The state of our bedrooms in Obama Nation.

By Lynn Harris

Published February 11, 2009 9:28PM (EST)

Was "hope sex" just a one-night stand? Is POTUS porn all in our heads? Where are all the heh-heh jokes about "stimulus" and "package"? Well, according to a new poll at the Daily Beast, "Americans' romantic lives are undergoing a meltdown of their own."

Specifically: "They're less likely to go on dates (35 percent), and plan to spend less on dates when they bother (39 percent) ... The most popular gift for Valentine's Day? The proverbial dinner for two -- but probably cooked at home -- followed by an affordable ... card. Twelve percent of Americans aren't planning on buying any gift at all for their partner this year." (In related news, Web searches for "cheap engagement rings" are reportedly "off the charts.")

Also from the Beast: While you'd think free fun would be a draw, people making less than $75K a year report being more pessimistic about the future, more likely to feel a negative impact on their relationships, and more likely to argue about money and sex. "Not surprisingly, that translates pretty directly to the bedroom: Americans who make less than $75,000 plan to have less sex -- and even look at less sexual material -- in 2009."

Crap. And we were feeling so randy back in November! But insofar as the very, very personal is political, Ellen Friedrichs at counts the ways in which Obama Nation shows promise: support for actual sex ed, contraception, science-based HIV prevention programs, the LGBT community (Ick-Ray Arren-Way notwithstanding). I know. Hot.

At the same time, though The White House won't be hosting any Purity Balls, we'd do well to keep in mind that Congress, despite the Democratic gains of '08, is not exactly an orgy of sexually progressive politics; by NARAL's count, there's still an anti-choice majority. And a host of gross new sex-health laws on state books, or headed their way. Neither Barack Obama, nor the new lesbian Batwoman, can save us alone. In the interest of love and justice, we've got to stay all kinds of active.

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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