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Why Men Can’t Write About Sex Anymore

Back in the early 1990s, I was one of the thousands of young, idealist Gen X Americans who moved to freewheeling post-Communist Prague to relive their version of “Paris of the 20s.” Before the advent of smartphones, YouTube, and Netflix, novels were still considered the preeminent artistic form, and most of the expats who flocked to the land of Vaclav Havel were obsessed with writing the “Great American Novel.” The literary icons for our generation—those who fetishized the absinthe-tinted bohemia of Hemingway’s Paris—were mostly masculine writers like Henry Miller, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Bret Easton Ellis.

Henry Miller (1891-1980)

Though there were plenty of women among the wine-sozzled bohemians of our expat massive, Henry Miller’s assertion that “Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation, and the other eight are unimportant,” was embraced by us all, regardless of gender. Men read poems called “Women who moan” at raucous expat readings, while girls wrote about their experiences with Czech lovers twice their age.

Sex was the social currency of our close-knit literary community, and writing with brutal honesty about sexuality was a badge of honor. We were in decadent Prague after all, where writer Milan Kundera had ripped back the Iron Curtain to reveal its playful, sensual underbelly in novels like The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Fast-forward a quarter of a century and it feels like we’ve all become characters in dystopian Samizdat novels, our actions proscribed by the progressive thought police who wield power over our lives and careers. Sexuality, which was once seen as liberating, and the purest expression of a free society, is now perceived through the lens of sexual harassment and the #metoo movement. Male desire has become entangled with the contentious issue of consent, so that its every expression has the potential to be exploitative. Having sex for a male in America now is like driving drunk: things might work out fine despite the risk, but you might just as easily crash and burn.

When I was in New York last month, close male friends were reevaluating their entire sexual history, and wondering whether any of their past actions could be seen as rapey by today’s standards. This was during the contentious hearings on the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh who was accused of possible misdemeanors in high school! It’s no wonder then that it had men scanning their priapic pasts with urgent fear. A friend who had written an innocent and sweet essay about losing his virginity for a big name American magazine years ago was now fearful that it might be used against him in this new climate of sexual inquisition.

It’s no wonder that bad boy male writing has almost completely disappeared from contemporary literature. There are no young Phillip Roths creating lecherous literary heroes like Professor David Kepesh from The Dying Animal who teaches his 24 year-old student how to be his “filthy little whore.” There is no Henry Miller glorying in his sexual adventures in hedonistic Paris of the 1920s. Junot Diaz was one of the few contemporary male writers who dared to write honestly about his sexuality in stories like “How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie),” but his reputation has been tarnished recently by allegations of sexual harassment. Though he has retained his teaching position at MIT, his claws have been sheared for now.

Instead, contemporary male literary icons like Jonathan Franzen, Paul Auster, and Don DeLillo write cynical, despairing novels that read as a lament on the alienation and anomie of modern America. Where is the joie de vivre, the laughter and mirth and raw sexuality of their predecessors? It now falls to female novelists like Gone Girls Gillian Flynn to write openly and dangerously about sex and desire. It’s a comment on the West today that bad girl writers are more prevalent than their male counterparts.

Many would argue, of course, that this is a positive development. Who needs more novels about aging men fantasizing about dirty adventures with young women? Who needs the lascivious male gaze anymore? Isn’t it time for women to write about their desires and feelings without being judged by the patriarchy? Yes, such arguments deserve to be heard.

However, by tarnishing male desire as “exploitative,” the conversation today has become too one-sided, with the pendulum swinging to the other extreme. Today, men are fearful of writing about their darker desires and urges, and rightfully so. Ian Buruma, the former editor of the New York Review of Books, was ousted for publishing an article hostile to the #metoo movement. In this fearful and inquisitorial atmosphere, sex is dangerous, and writing about sex is doubly dangerous.

The neutering of male desire in literature and the arts has, however, also spilled out into real life. There has been a rash of articles recently in publications like the Atlantic—and even the New York Times, which has been a tireless cheerleader for the #metoo movement—bemoaning the decrease in sexual activity among Millennials and other Americans. The Atlantic article was originally entitled “The Sex Recession,” while Ross Douthat’s New York Times column was headlined “The Huxley Trap” and talked about the taming of the sexual revolution.

According to a November 2017 Economist/YouGov poll, 17 percent of Americans ages 18-29 now believe that inviting a woman out for a drink constitutes sexual harassment. It’s no wonder that sex has been tamed in this climate of fear. The U.S birth rate has hit a record low for the second year running this year: half a million fewer babies were born in 2017 than ten years earlier in 2007. The number of children born to an average American woman has fallen from 2.1 in the early 2000s to 1.76. At this rate, America will desperately need more immigrants to sustain its population, President Trump’s loud anti-immigrant rhetoric notwithstanding.

What went wrong in America? While the New York Times talks about various factors, including the alienation caused by technology and social media, the criminalization of male sexual desire is surely a powerful factor to explain the fall in marriages, and birth rate. In today’s climate of fear and incessant talk about sexual harassment, we desperately need more—not less—graphic, lewd, and dangerous writing about sexuality from confident men unafraid to bare their fantasies without fear of retribution. That writing could set an example for young millennial men unsure of how to express their burgeoning sexuality, and perhaps help foster healthier relationships among America’s alienated youth.

A contemporary Henry Miller is just as needed today as he was almost 100 years ago in the America of the 1930s. While his writings are unlikely to be suppressed by the courts—Miller’s Tropic of Cancer was banned in the United States until the early 1960s—more ominously, his career could be snuffed out even without a trial by “whisper networks” and reflexive #metoo-ers.

It’s a sad comment on contemporary America that a young Henry Miller’s salacious writings would be just as “shocking”—and possibly “cathartic”—today as when they were first published in the 1930s, in the shadow of rising fascism and Freudian repression. Hopefully, a young male novelist today will take up the challenge and pen a powerful novel that’ll remind us all of the desperate need today for a brutally honest work about the oldest of human urges: sexuality.


Vijai Maheshwari is a former editor-in-chief of Russian Playboy, and writer for Politico Europe based in Moscow. He has recently launched Alfalfa, a platform in defense of masculinity. You can follow him on Twitter @Projectalfalfa 


  1. What happens when women are honest, about how repulsive older men are who lust after them?

    What happens when women use their economic/ political power to satisfy their own desires, which don’t happen to include giving men orgasms?

