The AIDS epidemic has rolled back a big rotting log and revealed all the squirming life underneath it, since it involves, all at once, the main themes of our existence: sex, death, power, money, love, hate, disease and panic. No American phenomenon has been so compelling since the Vietnam War.
I am, I must confess, suspicious of those who denounce others for having too much sex. At what point does a healthy amount become too much? There are, of course, those who suffer because their desire for sex has become compulsive; in their case the drive (loneliness, guilt) is at fault, not the activity as such. When morality is discussed I invariably discover, halfway into the conversation, that what is meant are not the great ethical questions but the rather dreary business of sexual habit, which to my mind is an aesthetic rather than an ethical issue.