It’s Always More Than Sex

Over at The Nervous Breakdown, Debra Monroe writes beautifully about sex and what writing about it reveals:

Today the so-called sexual revolution seems to have been only provisionally extended. Rape remains a crime for which we try not just the accused but the victim. Because of the internet and phone cameras, public shaming of women who’ve had sex—whether or not they’ve consented—has a terrifying ability to proliferate faster than  a communicable disease. And we’re still arguing about what “consent” means. It means to feel with. Yet it’s familiarly construed to mean a half-hearted “Yes, because objecting doesn’t seem worth the effort.” I wrote about sex because I hoped to depict more than measly consent, more than promiscuity and its repellent alter-ego, respectability. I wrote about sex because it’s a small moment that reflects big quandaries: the myriad ways young women will be allowed or persuaded to clasp or unclasp; the rituals that preserve at least a façade of inexperience; also that big taboo, single mothers with inconvenient longings.