    It seems odd that in urging a more adventurous and dangerous environment, Mr. Maheshwari wants the danger to be limited to anyone who is not a man. Men should be cosseted and protected from the harms inflicted by women who scorn them.

    • Rachel Welsh says

      “What happens when women are honest, about how repulsive older men are who lust after them?”

      The current narratives don’t allow us to discuss how many women seek out and enjoy the company of older men. Many more than you’d expect.

    • Heike says

      A lot of women’s desires are about satisfying the desires of high-status men with dominant personalites. To do so is tremendously life-affirming for them. To know he has his pick of women, and he chooses you? Exhilirating.

      A man’s desirability doesn’t decrease with age, it *increases* with age. He learns more, gains status, gains wealth. Of course, there’s an eventual drop-off but it is not until well into middle age.

      Women who scorn men…an interesting topic you bring up there. Mostly limited to feminists, this category is. And if there is one kind of person who doesn’t represent the desires of women, it’s feminists.

      • C. Gockel says

        “A lot of women’s desires are about satisfying the desires of high-status men with dominant personalites. ”

        No, it’s about having dominant powerful men satisfy the woman’s own sexual desires.

        “A man’s desirability doesn’t decrease with age, it *increases* with age.”

        Not his *sexual* desirability, believe me. His wealth becomes desirable to the type of woman who is primarily interested in that.

    • scribblerg says

      Chip – For whom are you speaking? Many younwomen find older men attractive, and this has actually been studied and tested in evolutionary biology. Survival to an older age is a signal of genetic fitness, hint…

      The more I engage here, the less impressed I am.

    • Parson James says

      What happens when men behave like women and accuse women of sexual assault given women rarely ask for consent when interacting with men?

      What happens when men stop participating in the long con of marriage-divorce-family court rape that provides women with $10,000,000,000+ in alimony every year in the US?

      If seems odd that in an environment of profound female legal privilege and a growing body of lies from women about the incidence of sexual assault in the US, that feminist advocates would continue to preach victimization in an environment where women have tremendous legal privilege to the point where they can molest boys and make false accusations with little to no legal consequences.

  2. MichaelJ says

    “What happens when women are honest, about how repulsive older men are who lust after them?”

    Well, in today’s climate they are usually lauded as being ‘brave’. But what do you think would happen if a man commented that an older woman was “repulsive”?

    “What happens when women use their economic/ political power to satisfy their own desires, which don’t happen to include giving men orgasms?”

    It’s not entirely clear what you mean. If you mean using consenting prostitutes for sexual gratification, then I can’t see any moral issue. But if you mean using their power to exploit others then it would be as reprehensible as it is when men do it.

    I’m struggling to find any evidence to support your claim that Maheshwari thinks men should be “cosseted”. Men have always been expected to initiate relationships with women, and all but the most powerful and desirable men have always been subject to scornful rejection. That’s not the issue. The issue is that, now, taking the risk of expressing interest in a woman can result not only in mere scornful rejection, but in an accusation of sexual harassment potentially resulting in the destruction of reputation and livelihood.

    • The author can only seem to comprehend human relationships the way teenage boys do- where their own sexual hunger is the universal standard by which everyone else must be measured.

      For example, the author would probably understand a powerful female using her position to win the sexual affections of handsome young boys. This is a direct analog to men’s behavior.

      But he seems baffled by the prospect that women might use their power in other, non-sexual ways.
      Maybe they will barter their power for prestige, and use their control over men in ways that don’t end with the men getting an orgasm. Such as enforcing social norms that prioritize things that women value like child rearing or solidarity such as #metoo.

      He wants an untamed wilderness of sexual contest, red in tooth and claw. But he wants it to come with rules and boundaries that protect him from the desires of others.

      • Ray Andrews says


        Your summary seems to have nothing to do with what the author actually wrote.

      • Did you actually read the article or where you so confident in your preconceptions you thought it unnecessary?

        Your comment just reinforces how dangerous it is to be a man right now and how little many people are in evidence and facts compared to their preferred narrative?

      • Northern Observer says

        We get it chip, you don’t like the icky sex.
        All we ask is that you leave us alone to enjoy our lives.
        Live and let live.

      • Use thebcpntrot over men… So if they use this power/control but the male doesn’t get anything out of it, e.g. an orgasm, how is this less selfish than the misogyny they are aupposedsu fighting against?

      • Palace says

        How does #metoo promote either solidarity or child rearing? It has eliminated both.

        You can’t fight unrestrained psychopathy with unrestrained psychopathy and get a sociable society.

    • Avogadro's Number says

      :The issue is that, now, taking the risk of expressing interest in a woman can result not only in mere scornful rejection, but in an accusation of sexual harassment potentially resulting in the destruction of reputation and livelihood.”

      Bingo. How long before a violent reaction from a man whose life has so been ruined?

  3. E Crank says

    Or could it be that the modern reader recognizes a simple point that Mr. Maheshwari apparently does not: most sex writing is either ludicrous, boring or just plain yuck?

  4. Tony Cheeseman says

    Read the whole Economist article. It’s interesting. Virtually no-one anywhere thinks that being asked out for a drink is sexual harassment. This fits with my observation that virtually all men that get themselves in trouble are those that try to take an abrupt jump in intimacy, rather than starting with an invitation to meet, getting to know her, seeing how she responds to small escalations in intimacy (e.g., a brief touch on the hand) and so on. Or else, they get in trouble by acting out of social role (professor, boss etc.) and using that as an attempt at a sexual gambit, again, rather than making a non-threatening invitation to move to a more social interaction and see where it might go. It’s not rocket science.

    • MichaelJ says


      “Virtually no-one anywhere thinks that being asked out for a drink is sexual harassment”.

      I hope you’re right. I found the cited figure of 17% of young Americans thinking it is rather disturbing.

      The rest of your comment rings true to me. I’ve been happily ensconced in a faithful relationship for more than 15 years, but my memory of how things were certainly accords with your description. Even so, a gauche misstep involving “an abrupt jump in intimacy”, especially by a young man without a lot of confidence, seems hardly to warrant the label of ‘sexual harassment’ and the social opprobrium that accompanies it.

      • Tony Cheeseman says

        Then dial it back a notch. Ask to coffee first. And only after a few conversations, having introduced yourself in a polite way to start with. Young men who lack confidence need to be taught social skills like this, and steer away from their hooking-up confident peers (who are getting into other kinds of trouble).

        Young men on a date making a clumsy pass or awkwardly asking a girl out isn’t what this is about anyway. But many young men are confused about this.

