In the last chapter, “The Relationship of the Future,” you’re awestruck by a married couple with two kids. Tradition is still the goal, then.
RW: It’s not a desire for tradition so much as a desire for a fulfilling relationship.
JM: This couple had the traditional setup, the lifestyle any woman buying a dating book would want. But when you got inside that relationship, they built it from nothing – from broken homes and broken family relationships. Even if something looks traditional, the inside of it is going to feel different if you go about it in a way that’s about the two of you, not about how the wedding looks. They paid $8,000 for their wedding.
Is the gaggle like modern day polyandry?
RW: You can have an enormous, thriving gaggle and not be having sex with anyone. I loved that line from [Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá’s book] Sexat Dawn, that humans evolved to have a multitude of complex relationships with other humans.
JM: We’re fans of committed monogamous relationship, but the idea that the path there should involve one guy after another who fulfills all your needs – that feels unrealistic. That’s not how we think about friends, families or our professional lives. What we are not saying is that you should be sleeping with everybody.
You’re both living in NYC, the epicentre of single female insecurity, at least as conveyed by Sex andthe City and now HBO’s Girls.
JM: New York is all of this on speed. It’s the most intense version of any social trend that could be happening. That’s why we wanted to get experiences from all over the country.
Are you dating, non-dating or gaggling?
JM: I am definitely gaggling and non-dating and really enjoying it.
RW: I’m in a committed relationship with a wonderful man, but my pre-condition was I get to keep my gaggle. No hot sex prospects, no boyfriend prospects, but I still have my accessories and ego boosters and we hang out. My boyfriend has his gaggle too. We’re upfront about that.
This interview has been condensed and edited.