The joy of abstinence

A humorous blog and a conservative think tank on the benefits of not having sex.


Judy Berman
August 28, 2008 12:30AM (UTC)

By the time they reach adulthood, most people have at least one good sex story. But far more entertaining than those are the tales we carry from our days as virgins, those awkward accounts of how we got "this close" to having sex and then, somehow, blew it. That's the contention of How Not to Get Laid, a blog that invites readers to submit their own failed sexual experiences for public consumption. Readers rate posts on a scale of one to five stars.

Some stories are quite funny, from narratives of nerdiness and rejection to missteps resulting in minor injury. But while Nerve seems to find the site hilarious through and through, I have to admit that many of the posts got to me. Men constitute the vast majority of storytellers, and several of their tales are subtly or glaringly misogynist. A 17-year-old writer boasts of kissing a girl in front of her angry father and then calling her a bitch when she doesn't kiss him back, while a traveler in his late 20s throws cold water on a potential conquest, just for kicks.

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Creepiest of all is one of How Not to Get Laid's few posts by a woman. Here's an excerpt:

Then he started having sex ... I'd say with me, but he didn't look at me, talk to me, pretty much ignored I was there. I started to have a panic attack, so I asked him to stop for a moment. He did. Then he started again. I asked again, for him to stop. He did, then immediately started again. I finally pushed him away, rather freaked out and feeling like a sex doll rather than a person, and told him I was done for the night. He shrugged, and started finishing himself off, on my breasts, while I was crying.

Call me a humorless feminist if you will, but that isn't funny so much as completely horrifying, as far as I'm concerned. The blog's readers give the post four stars.

Just when I couldn't stomach anything more about failed sexual encounters, I came across Feministing's delightful post on "Sense and Sexuality: The College Girl's Guide to Real Protection in a Hooked-Up World." The new pamphlet, distributed by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a conservative women's think tank, and written by Dr. Miriam Grossman, of "Unprotected" fame, is a farcical romp through the world of right-wing disinformation. Had more than five oral sex partners? Prepare to have throat cancer! And beware of the sluts in role models' clothing who show up on "Grey's Anatomy" and "Sex and the City": "In real life, Meredith and Carrie would have warts or herpes. They'd likely be on Prozac or Zoloft." And whatever you do, don't have sex! Unless, of course, you're ready to get married and have children. In that case, hurry up! Most women wait too long to have kids!

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But the real money shot, as Feministing points out, is the title of "Sense and Sexuality's" sixth chapter: "The Rectum Is an Exit, Not an Entrance." Words to live by, ladies.


Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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