The latter is of course an impossible demand, and so many female writers are criticized when they (inevitably) fall short.”The British writer Olivia Laing isn’t exactly thrilled to be grouped into the category of women who write about matters of love and sex.
She was in Cambridge, England, when I reached her to discuss her approach to the personal.
Social mores had changed to accept a wider range of sexual practices.
Examples abound: Moira Weigel’s debut, “Labor of Love”; Kate Bolick’s dissection of singleness in her 2015 book, “Spinster”; Jessica Valenti’s recent memoir, “Sex Object”; Kristin Dombek’s starkly original take on threesomes in The Paris Review.These authors share something else, besides subject matter: They are women.Their books are a departure from the raw, unfiltered confessional writing that the internet seems to have fostered in recent years: inward-focused pieces on abortions and addictions and affairs we have gotten used to clicking on, or past.The result is her book, “Future Sex,” to be published Oct. Along the way, when she would talk about what she was working on, “certain editors — male editors — have commented on my ‘memoir,’” said Ms. “An editor said to me, ‘It seems like every woman has to write about this at some point.’ Um, yeah, because it’s one of the most important things about being alive right now?”It requires only a glimpse at bookstore windows to notice the phalanx of young authors challenging the idea that dating and sex aren’t serious enough topics for certain kinds of writers to engage with.Her past books, including “The Purity Myth” and “Full Frontal Feminism,” have been essayistic and polemical.But she, like so many of her feminist icons, invokes that old mantra about the personal and the political.“As a culture, we’re only comfortable with women’s sexual stories being told from a male point of view,” Ms. “It’s not that we’re not comfortable with women’s sexuality — we see women’s sexuality plastered all over ads and movies and television shows.“All I saw was loneliness and anxiety and frozen eggs and criticizing men.I wanted to find an independence from that.”When Ms.Witt began writing, she was nervous and reticent, and wrote in the third person.“I didn’t want to reveal a lot of myself,” she said.