Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.


Ok. Interested to hear your thoughts on this whole David Letterman thing. I, for one, can't be bothered with all the media fallout and accompanying drama.

Letterman always struck me as comfortably iconoclastic. Married late, after being partnered for 20-odd years; had a kid out of wedlock a few years prior to that; remained his acerbic self and just kind of did his own thing. I can respect that. Always have.

So all of these cultural commentators are talking about the "power dynamics" implicit in his romantic liaisons and how "sexual harassment" was potentially involved and will he get fired? and blah blah blah. And I don't know exactly why, but I. Don't. Care. People have flings. Stop acting like it's an aberration. Long-term sexual monogamy is unrealistic and unsustainable. It's not a power thing or a coercion thing or some big dramatic hoo-hah. It's a matter of two people being attracted to one another and acting on it and Dave wasn't even necessarily in a closed relationship (do any of us really know the intricacies of his arrangement with Regina?) and that's life, my friends, and maybe this, along with the John Edwards scandal and the John Ensign stuff and blah-di-blah is just more and more evidence that our cultural model of long-term sexual monogamy is obsolete. Hmmm? (Have you seen Mad Men? There was no golden era of monogamy. This is no modern development. People were cheating on their spouses hundreds of years and myriads of cultures ago. And isn't it about time that we separate the biological urge to copulate from the admittedly very necessary socio-economic unit that is the nuclear family based in long-term partnership? Why can't we have both? Is sexual monogamy really so intrinsic to the successful stand-alone economic unit that raises the next generation while providing a realistic semblance of tribal structure for children and a means of caring for the elderly?)

That said, there's also this very irritating interview over at Salon right now with the authors of a new book on why women have sex, who have purportedly done all this revelatory research to answer that question. The article reads very generically, I have to say; I didn't find anything there that I haven't read a million times before, and the whole thing left me with a sour taste in my mouth, particularly the bit about how hookup culture ostensibly looks consistent across gender lines but maybe it's really about women having someone to call when they need a lightbulb changed. Ahem. Excuse me? What planet are you from?

Read the article. Not sure why it rubbed me the wrong way, but I guess I'm just tired of these attempts to explain culturally-constructed, complex sexual behavior. It's not all biology, it's not all culture, it's a messy mix of the two, and that's why we end up with drama like Dave's: because we try to impose socially-constructed frameworks on biologically-ancient drives.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Why Do Women Have Sex? (Salon)

Comments

freelancer said…
I don't really care about the Letterman scandal either. However, sexual harassment is pretty serious. I just can't seem to believe it had any role in the relationships. Also confounding to me is who would find him so sexually desirable. But hey, we all have our types.

I'm still a fan of monogamy, but I recognize I'm wired differently than a lot of people. I don't think it will be all that hard. However, I could see myself being open in a relationship. But, hypothetical scenarios are much different than reality.

BTW, have you read The Commitment by Dan Savage? I would assume you have, but if it somehow missed your list you should absolutely check it out.

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