The author of American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers returns with a memoir about love and sex in the digital age intertwined with an investigation of our cultural addiction to dating apps and how "Big Dating" disrupts romance.
Sales joins the Hunter S. Thompson school of gonzo journalism, combining her rich reporting with her own dating app tales. She recounts adventures she insists are signs of her romantic nature, but many readers might perceive differently. There are many anonymous encounters, which Sales writes about sometimes hilariously and sometimes erotically (she has a gift for sex scenes, no small thing) ... She seems outraged that we live in a culture where you can’t enjoy risk-free encounters with strangers without fear of being hurt, and PS, don’t you dare slut-shame me for wanting this. I don’t, at all. But I kept thinking: Pick a lane. Have sex with hookups, embrace the thrill, but accept that there’s risk, both emotionally and physically ... In her interviews, Sales takes the complaints of women to heart, but not men’s. Women who want casual sex are free spirits; men who want casual sex are scumbags ... Sales gets props for not whitewashing the story.
A breath of fresh air, she doesn’t hold back when it comes to critiquing online dating, and she shares her own experience with equally brutal honesty. Sales nails the confounding ordeal of grappling with singledom and COVID-19 at the same time, a unique aspect of this book that will resonate with many readers. Relatable, hilarious, heart-breaking, and eye-opening, Nothing Personal is an updated Sex and the City.
Her book is especially valuable in its refusal to accept social scripts related to women's aging bodies; it might strip away some of the apprehension women have about using technology in smart and safe ways ... Refreshingly candid throughout, Sales's memoir and investigation of the history of love and intimacy will engage readers who have found themselves dating later than they expected.