        • Burlats de Montaigne says

          @Tony Cheeseman
          You are Roosh V and I claim my £5.00
          People make mistakes. The ‘rules of engagement’ are not immutable and one size certainly doesn’t fit all. Gauche mistakes shouldn’t land you in jail or unemployed(-able).

    • ShipAhoy says

      Last summer, a co-teacher gave an assignment for our international students (NYC) to interview an artist. The artist our student interviewed sent her an email inviting her out for a drink. When she responded that her friend could not come along, he wrote back that he just wanted to see her. My co-teacher said to me: ISN’T THAT CREEPY? (She’s about 15 years younger than I am). My impulse was to say NO, that’s how romance gets started. The student in question was in her mid-twenties. Last I checked, this is an adult.

      Imagine feeling like you can’t say that this is normal behavior. But in this climate, that’s exactly how I felt. However, I did venture it anyway, I said: Well, she could just say she’s not interested. But what’s the harm in his trying?

      Plenty harm in trying these days. How else is a man to show interest, if saying he only wants to have a drink with YOU is now considered “creepy?”

      IF the FUTURE IS FEMALE, and this is the way most females want it, THERE IS NO FUTURE.

      • Northern Observer says

        Bingo. The greatest challenge academic feminism faces is resolving the nihilims of feminist praxis in day to day behaviour. What’s the point of revolutionizing society if the Mormons and Amish inherit the earth?

    • David says

      Interesting that you make mention of rocket science.

      You might find interest in Neil Degrasse Tyson’s post this week:

      What I found disturbing was the “Summer 2018 incident”. Inviting a coworker for cheese and wine is considered “creepy”, even though there were no attempts at seduction or intimacy.

      It is a very sad world when females judge every action by men as predatory, regardless of intent.

  5. Thoughthelookingglass says

    The New Puritanism is an attempt to impose sexual morality without recourse to that icky Christianity so disdained by progressives.

    I am certainly no fan of today’s contemporary scolds and killjoys, but what bothers me about Maheshwari is that he is apparently unable to understand that the Sexual Revolution, like all revolutions, had a decided dark side – a sharp increase in single parent families, divorce rates, and STDs, If it had resulted in sexual Utopia for both genders, there would be no backlash today. I knew several couples who had “open marriages” in the 70’s and in all 3 cases, the marriages ended in miasmas of bitter hatred and jealousy. It turns out that even progressive, enlightened types can feel hurt and betrayed when the person they love has sex with another, and perhaps the pain is even greater because they believe themselves to be above such feelings. Many women came to realize that the greatest beneficiaries of the Sexual Revolution were men the Victorians once termed “cads” – cads who no longer had to worry about shotgun marriages or about being condemned for ruining a girl’s reputation and prospects.

    A reaction was bound to occur, and here it is. But the New Puritans are not reverting to old mores, but attempting to reinvent the wheel.

    • How do you reconcile that reaction with grindr (or whatever it’s called)? I see some real double standards going on that seem to have less to do with sex than power and anger. It has long been a feminist claim that rape has nothing to do with sex. Maybe that was projection all along.

    • Ray Andrews says


      “the Sexual Revolution, like all revolutions, had a decided dark side”

      I don’t think the author fails to understand that, it seems to me that he merely regrets that the backlash has been so puritanical. And it is really a backlash anyway? I don’t thing the radfems and pound-metoo people are wanting any thing like a return to conventional morality, they just want to attack men any way they can, and criminalizing male desire is a very good tool.

    • Yes, as a teenager in the 80s I tried both Roth and Miller but wasn’t very engaged by them. When it came to books which dealt with sex/uality I remember very much liking Lisa Alther and Marilyn French, also Marge Piercy, Erica Jong – and Colette. (I do really like Bret Easton Ellis though.) The author doesn’t seem to question his group’s focus on male writers – and I thought the Kavanaugh allegations were brushed over too easily considering what was alleged.

      • xyz and such says

        Thanks for your point about Kavanaugh.. although I think the metoo has gone too far and is being ‘mismanaged’ so to speak, it really bothers me that he gets lumped in as an example of that. For a variety of reasons including the nature of the behavior, the clear lying on his end and the nature of the position he was being vetted for he absolutely should have been called out, and he shouldn’t have been appointed to the Court.

        This is *exactly* the reason why the direction ‘metoo’ has gone in is so dangerous from my perspective: it waters down the field preventing the recognition of serious offenses and creates an easy cover for those who want to cover them up or rationalize them.

        Re erotica in writing, or even just descriptions within literature of desire and sex; I’ve enjoyed both male and female writers, depending upon my mood, etc. and I’ve also been annoyed/grossed out by both male and female writers.. but that’s just me. A good writer (regardless of gender) can use this kind of imagery quite beautifully and to ends other than just smut. I think we’d be editing reality by not publishing how men see sex/women… which I also think is dangerous: I think it’s a problem if the younger generations of women actually don’t realize how men think of sex and women.

        • XYZ,

          Can you provide evidence, not conjecture, of the clear lying on the part of Kavanaugh?

      • Brush aside to easily, really? Her named witnesses contradicted her very vague claims. The very fact that she was able to testify in front of Congress and the background check reopened belies the myth that it was brushed aside. You and XYZ seem not to want to give him any sort of presumption of innocence. Is it because of your own personal bias?

      • Rohit J Parikh says

        What bothered me about the Kavanaugh case was that Ford did not seem to remember crucial details and many who were not directly involved denied her account of the facts. Was he guilty or was he not? I do not know. But I do know that standards of evidence were blithely discarded by too many who just said, “I believe her”.

  6. annaerishkigal says

    “…At this rate, America will desperately need more immigrants to sustain its population, President Trump’s loud anti-immigrant rhetoric notwithstanding….”

    Talk about clueless. Women don’t have babies because they HAVE to work full-time simply to keep a roof over their children’s heads. Thanks to wage-suppression caused by mass immigration (both legal and illegal, unskilled and skilled) and the outsourcing of our economy, wages have remained stagnant, while all those newcomers keep driving up housing prices, it costs more to hire a babysitter for two kids than a mother can earn working a full-time job. RESPONSIBLE women have a single child, realize they can’t afford another one, and stop having more babies.

    It’s simple economics… One I see played out over and over again in my practice as a family law attorney, when I see their financial statements and how much the average US family earns.

    How about this? Why don’t we tell all the far-left pro-immigration hacks and the far-right pro-immigration-worker hacks to go kiss off, let the wage and housing markets stabilize, and then give middle class families a REAL tax break for their kids so families can afford to have mom take a few years off while the kids are little.

