In the last few months, I've heard more about the sex lives of twenty-something girls than I ever have in my life. And as a proud gay best friend to a number of NYC twenty-somethings, that's really saying something. Books, magazine articles, blog posts, HBO's "Girls", endless interviews of people related to HBO's "Girls", it's been all young women, sex, and millennial romance, all the time. No escape.
And out of that whole flood of commentary, the Gaggle is the only thing I've really liked, and the only one that rings true.
Rather than bemoan the change of social mores, or advocate manipulative "solutions", or depict young women as sad-sack messes lurching from one mistake to the next, Massa gives us real women, in common yet hilarious situations, who have made their peace with contemporary (non)-dating life and are having a ball. Instead of depicting romance as some separate universe, far removed from the venues where young women kick ass and take names on a daily basis (work, school, the kickball field), she shows us, with deft, funny, and often painfully relatable anecdotes, that romantic potential is an integral part of everyday life. The men in a girl's gaggle - the men with whom she shares some degree of romantic potential, often in very different ways - are all around her, at her office, on her team, at her friends' parties, and she doesn't need to wait around for some quasi-mystical "one," but have fun and make the most of what she has. The Gaggle doesn't advocate some radical life change, but instead gives a girl (or guy) the tools to make sense of what is already happening, and how best to enjoy it.
An actual voice for this generation - sorry Lena Dunham - Massa has written a tremendously funny, accurate, and most of all optimistic guide to making the most of your love life. We might not have all the answers, it tells us, but we're coming up with new ones all the time.