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Overthinking Casual Sex

Judy Berman over at takes gentle aim at The Clothes that Got Me Laid--a website that is pretty much what the title suggests. Here's Berman's quick description of how the site works:

The morning after a sexual encounter (you know, when most people are going home to get some sleep or trudging off to work with a hangover), you e-mail the blog a detailed account of last night's festivities, including what you wore. Some time after receiving your message, the site's anonymous blogger will use your submission to concoct a tale of sex and style to post on the site. Plus, she'll post photos of clothes readers can buy online that match your descriptions, thus enabling them to purchase an outfit that has already sealed the deal for one lucky lad or lady.

And here's her basic objection to the site:

Now, I know this is all in good, stupid fun, so I'm not going to get all bent out of shape about it. But I do find it annoying. There's just something pathetic about the idea that sex appeal is something you can go out and purchase, whether the cash you're shelling out is for breast implants or a $372 pair of riding boots. (Never mind that a recession seems like a particularly inappropriate moment to push the idea that consumerism leads to fulfillment.)

At the heart of what bugs me about the Clothes That Got Me Laid is the lip service it pays to third-wave feminism. Contrary to popular stereotype, the movement isn't just about wearing makeup and sleeping around. It's about individuality, freedom and personal agency. Could someone remind me again what those three things have to do with decking yourself out in other people's outfits because you don't have the confidence to snag a bed buddy all by your cute, smart, witty self?

I have an even more basic question about this site: Do most gals really have to put much thought into their outfits just get laid? Seriously. I don't care if you're a proponent of first, second, third, or twelfth-wave feminism, the basic rules of getting laid remain pretty much the same for women: Walk into a bar (the kind of bar you pick obviously depends on the kind of man you want to score with) wearing something slightly clingy and showing a little cleavage. High-heels are good. Boots are good. Showing a little leg is good--unless you have seriously ugly stems, then maybe stick with jeans. Alternatively, if you are an attractive woman, you can walk in wearing a baggy sweat suit and scratching yourself and still wind up with a hot hook up.

I understand men fretting about this sort of thing. Evolution and/or society program women to be picky about sexual partners. But there is a reason why the men-and-women-can't-be-friends exchange between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in "When Harry Met Sally" was so fricking funny.

Crystal: Because no man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her. 

Ryan: So you're saying a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive.

Crystal: No. You pretty much wanna nail them too.

The movie--and I--exaggerate for entertainment purposes. But I must admit to considerable concern if the sexual revolution has brought us to the point where a gal has to stress out, much less take fashion tips from strangers, about whether she will be able to find--not a husband, a boyfriend, or a friend-with-benefits--but simply a desirable one-night stand. No wonder two-thirds of Americans think this country is headed in the wrong direction. 

--Michelle Cottle