Are Women These Days Not Into Sex?


Esquire writer Stephen Marche asks, “Where have all the loose women gone?” Excellent question!

Marche argues that “brilliant, funny, and powerful women are retreating from sex” and uses the Tina Fey character Liz Lemon as an example:

The most complicated and intelligent woman in television comedy barely ever has sex. She doesn’t sit on laps, either – “not a lap sitter,” she tells one handsome date she brings home in the first season. (He turns out to be her cousin.) She admits to losing her virginity at twenty-five and accidentally reveals that she doesn’t believe people can have intercourse standing up. Liz Lemon’s low libido is one of 30 Rock’s running gags…”

Things were not always so, Marche claims. He notes that just a decade ago, Seinfeld‘s Elaine Benes was “hilarious, smart, familiar with Russian novelists, an aggressive and demanding professional, and a woman who fooled around a lot.”

Of course, Marche being an egotistical heterosexual man (writing in a magazine for men), his real complaint is that this situation is a “disaster” for men. “Until now,” he writes, “feminism has been the best thing that ever happened to us, because it means we get to sleep with people rather than ciphers.” Okay, your opinion! But it is interesting that lately, the female characters in the entertainment zeitgeist — from Pam on The Office to the shrill duo of Bride Wars to the chaste, bloodless pairing in Twilight — have sex as the last thing on their minds. There was a Sex And The City movie in which Samantha barely had sex. Seinfeld‘s Elaine had just as much sex as the guys on the show — maybe more — and was neither labeled a slut nor thought of as a some aberration of the norm. She was just a modern woman. A woman who dates men, and has sex with them. Revolutionary?

So Marche mourns the lack of Elaines in this world. Putting aside his needs — and what men like Marche want for a moment — wouldn’t a smart, ambitious woman who has a healthy (meaning active) sex life be a great role model for women? Using 30 Rock as an example, the only choices shouldn’t be the prudish Liz Lemon or the disastrous Jenna Maloney, who is all wiggle and no wit. Seems like the only ladies “allowed” to be sexual these days are the dreaded “cougars,” and that label comes with its own mocking and derogatory baggage. So where have the loose women gone? Not you, or your friends, but the chicks on TV and in the movies? Let me know; I’ll be watching Seinfeld reruns trying to figure it out.

Where Have All the Loose Women Gone? [Esquire]

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