The nation is at war, conservative Christians are in power, a Republican mayor just swept the popular vote, and yet, if you put the word out on the streets that you’re casting for an orgy, voilà! The next day, twenty gorgeous young strangers will show up at a downtown photo studio, shed their clothes like so much baggage, and weave themselves into one big embrace. It just goes to show that despite everything—family values, STDs, $60-a-barrel oil—the sexual revolution is still here, and still going strong. Not that everyone is always aware of it—certainly not parents of teenagers. We interviewed 100 city kids about exactly what it is they do for fun, then asked 100 parents of teenagers what they think is really going on. (They’re waaaay off.) There’s a lot going on at a pharmaceutical lab in New Jersey, where a bunch of happy rats are busy testing an aphrodisiac—a real, honest-to-God answer to Spanish fly, one that works on women as well as men—that might be on bedside tables in as little as three years. At the Dugout, a gay bar downtown, we meet a growing contingent of hirsute, beflanneled men—bears, as they’re called—who are taking back the night from the depilated Chelsea boys. Meanwhile, many straightish couples are borrowing the kinds of intimate arrangements seen among gay men, where fidelity is anything but strict. Rats mating like bunnies, hibernating gay men, married couples aping gay couples—is it any wonder that parents are confused? We were, too—which is why we decided to devote this issue to everything you never knew, or were always afraid to ask, about sex.
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