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Jennifer Savage's reductionist portrayal of marital sex as a hurried athletic romp ("Steamy Windows," Feb. 11) exemplifies the decay and meretriciousness of American popular culture and current presidential politics: want of discretion, modesty and respect. Her prodigal disclosures are painfully devoid of love, beauty, poetry, tenderness, romance and eroticism. Anaïs Nin, George Sand and Madame du Barry would be mortified by this graphic picture of aridity and jadedness. Is the column intended as reality TV in print (exhibitionism, solipsism, prurience) or as an invitation to Peeping Toms at one remove?

Whatever the author's misguided purpose, the result is a study in sophomoric regression. Scarcely a mutinous teenager would find it hip or cool. Pity would seem to be in order but pity, as Max Beerbohm said, is little sister to contempt and that is Ms. Savage's grievous sin against the very soul of eroticism — the very embodiment of the love and teeming energy of throbbing, passionate, uncontainable life.

Paul Mann, McKinleyville

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