Freedom to Talk Dirty

The Lewinsky mess has had a profound effect on conversation--not just what we speak about, but how

You might think that if I got into a taxi and the driver began making graphic references to sex acts, I'd jump out at the first stoplight. But when it happened to me earlier this year, I wasn't even alarmed. For one thing, the driver was a woman. For another, the sexual references were parts of jokes she was telling about current events. And lately, I had heard jokes like them in plenty of private conversations--even from my own mother.

The scandal that is now mercifully over has helped introduce a new explicitness into our conversations. But the Lewinsky matter is...

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