    We do NOT need “50 Shades of Wrinkled Penis” literature. We need some good old-fashioned American family values.

    • E Crank says

      I’m not entirely sure how it ties into the rest of your somewhat unhinged rant but this line line is quite glorious: “We do NOT need “50 Shades of Wrinkled Penis” literature.”

      As I previously said: most sex writing is just plain yuck!

      • annaerishkigal says

        @ E Crank

        How is that an “unhinged rant?” The author of the article set up a logical fallacy:

        a) People aren’t having sex;
        b) Men need more man-porn so they can jerk off;
        c) Even so, we’re all doomed, white women aren’t having babies, so we have no choice but to flood America with non-Americans.

        I simply kicked his straw man with facts. Women -do- have sex … at least conservative women do -IF- they can afford them. It’s far-left man hating lesbians and narcissistic, effeminate soy-boys like the writer of this article who don’t have sex.

        We have six kids. There’s a 16 year gap between kid #1 and the other 5 because that’s how long it took for DH to get a stable enough job, with benefits, for mom to cut her work hours. No pornography, man-porn or otherwise, needed to procreate like rabbits, just a wee bit of financial stability and the millennials will start feeling “in the mood.”

      • Peter from Oz says

        The Literary Review has a yearly “bad Sex” award for the worst description of sex in a novel. It’s always hilarious. What is interesting is that many great novelists are nominated for the award. It seems that even the best writers can come a cropper when they deal with sex.

    • I saw a recent study (which I sadly cannot find at the moment), that was talking about the number of children between those with a conservative bent vs. those with a more leftist bent.

      As you would expect, young conservative women tend to have around 3 children, while those on the left have far fewer, if any. If this study is legitimate, it will be an interesting future for those on the left, who seem to be breeding themselves out of existence.

      More to your point though, it boggles my mind how the left abandoned their past anti-immigrant stance and have whole-heartedly embraced the Koch Brothers idea that huge numbers of immigrants are necessarily a good thing. Surely one only needs to look at California and it’s insanely expensive housing market and enormous gap between the rich and the huge poor underclass to reconsider the supposed benefits of mass immigration that the left blindly pushes.

      • Thoughthelookingglass says

        “If this study is legitimate, it will be an interesting future for those on the left, who seem to be breeding themselves out of existence.:

        That is why it is so important to them to maintain a monopoly on education. They mean to make your children theirs in the end.

      • annaerishkigal says

        @ zoolian

        Under “normal” circumstances, the natural proclivity of conservative-minded people to settle down and rear families would balance out the proclivity of their more daring liberal-minded friends to throw caution to the wind and do all kinds of experimentation. Between the two (daring plus caution), the entire country would move forward thanks to the melding of the two. Unfortunately, the Koch Brothers have teamed up with George Soros to flood the western world with immigrants from socialist $#!t#o!es, both legal and illegal, to drown out the native populations of the west. They don’t care that the west doesn’t have “magic soil.” Too many newcomers, too quick, kills the host country.

    • Circuses and Bread ?? says


      It’s really going to suck to be a woman in America in about 10 years. Unless you’re a lesbian, or prefer to be alone. The folk wisdom amongst men these days is to avoid entangling alliances with women if at all possible, and if you do want to date and/or marry, find your honey abroad. To wit the MGTOW and INCEL movements.

      I guess we’re going to find out how this all works when the US fertility rate drops below 1.5.

      • annaerishkigal says

        @ Circuses and Bread

        Despite all their rhetoric, MGTOW and INCEL like to have sex (just without the commitments). They can go bang the far-leftist women, who claim they don’t want committed relationships because … “the patriarchy.” Both groups will die out (from an evolutionary perspective, all failed species go extinct). That will leave the normal men and women to settle down and perpetuate the species.

      • Heike says

        Here’s an amazing breakdown, by a woman, on what Animus possession is, and how it hijacks the minds of women.

        Animus Possession is when a woman, who is angry at legitimately bad men, then talks to good men with all the anger she has for the bad men. It’s a false transference of negative emotion to people who don’t deserve it.

    • TofeldianSage says

      Since 1970 we have flooded the labor market with female labor, yet you observe:

      “Thanks to wage-suppression caused by mass immigration (both legal and illegal, unskilled and skilled) and the outsourcing of our economy, wages have remained stagnant, while all those newcomers keep driving up housing prices, it costs more to hire a babysitter for two kids than a mother can earn working a full-time job.”

      Of course to add women themselves to your list of culpable parties is more than just politically-incorrect, it’s positively incendiary. But it is worth examining whether the economy was robust enough to absorb all that labor. It is certainly a factor in stagnating wages, and probably much more pronounced than immigration.

      And it is due to get worse as we move away from merit-based promotion to diversity-based promotion within the workplace. The efficiency of every organization will quietly wane as less-qualified candidates ascend and apply their more mediocre talents. As the company becomes less competitive it will be able to hire fewer and fewer people, but again merit will take the back seat as they downsize, and it will accelerate to the bottom.

      Of course, it will be impossible to comment on the situation.

      We are headed for dark times.

      • sestamibi says

        Not only that, but the widespread phenomenon of “assortative mating” (doctors marrying each other etc.) has exacerbated income inequality in America. The Left is uncomfortable with addressing this reality, but even the NY Times, in a rare instance of candor, once did a piece on it.

  7. peterschaeffer says

    The sad fate of Aziz Ansari belongs in this discussion. His successful vilification by ‘babe’ is a testament to how toxic the current environment is for men.

    • Denzel Williams says

      Maybe if he hadn’t got his sexual education from pornography (as seems apparent) then he’d be fine.

      • Dai Anto says

        What is wrong with pornography other than current standards are very boring. Many artists of history would be banned in our New Puritanism. If parents, and perhaps teachers, understood the sexuality in Shakespeare, his books would be removed from schools.

      • xyz and such says

        @Denzel: where are the young men supposed to look to, to get their education on this anymore? This is part of the problem – in the drive to make everything that anyone wants to do acceptable, we’ve destroyed any kind of cultural standards, ritual, or communal responsibility regarding the maturation of men (or women for that matter.) We can’t have it both ways; if we want it to be ‘everything goes’ and then get upset when people don’t know where the ‘line’ is… it’s not really their fault, is it, since no one is willing to agree on what a line should be? As Jordan Peterson might say… we’re moving toward ‘chaos’; and yet still expecting people to behave well. good luck to us all.

