the meaning of the concept of doing things in moderation.

    Great piece Jenn


  2. March 6, 2010

    One point to make though is that in both examples cited these were entertainers and the risque shtick was just part of the show, I highly doubt whether either individual possessed such a lifestyle off the stage. Sex sells, once it stopped selling they went onto the next gimmick.
    As for the so called feminists, one would think that if they were genuinely interested in the economic, social, and psychological welfare of their fellow sisters that they would value self respect above all else. Anyone, not just women, following that self destructing program of becoming a promiscuous "walking mattress" to bed one for the team could not possibly have any self respect.

  3. March 6, 2010

    When you try and politicize some fad or movement, you are building a false god to be worshipped
    at the alter of politics. God said not to worship other gods, because they especially make you a
    slave, and instead of experiencing true freedom, you are shackled and destined to live a life of
    depravity and ruin.

  4. March 6, 2010

    The feminist mystique lost my interest when science proved digestion preempted sexual reproduction on a molecular level. Put simply, there is nothing natural about OCTO-MOM's 12" octo-pusser.

  5. March 6, 2010

    "And the pursuit of happiness" does not mean "and the pursuit of promiscuity." Promiscuity, including all of homosexuality, can not be done in respect to the Creator. As such, such behavior undermines the political basis for our natural and unalienable rights.

    In other words, adult consensual sexual perversity and debauchery self-alienates the culture from the theological basis of our political rights. Unfortunately FPM/DH doesn't understand or embrace this.

  6. March 6, 2010

    I am not young (60 going on 61) and remember when everyone was into free and easy talk (not to mention doing more than just talk) about sex. I remember when you could walk into any bookstore and see books like Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but were Afraid to Ask*, The Joys of Sex, books by Masters and Johnson, et cetera. And then, somewhere in the 1980's, all of a sudden everybody was into the sexual harassment crusade. I get the feeling that many of those who had a fit when Clarence Thomas was confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, were the same people who were into sexual liberation when that was the big fad.

  7. March 6, 2010

    Sex as a political duty, hmmmm. No wonder these aging hippies like to run around naked at protest rallies.

  8. March 6, 2010

    "Duty" to hook up? Another example of how feminism tried to free women and wound up freeing men far more. Why should a man grow up so long as the opposite sex has a "duty" to care for his carnal desires without consequence or cost? Could someone please explain this concept of sexual duty to my wife?

  9. March 6, 2010

    Grose answers that question by linking approvingly to a quote from it is a “feminist duty to 1) seek pleasure and feel entitled to it and 2) to make the world a more orgasmic place for other women.”

    As a man, I always thought feminism was all about getting women out of the house, getting them into the work place, and getting them the same wages as a man. I thought the whole idea behind feminism was that they could do anything a man could do, and maybe do it better. Who would have ever figured that it was all about sex, sex, sex.

    My wife absolutely hates feminism, and she's always griping about having to go to work. She keeps saying that she wishes this was the fifties, so she do the Mrs. Cunningham thing from "Happy Days," and stay at home with the kids.

    I personally think that feminism should be anything that brings inner peace to a woman and makes her feel appreciated.

  10. March 6, 2010

    Seeing as Hugh Heffner and Playboy Inc. was the largest contributor to Ms. Magazine I'm not suprised that hard core Femminist equated sexual equality with a "Do it in the Road" attitude.

  11. March 6, 2010

    can anyone tell me where i can find a feminist that needs to fullfill her political duty? i'm willing to do my part to advance this particular agenda.

  12. March 6, 2010

    I've been married and divorced a number of times, and I speak out from experience..and heartache. I say the hell with feminist crap and propaganda…God made all creation male and female for excellent reasons!!

    Women are not men, and thank God for it! Men are not women, and thank God for that! There is amazing chemistry and delight between a man and a woman, and I think the differences should be appreciated and celebrated, not scorned and trampled upon.

