Eve Tushnet Profiled in the NYT
This seems like the sort of thing the conservatives around here would cheer for:
While gay sex should not be criminalized, [Tushnet] said, gay men and lesbians should abstain. They might instead have passionate friendships, or sublimate their urges into other pursuits. “It turns out I happen to be very good at sublimating,” she says, while acknowledging that that is a lot to ask of others.
[S]ame-sex marriage, she wrote in The New York Post in 2007, “can bring one of three outcomes: A two-tiered marriage culture, where heterosexual couples are asked to do the hard things (sex only within marriage, marriage for life in most circumstances) and homosexual couples work out their own marriage norms; reshape marriage into an optional, individualized institution, ignoring the creative and destructive potentials of ‘straight’ sex; or encourage all couples to restrict sex to marriage and marry for life, and hope that gay couples accept norms designed to meet heterosexual needs.”
I wouldn’t cheer, mind you. My sense is that Tushnet doesn’t know as much as she thinks about either gay or straight marriages. Plenty of the latter are open, and at least some of the former are not. The two are more alike than she realizes or cares to admit.
As to reshaping marriage, that boat sailed a long time ago, possibly with the development of the pill. We can’t “ignore” the creative potentials of straight sex, but we can definitely sidestep them if we’re careful. Or we can — both gay and straight — face such responsibilities as adults. Growing up is hard. But we do it anyway.
Without wanting to gross anyone out, I will just say this. Having sex with my husband remains one of the most important, affirming, and beautiful experiences in my life. It is the culmination of everything else that we have built in our more than ten years together. I know it’s hard to understand. So is your intimate life, from where I sit. Life is a mystery. Frankly, I hope you have it as good as I do with the one you love. It won’t necessarily last a lifetime, I know, but when we’re old and wrinkly and have totally lost interest, I hope we’ll still sit around and remember, which will be fantastic too.
It’s great if your religion tells you to give up sex, and if you find something personally fulfilling in that. But what precisely that means about my life — and about the laws of our country — I have never been able to fathom.