    • Jyn Ranlom says

      I suppose by replying to this comment I will be construed by some as a “pig grunter”. While its true that I did tend to indulge a proclivity to overeat when I was younger, I’ve managed to dial that tendency back now in late middle age. It is true also that I allow myself to grunt more often than I used to, but this behavior shift is tied correlated directly to the fact that I make my money working in trades, and my body hurts, in a low-level, constant way most of the time.

      I have to take exception to the idea that any broad class of men, to my limited knowledge of 50+ years in this life, and myself, certainly, as a Quillette reader, would choose to suck myself off everyday before breakfast – if I could. For most of my life I have attempted and/or struggled to maintain a modicum of celibacy outside of my sexual relationships. I believe – I know from personal experience, I should say – that maintianing one’s ejacualte inside one’s testicles yeilds a higher level of physical (always) intellectual (usually) and spiritual (often) energy, than letting ones’ jizz dribble out over second (nice pun) fantasies.

      The nefarious and decadent school of “Whack and Dangle” leads to despair in my experience. Dealing with the tension and energy that conservation of sexuality creates, however, is not something that popular culture addresses in any positive way, either.

      There. I’m a guy who wrote about sex. And I wouldn’t suck myself off everyday before breakfast if I could. Or wish that I could if I couldn’t. Gross, actually.

  8. peterschaeffer says

    The economics or low-skill immigration (what the U.S. mostly gets) have been studied to death. The following quote from George Borjas (American’s leading immigration economist) should suffice.

    “There’s also been a lot of fake fog thrown into the the question of whether immigrants pay their way in the welfare state. It’s time for some sanity in this matter as well. The welfare state is specifically designed to transfer resources from higher-income to lower-income persons. Immigrants fall disproportionately into the bottom part of the income distribution. It is downright ridiculous to claim that low-skill immigrants somehow end up being net contributors into the public treasury.”

  9. Evander says

    A liberal sexual culture suits men, not women. Feminists partially recognised their mistake in supporting the sexual revolution, and are now counterintuitively trying to keep the libertine culture but make it safe for women. You can’t have it both ways.

    “Sexuality, which was once seen as liberating, and the purest expression of a free society, is now perceived through the lens of sexual harassment and the #metoo movement.”

    To talk of sexuality in these terms is to use a metaphysical and ideological vocabulary. I don’t see any evidence that men who sleep with multiple women, or vice-versa, are fulfilled – whatever that means – as individuals. Nor is it obvious that freed-up sexuality is good for society, and that this keeps society free.

    But I concede that it’s difficult atm for blokes to pen saucy books about romping through life.

    • As a man who was a nerd virgin until humiliatingly late in life, and then learned how to get women, and then successfully applied this knowledge in the real world – I can confirm that at least for me sleeping with a lot of women was tremendously fulfilling.

      I won’t talk about the experiences as I’ve learned people really hate men like me. But it wasn’t just fulfilling, it was life-affirming. Before, I had proof – empirical proof – that I was a worthless piece of shit that the world was better off without. Why shouldn’t I just kill myself? Nobody would miss me. But after? I had proof – empirical proof – that I *did* have value, at least some women liked me, and that life was worth living.

      I could have only done this in a sexually liberated society. Thanks, feminists.

      posted anonymously because it still stings I was a nerd virgin and I don’t anyone, ever, knowing my past

      • Evander says

        “Before, I had proof – empirical proof – that I was a worthless piece of shit that the world was better off without. Why shouldn’t I just kill myself? Nobody would miss me. But after? I had proof – empirical proof – that I *did* have value, at least some women liked me, and that life was worth living.”

        To alter Burke: human worth and sexuality go ill-together. Prowess in hook-up culture is a horrible way to test whether or not you’re a dignified human being. Effectively, you’re saying nerd virgins like your pre-virginal self might as well off themselves, if they can’t have sex with women. You’re not worthless because you’re a human beings, who are intrinsically precious.

        “I could have only done this in a sexually liberated society. Thanks, feminists.”

        Your position is also a selfish one. Only in a sexually ‘liberated’ society will you find mass advertising that objectifies women, the cult of body image, pornography saturating the adolescent mind – and all the attendant ills that go with these phenomena.

        I’m glad you have a better outlook now. But I cannot affirm our liberal sexual culture as a Good Thing – not when the damage is manifestly plain.

      • ed grimley says

        Yeah, but what kind of women are you getting? A man should lose his virginity at 17 with his 16-year old girlfriend at 4 PM on Tuesday in her room after school while her parents are away at work, and not to some 50-year old grandmother.

  10. Thoughthelookingglass says

    I confess, I know nothing whatsoever of grindr, which I assume is a pick up site. I agree about the double standards.

    • Thoughthelookingglass says

      Oops, my comment above was in response to benita canova It ended up in the wrong place.

  11. sestamibi says

    “What went wrong in America? While the New York Times talks about various factors, including the alienation caused by technology and social media, the criminalization of male sexual desire is surely a powerful factor to explain the fall in marriages, and birth rate.”

    To the new feminist Junior Anti-Sex League, this is a feature not a bug.

  12. R Henry says

    As is the case with much of human history, we are witnessing a pendulum effect.

    I view social elements the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s to be the response to sometimes confining customs and expectations related to courtship and sexuality that pervaded US culture in earlier decades. When new technology (the Pill) and laws (no-fault divorce and abortion on demand) served to provide back-end support if things went wrong, the 1960’s Revolution allowed plenty of experimentation and hedonism. The pendulum continued its hedonistic swing for a LONG time.

    Arguably, horndog Bill Clinton’s dalliance with Monica Lewinski served as the point when the pendulum began to swing back toward prudery. American’s alternately forgave or feigned shock, but there is no way anyone can overemphasize the impact this Clinton’s behavior had on culture. The singularly powerful, married man victimized almost countless women, and experienced virtually zero consequences as a result. Correctly, even the most fervent supporters of Clinton, and men like him, have come to realize things had to change. Clinton’s careless and exploitive hedonism went too far!

    While the secularization movement of the 1960 worked in tandem with sexual revolutionaries to roll back traditional Christian sexual morality, SJWs today are seeking to essentially re-impose the tight controls on male sexual behavior that Sexual Revolutionaries worked so hard to reject. The Sexual Revolutionaries were too successful…they unburdened society of too many social limitations–limitations that were grounded in Christian morality.