    This is the best….from my own experience, and from the Word of God…it's best to stay pure until marriage…even if one has had many "sex partners" or other marriages, it's never too late to just say no, and remain close friends until the wedding night! I know! I finally managed to do as I am now preaching…and I have been happily married for almost 11 years now…to a wonderful man who also had made up his mind to stay chaste until marriage, even tho he, too, had been married more than once and divorced.
    It's healthy, and possible to employ the virtue of self control, and very, very worth it! Why muddy the waters of truth with sexual immorality anyway? The truth is far easier to attain if the waters of romance remain pure and clean.
    And it's also very fun and exciting!

  13. March 6, 2010

    As the pendalum swings back and forth we see the results of the rebel female doing her thing. The void of women being treated as male property has been removed to allow women self determination which I see as a liberation of the mind.The FEMINIST who used her bod as a Marxist Political sex expression had to realize a single liberated woman with 3 or 4 kids is not really wanted by a work oriented liberated male who enjoys female sexual freedom. So let the Sexual Liberated Female pursue her loveless sexual expression. In the end the liberated female realises her place in nature and fulfills her inate female drive with a true partner and family.

  14. March 6, 2010

    Jessica Grose obviously just hates herself and "what [she] did last night." But since she can't own up to her own inability to control her sensual desires and the hollow pit that leaves her, she blames the women whose choices have freed them from the sexual slavery that feminism induces… The truly sad thing (and little known fact) is that the more frequently sex is shared with a stranger, the less able a women is able to even become sexually aroused and more limited in having an orgasm. The greatest tragedy of the the feminist sexual charade is that it has completely shredded the soul of women, the part that bonds, loves, nurtures and ultimately finds JOY in relationship.

  15. March 6, 2010

    typo–I meant "a woman"

  16. March 6, 2010

    Excellent piece. Thank you.

    I have to believe the women's movement has higher goals than to encourage woman to service an unending succession immature and irresponsible men. The real beneficiaries of such an ideology (quick clue to the trolls "How do you handle a hungry ___") is so blindingly obvious as to invite satire.

  17. March 6, 2010

    But also let us not forget that impromptu sexual indulgence serves the counter theological purpose of shaping existential identity by affirming the instinctive and with it, evolution, and capriciousness as the analogue of a random beginning.

  18. March 7, 2010

    The continuing fraud that denies women their embedded, by nature, sexuality that has been a prime pleasure and motivator for the continuation of our species is tragic. Religions, especially Christian and Islam, insist that sexuality is a necessary evil only useful for creating progeny places guilt uppermost ihe human mind that adheres to this crap.____Free exercise of human pleasures is condemned. Why? Because it would distract from the "pleasure" and "righteousness" of knowing and believing in this fantastamagorical being who never made an appearance outside of conjuured myth justified by threat and fear.____The urge to merge is THE basic and PRIME instinct that we are born with. People of religion condemn this human urge that cannot be denied unless we fear that pleasure for humans is all wrong. Calvinistically and St Augustine ("Chastity is god's plan"–but not yet for me") spend much time denigrating this sine qua non that RULES ALL BEINGS ON THIS PLANET.____With life being for most people being a struggle of the mind and body, sexuality offers unbounded pleasure we can take with each other that helps make life NOT a trial for the sake of the religionists.____Women should enjoy the pleasures of life–unihibitedly.

  19. March 7, 2010

    I've had over 100 lovers and no regrets. Sex is great. Lovers are better than friends.

  20. March 7, 2010

    Children are shooting each other in schools. It seems to be an every day occurrence now. Maybe some of the brilliant advancements and choices we've made are terribly wrong.
    But HEY! Not MINE!

  21. March 7, 2010

    I'm a 50 year-old woman whose been married for 17 years. For 10 years prior to that I was a sexual libertine. It is only now that I able to see what a fool I made of myself and how I let myself be used by people who would never consider me for a wife.

  22. March 9, 2010

    The sexual liberation has been great! One long free ride for men. The women end up getting screwed in the end…

  23. July 8, 2012

    What? we are going backwards? making casual sex and orgasms immoral? the conservatives have too much power!

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