• Mon, Oct 11 2010

I Don’t Get Why People Care About Karen Owen

“Talking about Karen Owen and her fuck list now? Surely TheGloss is late to the party!”

No.

No, I am not late to the party. I didn’t want to go to the party at all. But now that my geriatric neighbors are talking to me about whether or not Karen Owen is a symbol of my generation (I think 85 year old Mrs. Steinberg down the hall wants to hang out and compare fuck lists, I really do) I feel like I’ve been abducted, bundled in my snuggie and dragged kicking, screaming, biting and wailing to the party.

So, fine. Fine, you harpies. Let’s talk about Karen Owen. More importantly, let’s talk about why Karen Owen and her now famous fuck list really shouldn’t be the that big a deal.

But first, who is this woman? Who is this talented woman who allowed men to ejaculate in her vaginal cavity and became famous for it? This is a woman who made a list of all the men she had sex with. They all looked the Winklevoss twins, and I suppose this is a sort of triumph in itself. She sent her  “sex thesis” onto some friends, it got leaked, and now, whoa, sheisonABCsymbolofagenration!!!!!!

Look, there’s nothing wrong with keeping a list of people you’ve slept with (this is a public service announcement from Giacomo Casanova). But why is there all the brouhaha?

There was an entire television show based around a woman chronicling her sexual escapades. It was a television show based off a book of newspaper essays written in the 90′s by Candace Bushnell. It wasn’t that shocking then. For a gold star, a monocle, and an invisible pair of Manolos, who can name that television show?

Oh, and then there’s Chloe Does Yale, which came out a few years ago and was based off of the Yale Sex Columnist’s pieces. (It was boring. Don’t read it. Hearing in detail about someone else’s sex life is always a bit like hearing about someone else’s dreams – it’s only interesting if you play a role).

But this is different! This is… how is it that different? They were real people? She included pictures of them? Figuring out who the characters are in Candace Bushnell’s “Sex and the City” column doesn’t exactly require putting on your detective hat. (It was all about Ron Galotti if you’re not inclined to so much as glance at your detective hat).

Was this different because Karen Owen’s writing style was so vastly superior? Not really. It could have been funny if she’d kept the style the same throughout. The faux-academic tone – talking about the men as “subjects” – was cute, but then it turns into “and then we fucked.” It’s the kind of writing almost every woman does in her diary.

It was different because it’s about female empowerment? No. She talks about her own insecurities extensively throughout her thesis. She talks about crawling into bed with people while black-out drunk. She notes “I had stopped being a real person.” That doesn’t sound empowering. That sounds dehumanizing, and it sounds like it sucks.

Look, as always, you should have sex with as many people as you want. People you know, people you don’t know, people you meet in airplane bathrooms, whatever. But you should feel really happy about it afterwards. Karen Owen doesn’t strike me as someone who sounds all that happy about how things worked out. You know, because she stopped feeling like a real person and not in the context of “because I was one with the immortal Gods”.

And, oh, Jesus, the cutesy tone the media is taking with this! An editor at Harper Collins say “I admire her sense of self-empowerment.” Karen Owen’s 4 (very) successful years! “Today reporter Jeff Rossen hilariously points out “People gossip with their friends all the time about sex… I’ve been told!”

How much booger sugar do these people have to do to come up with this shit? I’d honestly rather the olds talk about the list as being kind of sad than trying to prove that they’re down with the youngs by turning it into a a matter that they chuckle over in a hearty manner. Because seriously. It’s just not that cool.It’s not that interesting. And it’s all been done before.

In conclusion, I guess every party needs a pooper.

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  • porkchop

    For me, it’s not Karen so much as Duke University that makes this story so sweet. Despite it’s academic distinction, Nobel laureates, and invention of the invisibility cloak, Duke is known mainly for tobacco money, Richard Nixon, and arrogant, overprivileged sluts (both male and female). I’m thrilled to see Karen follow in the footsteps of Tucker Max and Tom Wolfe in chronicling the depravity of Duke’s campus. If this were a Lifetime movie, the university would be the battered woman.

    • Eileen

      Hey. Richard Nixon was ridiculously smart. Having him as an alumnus is an awesome thing for a school. Unless you were his ethics professor; then it kind of sucks.

  • Stephanie

    I agree with porkchop; Duke’s name recognition plays a large part of this. If she went to my college — a no-name college in the middle of Pennsyltucky (google it) — it wouldn’t have been a big deal.