    There is a curious circularity to it all. Of course, there is no living SJW alive who would acknowledge an agenda in some ways linked with traditional Christian sexual morality. but I can ONLY see the parallel. The pendulum swings back.

  13. Nate D. says

    I’d wager that the ubiquity of pornography has played the biggest role in killing this genre of literature. What 22 year old young man is going to find Henry Miller interesting or titillating after watching Juicy Step-Sisters #4 on his cell phone?

    When I was a teenager, finding a sliver of a porno mag in a highway ditch was equivalent to finding the holy grail. Do you realize logging in and watching most lecherous, depraved, pornography is now easier than getting up and walking to the kitchen to fix myself a sandwich.

    The fact is, there is no market for such literature nowadays. If it was written, who would read it?

    • Thoughthelookingglass says

      True enough. Men can watch porn now; they don’t need to read about sex. Women are different. I found it mildly amusing that the most outspokenly feminist women of my acquaintance are big fans of that execrable piece of dreck, “50 Shades of Gray.” (Younger liberal women seem to confine their fiction reading to the Harry Potter books, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “50 Shades of Gray.” For Chrissake, please read something else.) Since I’m not a psychologist, I have no idea what to make of women who, in between bouts of screeching about the patriarchy and hyperventilating about Brett Kavanaugh, dream of being tied up and spanked by a handsome billionaire (who’s really sensitive and caring, deep down inside!).

      • Thoughthelookingglass says

        Eh, vicki, like Monica, you’re just another neurotic, spiteful little rage machine who seems to use the Quillette comments sections to vomit up your puerile hatred of 97 percent of the human race. For an avowed dick hater, you sure seem obsessed with them. I used to dismiss the notion of penis envy, but you make me think Freud was on to something there. Spending your life howling at the moon about awful men and their awful penises (while typing away on a computer, invented by men, in a house, built by men) seems like a terrible waste of a life. Perhaps you and your fellow man-haters should find yourselves a nice man-free island somewhere so you won’t have to deal with or look at those terrible possessors of penises and the women who love them anymore. I’m sure it will work out beautifully and you will be happy and content in your dick-free Utopia. Let us know how it goes….:)

      • Northern Observer says

        Can you douche that personality? That sour slit is offending everyone even the sparrows and sqirrels are fainting from the disagreable stench. peeeewwww

    • Kronosaurus says

      LOL, I stumbled across a tattered Hustler Forum in a ditch. My first as well. Not exactly “literature” but still, it was stories.

  14. Brian Villanueva says

    Count me among those who will not bemoan the loss of a Philip Roth.

    The entire theory that what’s needed to jump-start men’s interest in sex is more borderline pornographic novels is absurd. If that worked, the porn on the Internet should have sent the birthrate skyrocketing since broadband.

    Instead, I suspect this author (former editor of Russian Playboy) is just lamenting the loss of his formerly hedonistic lifestyle.

    • Rick Phillips says

      Vicki you certainly have a different perspective on what constitutes appropriate comment in this space. An article on how “a lesbo” navigates the current environment around sexual misconduct might be interesting! Why waste your time in the comment section, where you seem to be studiously and for the most part correctly ignored, when Quillette could potentially offer you the opportunity to produce something that could be commented upon?

      • R Henry says

        I expect this site will soon require more comment moderation, or transition to the Disqus commenting platform–which includes robust “block user” functionality. The general level of exchange is high here, but as the site becomes better known, the angry, lowbrow trolls will descend upon us. Heal is the canary in the coal mine.

      • Evander says

        Vicki, no one wants to deny you your perspective. How you express is it is the problem, though. You account for one quarter of the comments, use filthy language consistently, and often throw out ad hominem claims. This mode of engagement debases the conversation.

        You’ve got some good points to make. But could you please respect the forum more?

    • Palace says

      Aren’t lesbian relationships statistically the most abusive?

  15. Farris says

    Somewhat odd that an article dedicated to the notion of suppression of male sexuality would fail to mention the current atmosphere of “toxic masculinity”. Heterosexual men naturally pursue women (without meaning or inferring rape, assault, harassment or failing to accept “no”). The sexual revolution brought forth the boorishness of men. What is needed is an emphasis of gentlemanly masculinity.
    If any ideal has proven toxic it has been feminism. First feminism brought for the idea of the liberating abortion. Now by quashing masculinity the birth rate is falling to unsustainable levels. Sex without love and commitment leads to regret and dissatisfaction, mostly among women. But rather than emphasize love and commitment the focus has became repressing sexual tendencies. If sex leaves one unfulfilled, he or she is not doing it correctly and should try commingling sex with love and commitment.

  16. I think this article is quite confused – the zeitgeist is absolutely overloaded with male sexual energy, it’s all just in hip hop, not novels. Plus, novels purely about sexual escapades sound woefully boring. “Gone Girl” and other “bad girl” novels double as murder mysteries and thrillers, they’re not just about sexuality. Novels purely about sex just seem dreadfully boring and I think male sexual energy has more than a sufficient outlet in modern hip hop, with music both tastefully made on the subject and completely trashy (Tekashi 69)

  17. Stephanie says

    Considering half of all people in India have been raped, it’s obscene, and possibly telling about him as a person, that the author’s main concern about #MeToo is the effect on male erotica. Give me a break! Talk about grievance politics.

    The author misses the obvious explanation that the reason men don’t write about sex anymore is because the way men write about sex isn’t appealing to women, and men prefer to jerk off to visual stimulation rather than trudging through erotica. You’re not going to compete with internet porn. And Playboy, no one ever reads your articles.

    The answer to the fear men feel towards casual sex is for them to stop behaving like children and get married. The refusal of men and women to do that means less consistent and (for women, at least) worse sex. It also means more abortions (a more likely cause for the lower birthrate than #MeToo).

    • Peter from Oz says

      “Considering had of all people in India have been raped…” has got to be one of the great comment openings in many a long year. It’s a shame that it led on to such hyperbolic drivel.

    • Palace says

      You people will keep expanding the definition of rape until everyone (that is a woman) has been raped.

  18. Do men need an excuse to write about a good ol’ bonk …… I think not.
    Will men let any fashion, trend or feminism stop them from writing about sex … I think not.
    Do we see male sex writers lynched and swinging in the political winds …. Nope – haven’t seen any.

  19. David P Gale says

    The comments on this article purely show the sad reality of the main thesis of such an article.

