I’m Louise Perry, author of The Case Against the Sexual Revolution, the book that almost no one wanted to publish, but which has apparently changed an enormous number of lives for the better – not least my own.
I don’t think anyone expected The Case Against the Sexual Revolution to make much of an impact, but for some reason it did. In the nine months since it was published, I’ve had many, many hundreds of messages from people who tell me that the book has had a profound effect on them. In particular, I often hear from young women who tell me they had never in their lives come across the facts and ideas contained in the book – not just the basic information about human behaviour and sexuality, but also the moral message.
I don’t think this response to my work is the result of my own brilliance or originality, because nothing in The Case Against the Sexual Revolution is blindingly original (as I pointed out several times in the book itself).
Rather, I think that it came along at an important moment. Almost everyone now acknowledges that our sexual culture is dysfunctional but, until recently, it has been difficult for anyone in a progressive milieu to speak honestly about why it is so dysfunctional, for fear of challenging the progressive narrative of feminist history.
I think often of the young woman who described turning down a miserable opportunity for a hook up because, having read my book, she said she felt “armed with permission” to defend her own sexual boundaries. Why would she need “permission” to do such a thing? Because we have all been lying to ourselves, and to each other, about the true nature of male and female sexuality.
But a war on reality can only be waged for so long before reality starts to reassert itself. There’s a line from David Brooks that I love:
While social repair does not happen at scale, it happens in rooms one by one and those things build up and slowly change norms and norms do scale.
I want this Substack to contribute, in a small way, to that process of social repair.
To that end, I will be hosting conversations with a wonderful range of guests, all of whom have something important and interesting to say about sexual politics: philosophers, evolutionary biologists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, feminist campaigners, and many more. We launched the Maiden Mother Matriarch podcast in February 2023 and the response so far has been extraordinary, both in terms of the numbers of listeners we’ve attracted, and also the feedback we’ve had. We seem to be doing something right.
I also want to create a place where I can generate conversations with my readers and listeners, including on the subject of my next book, the working title of which is The Case For Having Kids (I promise I’ll stop making ‘the case’ for things after this one!). I get smart and thoughtful messages every day from people who want to engage with my work, via email and on twitter. But twitter is a terrible place to have a proper conversation because its incentive structure is so awful. So I’d like to offer people the opportunity, not only to engage with me, but also to engage with each other. That’s what this Substack is for.
Why pay to subscribe?
Our intention in the medium term is to make the podcast bi-weekly in order to reach an even bigger audience, and we’d also like to be able to film at least some of our episodes in person, rather than down-the-line. All of that will take money and time. Juggling work and motherhood leaves me very time poor, which means that I can’t throw myself into unpaid work in the way that I could BC (Before Child). A paid subscription therefore makes an enormous difference to me personally, as well as to the MMM project.
If you think what we’re doing is valuable, there are a few ways you can help.
Firstly, you can sign up for a free subscription, which will give you access to the main event: the classic version of the podcast, which you can listen to on Substack, on wherever else you like to get your podcasts. You’ll also have access to the comment section under every episode, and to the MMM chat community. I’ll periodically drop into the chat to start threads and read everyone’s comments, but you are also welcome to start threads yourself. Think of it as a subreddit, but one less likely to attract haters.
Then, for a monthly fee of $8, or an annual fee of $79, you get access to the extended and ad-free version of the podcast. What I do is spend about an hour chatting to the guest before wrapping up the show for free subscribers. Then we switch the cameras off (I think people are more candid without eye contact!) and spend another half an hour or so talking in a slightly more personal and less filtered way.
Finally, for $159 a year, founding members get all of the above plus weekly exclusive bonus episodes in which my husband and I (alias ‘Mr Perry’) discuss questions about sexual politics put to us by listeners.
I won’t share clips of these episodes on social media, but here’s some of the feedback from founding members…
Loved the episode Louise, and I for one vote for the return of the Mystery Man, long time fan of the pod and Louise's husband to return. Loved the humour between you too!
Great episode. Your husband has a great sense of humor, and I enjoyed the banter between the two of you. Please bring him back on.
Delightfully unfiltered conversation.
And of course if you’re not able to pay for a subscription, you can still support us by listening to the podcast, subscribing on YouTube, rating and reviewing us on Apple podcasts, and telling your friends and family about the show.