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Sex and the single socialist

Dear Auntie, I'm a sociable, but single, socialist. A friend of mine recommended I sign up to an online dating website, but I'm uncomfortable with the idea - it strikes me as the death of sociability. What should I do? Sue, Stratford

August 1, 2007
2 min read

Dear Sue,

It can certainly be hard to find love on the left – screaming your lungs out about the evils of Occupation is rarely the most attractive of mating calls. Pulling at political meetings can be a deeply depressing experience too, unless you want to attract self-important middle-agers whose idea of romance is plotting for the revolution. With such unpromising options at your disposal, there are worse options than online dating. Sure, it can seem like the commodification of intimacy, but getting too worked up about shopping for dates isn’t going to help you find one.

If you really can’t face that, there are some other options. Local and academic libraries can be a hotbed of horny hacks. Park yourself behind a copy of Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts and wait for your Engels to show up.

If that doesn’t strike you as a likely prospect, you could try flirtatiously Facebooking old friends – as long as lurking exes don’t inadvertently scupper your chances. Or you could take a hands on approach to international solidarity and go globetrotting for eligible Trots.

If that doesn’t yield an eligible partner, you might want to embrace a more fundamental criticism of your desire for coupledom. As a political lesbian, I used to rail against ‘the inturned emotional exclusiveness of the couple, which students the partners so they can no longer operate at all as independent beings in society’. Nowadays, though, I’ve embraced Anthony Crosland’s social democratic credo that ‘abstinence is not a good foundation for socialism’. He advocated ‘more, not less spooning in the Parks of Recreation and Rest’. For £6 a month, plus a profile that promises ‘socialist seeks similar for sex, sauciness and spooning’, I’m doing my bit for the cause.

Further advice and discussion on this subject can be found on the new Red Pepper forums under the hugely popular ‘Sex and socialism‘ thread.


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