  20. Peter from Oz says

    Those were the days my friend
    We thought they’d never end
    We’d sing and dance forever and a day
    We’d live the life we choose
    We’d fight and never lose
    For we were young and sure to have our way

  21. Morgan Foster says

    That’s your good fortune, Vicki. More women looking for love and not finding it in the straight life.

  22. R Henry says


    Such commenting does not reflect well upon you or your intentions. If you wish to be ignored, more of the same will bring fulfillment.

    • xyz and such says

      @ R: yes, I made a point of defending her on here previously, because I’d seen some interesting stuff from her.. but this rage posting isn’t very interesting and compromises anything worthwhile she might have to say. I hope she can reel it in a little.

    • xyz and such says

      Wow Vicki, you are beyond the bend. Please find some help. btw, I am a woman, but I’m sure you’ll have some choice insults from that perspective as well.

    • Northern Observer says

      Vodka breakfast, Vodka lunch, Vodka diner.
      Where does the Vodka end and th vicki begin?

    • Palace says

      I wonder how you rationalize calling other people sadists when you propose castrating people.

  23. I think, Vicky finds here what she can’t find elsewhere, an auditorium , partly of a stupified core of intellectuals that wonders how to react, say nothing at all (in the false hope she’ll stop making noice) or say something soothing. Both is wellcome to her, of course. Whatever!

    • Nate D. says

      I like Vicki. I see her as our little quillette gargoyle. Quill-zemoto, if you will. She occationally emerges from her bell tower to confetti the comments section with her spittle-flecked nonsense to the cheers of the rabble below. Don’t reign her in.

      • Thoughthelookingglass says

        She does have entertainment value, that’s for sure.

      • Thoughthelookingglass says

        Your wit must have been appreciated on the playground when you were in the 3rd grade, Vicky, my poor little dear, but really, isn’t it time to up your game?

        • Thoughthelookingglass says

          And yes, I am condescending to you. Your comments are making me feel marvelously superior to you in every way, my darling little rage monkey.

  24. Thoughthelookingglass says

    So, Buster, you’re into S & M, I take it.

  25. Morgan Foster says

    From the article: “the criminalization of male sexual desire is surely a powerful factor to explain the fall in marriages, and birth rate”

    I wouldn’t overstate that. More likely responsible for the fall in marriages and birth rate is a combination of women waiting to have children until they become less fertile, coupled with personal success in the work force, making them financially independent of men.

    Some years ago, there was a popular t-shirt slogan that said: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” That had always been true for women born to wealth. But now, in the west, it’s true for all.

    What this means is that a beta woman doesn’t need a beta man (the majority of the human race) to keep her out of poverty or rescue her from a lifetime of being a caregiver to her aging parents. Nor does she have to put up with boring, uninspiring sex with a man as physically unappealing as she is.

  26. Thoughthelookingglass says

    I have found that in real life, lesbians who are consumed with hatred for men and hetero women tend to be obese, sweaty womyn with unshaven pits and legs, visible mustaches, garishly multicolored hair, and hideous clothes. The most vicious among them tend to be the ones who make your eyes bleed. So all this talk about “pig grunting” is, I suspect, mere projection on Vicki’s part.

    • Thoughthelookingglass says

      I’m a woman. Happily married now for 30 years, with a son, two married daughters and a grandson.

      I am quite sure you repulse every sane person who knows you, But then they silently take pity on you, give quiet thanks that they do not look or act or think like you and forget about you.

    • Thoughthelookingglass says

      So my surmise was right, then. You’re ugly on the outside and seek revenge on the world because you are also ugly on the inside. You’re quite simple to figure out, my poor angry little dear.

    • Northern Observer says

      Vicky “Vodka” Heal,
      Sorry hon, I wouldn’t even rape you if you asked me to.

  27. Morgan Foster says


    “I predict you junk obsessed pig grunters will either go for a culture like Islam or up your game and evolve.”

    My money is on Islam gaining ground in the West. Not so good for you, perhaps.

    • Thoughthelookingglass says

      I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Vicki:

      “Is’haq ibn Jorair said: A woman asked me to ask permission for her to meet Abi Abd Allah (pbuh) (Jafar us-Sadiq, the sixth Shia Imam from the bloodline of the Holy Prophet, credited as founder of the Imami School), and I asked permission for her…. then the woman asked: Inform me about the ruling of [sexual affairs] between women and women?

      He said: the ruling (i.e. the punishment) is that of adultery. Indeed when the Day of Judgement arrives, they are brought wearing pieces of fire, and they are worn with fiery scarves, and fiery pants, and with fiery shafts entering their stomachs towards their heads and they are thrown into fire. O women! The first to commit this act was the people of Lut, as when men pleased themselves with men, the women were left to themselves so they did together like what their men did to each other.”

      I doubt a future Islamic Republic will have much use for an elderly, foul mouthed lesbian. When they bring you up on charges, you can try telling them they are hairy butted pig grunters. I’m sure that will save you.

    • Northern Observer says

      Life hasn’t worked out to my liking so I am happy to see all things burn and die.
      How Hitleresque.

  28. Michael Jefferis says

    Grindr is a gay hook up app. Were you thinking of Tinder, which is a straight hook up app. Grindr fits pretty well into the standard gay quick sex scene, a scene that has a long and venerable history. I’ve seen the gay sex scene evolve over the last 50 years; AIDS introduced real threat into the game, but with a little care that can be avoided. Maybe one sees more preliminary dating among young gay men than in the past, and less promiscuous casual sex. Less casual sex is partly owing to the loss of venues for quick sex–which is why Grindr works so well. Fewer venues for casual sex are not for lack of demand. AIDS presented a rationale for getting rid of places straight urbanites never much liked in the first place.

  29. Northern Observer says

    Vicky “Vodka” Heal,
    It’s your fault he left you, you know.

    • Buster B. says

      Sabbath is a masterpiece. Haven’t read Dying Animal. But it’s fiction. He’s not necessarily advocating such dominance/submission.

  30. Johnny Oldfield says

    So does this mean that whenever Im cruising in my Miata with the top down listening to “Slow Ride” cranked I should turn it all the way down so as to not offend the sensitivities and sensibilities of todays youth?

  31. Daniel says

    Interesting that the author called sexuality “liberating”. Sophomoric, but interesting. Sexuality is definitely meaningful, and I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that it profoundly affects many aspects of the human condition. But liberating?

    Here’s a word nobody connects with sexuality: responsibility. (Responsibility? How? Well, let’s start with Do No Harm. And how about using the powerful force of sexuality to build the healthiest, most secure relationships possible?)

