Future Sex

Future Sex

Paperback - 2017
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A funny, fresh, and moving antidote to conventional attitudes about sex and the single woman

Emily Witt is single and in her thirties. Up until a few years ago, she still envisioned her sexual experience "eventually reaching a terminus, like a monorail gliding to a stop at Epcot Center." Like many people, she imagined herself disembarking, finding herself face-to-face with another human being, "and there we would remain in our permanent station in life: the future."

But, as many of us have found, things are more complicated than that. Love is rare and frequently unreciprocated. Sexual experience doesn't necessarily lead to a future of traditional monogamy--and why should it? Have we given up too quickly on the alternatives?

In Future Sex , Witt explores Internet dating, Internet pornography, polyamory, and avant-garde sexual subcultures as sites of possibility. She observes these scenes from within, capturing them in all their strangeness, ridiculousness, and beauty. The result is an open-minded, honest account of the contemporary pursuit of connection and pleasure.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [2017]
Edition: First paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780374537272
Characteristics: viii, 210 pages ; 21 cm


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Mar 02, 2020

I remember liking Emily Witt's work in n+1 magazine, which meant that when this book disappointed me, it took me by surprise. The personal essay is dead, or whatever, but I can't imagine Witt writing this book more effectively in any style OTHER than personal essays. When she tells stories about the people in her life, I don't really like them, and I feel like she's writing as if she doesn't either, but after the (admittedly stellar) introduction, she never turns that introspection back in on herself.

I wish that the later sections of this book had contained its opening chapter's nuance and thought. Instead, I got a series of personal essays about going to Burning Man with people you don't really know, and having sex while high on poppers at a swinger's orgy. I'm glad Witt was able to really embrace free love, and let her freak flag fly, but I just feel exhausted reading her recounting of the journey. Don't think I would recommend.

Dec 05, 2016

The information in this book is good, but the writing is abysmal and heavily biased towards single, straight, white women in thirties. It often errs on the side of heavily editorial and I did not appreciate this, because it lacks representation of so many. Recently read Girls and Sex and that was a much more balanced book. The best chapter in this book is the shortest one, and the one that Witt places the least emphasis on: Birth Control and Contraception. This chapter was very well written and argued a necessary, albeit well-trampled, point.


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