HOT AND BOTHERED: Sex and Love in the Nineties by Wendy Dennis

HOT AND BOTHERED: Sex and Love in the Nineties

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Canadian journalist Dennis surveys the contemporary sexual landscape and finds it mostly a hostile desert with a few oases and many mirages. Nonetheless, she manages to report her findings with great humor and an overall sense of hope. What do women want? Contradictory things, Dennis's respondents confess: The brain wants sensitivity and political correctness, while other parts of the anatomy crave grunting cave men. Women want the freedom to have casual sex, yet often get enraged when a man balks at commitment. As for men, they're equally confused and more than a little angry. Feminism has demanded much of them, stripped them of traditional male privileges, and given them little in return. The result of all this mistrust and uncertainty, Dennis says, is that nobody knows how to get it on anymore: The mixed messages and second-guessing begin with flirting and end with his wondering whether he should call afterward. (If he says he will, or if he's had sex with her, he must, Dennis says--one of the few times in the book where she is deadly serious.) Add to all this uncertainty the threat of AIDS, and you get a lot of people putting a brave face on their loneliness and desperation, like the man who told Dennis that his coping strategy was autoeroticism after which ""he smoked two cigarettes and asked himself, 'Was it good for you?' ""But there's hope, the author concludes: Men and women miss each other, long to connect, and have suffered so much from the brutalities following the sexual revolution of the 60's that a new code of honor, compassion, and decency is evolving. Dennis goes on to offer a primer on contemporary sexual practices and coupling styles delivered in a down-and-dirty, funny, and informative fashion. Move over, Nancy Friday.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Viking