Opinion

After Dobbs: What Is Feminist Sex?

Produced by ‘The Argument’

What is good sex? It’s a complicated question that feminists have wrestled with for decades. From destigmatizing premarital sex to embracing no-strings-attached hookup culture of more recent decades, feminism has often focused winning sexual freedoms for women. But some feminists have been asking if those victories have had unintended consequences, such as the devaluing of emotional intimacy in relationships. So: What kind of sexual liberation actually makes women freer? And how do we need to reset our cultural norms to get there?

[You can listen to this episode of “The Argument” on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, or Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In the final installment of our three-part feminism series on “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by Nona Willis Aronowitz and Michelle Goldberg. Willis Aronowitz is the sex and love columnist at Teen Vogue, and the author of “Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure and an Unfinished Revolution.” She’s also the daughter of Ellen Willis, a leader of the pro-sex feminist movement in the late 1960s and after. Goldberg is a Times Opinion columnist who has been writing about feminism for decades. The two discuss what it means to be sexually liberated, the limitations — and the rewards — of monogamy and just how much the individual choices people make in the bedroom shape the broader feminist movement.

Mentioned in this episode:

  • “The Case Against the Sexual Revolution,” by Louise Perry

  • “I Still Believe in the Power of Sexual Freedom,” by Nona Willis Aronowitz in The New York Times

  • “When Sexual Liberation Is Oppressive,” by Michelle Goldberg in The New York Times

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…Getty Images

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“The Argument” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Vishakha Darbha and Derek Arthur. Edited by Alison Bruzek and Anabel Bacon. With original music by Isaac Jones and Pat McCusker. Mixing by Pat McCusker. Fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta with editorial support from Kristina Samulewski.

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