New York Times: Sex Is Out

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Sex. At one point, it was placed on the bottom rung of the hierarchy of needs, generally considered to be an immediate human desire, alongside such things as breathing, food, and water. Thought to be fun, sex, in its heyday, was believed to be the result of basic human impulses, a manifestation of romantic feelings, and, in many cases, even credited with the continued existence of the human race. But the New York Times is the latest to explore the idea that sex just isn't what it used to be. Meg Wolitzer writes:


Suddenly, being touched by one’s husband or partner could seem so ... last year. I began to imagine that a kind of sex-themed Andromeda Strain had fallen upon the post-30s female population of Earth, causing them to turn away from men. But no, said another friend; sexual disengagement was an equal-opportunity employer when it came to gender, not to mention age ... and saying no to sex with actual partners is being acknowledged more openly ... No may now be more co-ed than ever, and may have a particularly contemporary, techno-sheen to it.

Citing mostly anecdotal evidence, the Times wonders if sex is now but one of many distractions. "There are just so many seductions," Wolitzer writes. "Facebook! Wikipedia! Love! Hulu! Curriculum Night! Art! — and we are human, and mortal, and inevitably we have to choose." Not having sex, Wolitzer concludes, "is like being in graduate school; you’re allowed to think for a while, and not be in the world."

However, some stigmas persist: "Because we’re all post-Freudians, it’s as if we still believe sex equals strength, health and life," she writes. Imagine that. Sex. What kind of freaks would pursue it anymore?

The Sex Drive, Idling in Neutral [NYT]

Earlier: What Happens If You Replace ‘Not Having Sex’ With ‘Not Eating Food’ in the Observer’s Latest ‘Young People’ Trend Story?