Sex and Sensibility
28 True Romances from the Lives of Single Women
The life of a single woman in the twenty-first century is full of new connections, new sex, new love, and new loss. It's about letting the laundry pile up, sipping strong drinks with near strangers, and dishing to girlfriends on those foggy-headed, flushed morning-afters. But it isn't all heightened connections and steamy dates. The single girl is no stranger to the scramble for a Saturday night plan, the oh-so-promising guy who took her number at a party and then -- poof! -- disappeared, the ever narrowing circle of unattached girlfriends....
In Sex and Sensibility twenty-nine of today's most acclaimed -- and often bestselling -- female authors write about the push-pull between independence and vulnerability, fearlessness and self-doubt that defines single life. Jennifer Weiner, Pam Houston, Laurie Notaro, Amy Sohn, and Julianna Baggott are just a few of the real-life heroines whose stories about long-distance dating, twenty-something divorce, online crushes, and thrilling one-night stands make up this funny, frank, and unabashedly erotic celebration of singlehood and sisterhood -- a quintessential handbook for today's independent woman.
Read an Excerpt
I blame the suburbs for making me a cocktease. Growing up in a small town in Delaware there were no malls, movie theaters, or cafés within walking or biking distance. There were no museums, no galleries, no book or record stores. There were, however -- in abundance -- boys.
Thus, my girlfriends and I spent a lot of restless hours hanging out at each other's houses, lying on canopy beds or on the shag-carpeted floor, door locked, tickling each other's arms and backs, gossiping about boys and what we'd do with one if we ever got one, occasionally hopping... see more
Reading Group Guide
The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion of Sex and Sensibility. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
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Questions and Topics for Discussion
Q. In the Introduction, we learn that today approximately 32% of U.S. women between the ages of 20 and 44 have never been married, as opposed to 19% of women in that same age group in 1970. Does this statistic surprise you? What are some of the reasons for this rise in the number of single women?
Q. In Confessions of a Teenage Cocktease, Elissa Schappell passes on advice given to her from her grandmother: Be a good date, not a great date, a good date." What were some of the ramifications of being too "great" a date?
Q. Pam Houston touches on the theme of female competition in her essay, In the Bowl of Lights that is La Paz, where she and a female co-worker compete over a handsome Italian architect. When he shows interest in her, she admits it "never occurred to her say no." Why do you think this is? Daisy Garnett, in her piece Sexual Healing, relates a similar theme..."like many women, when it came to sex, I was so grateful to be see more