    The sexual revolution opened up a massive, cheap, all-you-can-eat buffet of sexual expression. But people are so obsessed with the “liberating” experience of overeating, they aren’t just piling their plates with Cheetos, donuts, and sticks of butter, that they’re also wolfing down coasters, toothpicks and the goofy little sterno cans under the warming trays. As a result, we have a society that is predictably unhealthy — poisoned, even — and has forgotten how special it is to take the time to cook a really tasty, healthy, intimate meal for a loved one.

    Keep eating those donuts and sterno cans. That’s your prerogative. But count me out.

    • Grant says

      Excellent analogy! Must be working, look how happy people are! (Sarc)

  32. Hi Vijai,

    Your commentary asks us (the audience) the question “Why Men Can’t Write About Sex Anymore”? No one so far in this forum seems to have addressed the matter fully.

    The answer I’m suggesting is that men can write about sex any time they want. But getting published and getting sales, I don’t know about. I’ve never been an erotic book reader and I don’t think I ever will be. Some of the posters above have suggested, and I think they’re correct, that men have a greater visual appreciation of life, including perving on scantily clad babes and have turned to the internet for eroticism (porn).

    I don’t think there’s a market for the Playboy mags of the past. Yes, I used to buy some of them in the olden days for the gals and gags, but I never read the articles. I don’t know if they were erotic or not. I never read them. The internet is now my source of gals and gags entertainment.

    Also, I read that you were the editor-in-chief of Russian Playboy. Woa, half your luck. I’ve only met a few Russian women up close and personal, including the one time famous (in Australia) Red Bikini Girl, who did a feature centrefold in Australian Playboy once. I was breathless at her beauty. Beautiful skin, like semi-transparent wax, and a quiet, sullen but personable demeanour. See, I’m starting to write erotic stuff already. If I hadn’t been married I would have fallen in love, for sure.

    Anyway, about criminalizing male desire and that stuff, don’t worry about it. It’s all to do with cultural progressiveness, read socialization and depopulating the planet, comrade. It will never fly. It will never get off the ground. It has inherent structural failure. Mind you, it can still cause massive pain and misery while it’s crashing and burning. Just keep away from it, if possible.

    It’s all about wedge politics. Driving a wedge between men and women to prevent continuance of the traditional family, patriarchy. A pointless exercise because the traditional family is strong and resilient. It only suckers in silly gullible men and women. If you live a good clean straight life, you have nothing to fear. They can’t hurt you.

    As has been pointed out above, rates of divorce up, marriage down, male suicide up, births down, abortions up, domestic violence up, violence against women up, rape up, gender bending up. Despite countless billions of dollars spent in promoting these issues, strangely enough they keep getting worse. Does anyone really have to wonder why?

    BTW, I visited your new Twitter project. Good stuff. I’ll probably become a fairly regular visitor.

    Thanks for the enjoyable read.

  33. Grant says

    People have sex for other reasons besides physical pleasure. Both men and women enjoy intimacy that is difficult to fully achieve, and sex is one tool on that path. Children are also part of that intimacy that gives men and women, great satisfaction in life.

  34. Bubblecar says

    “Sex was the social currency of our close-knit literary community”

    Sex – which is amongst the most primitive of animal behaviours – is often seen as “sophisticated” by a certain unsophisticated type of human. And literary males tend to be laughably unsophisticated.

    “It’s no wonder that bad boy male writing has almost completely disappeared from contemporary literature.”

    It’s only likely to be missed by frustrated kids and unpleasant perverts. Apart from anything else, most mature men don’t regard sex as very important. It can be fun now and then, as long as it doesn’t drag on too long and get in the way of more interesting activities.

    As for sex being “the purest expression of a free society”, dear oh fucking dear. If that demeaning way of thinking ever held sway we should be very thankful we’ve grown out of it.

    The most important development in sexual politics in recent generations has been towards equality – equality of the sexes, equality of sexual orientation etc. As the revelations of the #meetoo movement have demonstrated, we still have a long way to go. Rehabilitating the “bad boy” attitudes that engendered so much abuse is the last thing we need.

  35. Thoughthelookingglass says

    Actually, it looks like men are writing about sex They are just not doing a very good job of it. The 2018 nominees for the Bad Sex in Literature awards have been announced by the Literary Review.

    “Each year since 1993, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award has honoured an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.”

    Lots of stiff competition, so to speak, but I especially like this one:

    Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp by Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St John Trevelyan

    “Empty my tanks,” I’d begged breathlessly, as once more she began drawing me deep inside her pleasure cave. Her vaginal ratchet moved in concertina-like waves, slowly chugging my organ as a boa constrictor swallows its prey. Soon I was locked in, balls deep, ready to be ground down by the enamelled pepper mill within her.”

    Having an enamelled pepper mill inside you is a big step up from vagina dentata and would cause a sensation if a hostess gave a demonstration at her next dinner party.

  36. TheSnark says

    Interesting article and comments, though Ms Vicki got rather boring.

    I will only add that I recently read (can’t remember by who) that the definition of a successful society is one that does a good job of turning resources into babies. Note: in this definition successful societies are not the “happiest” or the “most fulfilled” ones, but are the ones that survive.

    These days our Western societies have immense resources, but we are so wrapped around ourselves with worries about sexual roles and with self-fulfillment that we are forgetting to produce babies. This is not sustainable.

  37. Sydney says

    “Ian Buruma, the former editor of the New York Review of Books, was ousted for publishing an article hostile to the #metoo movement.”

    I’m among MANY, MANY, MANY Canadians of all political stripes who wish commentators would stop using this as an example of the impossible flaws of #metoo or #BelieveAllWomen.

    The “article hostile to the #metoo movement” was by Canadian ex-celebrity Jian Ghomeshi, who nobody in Canada would disagree was a sexually and/or physically violent piece of trash. The NYRB article was a sniveling, self-aggrandizing, self-involved, narcissistic piece of junk that should never have seen the light of day. It was shockingly tone deaf in any age, not just ours.

    Ghomeshi evaded conviction and a jail sentence for assault in Canada ONLY BECAUSE he had the best-connected and best defense lawyer in the entire country. Also, because the women who filed the charges against him turned out to be bizarre wingnuts, although nobody for a moment questioned that Ghomeshi had assaulted them. It was a STRANGE case.

    The author here is correct about lots of things, but Ian Buruma was plain-old, garden-variety STUPID, and he was responsible for his fall. Ghomeshi is a narcissistic little monster, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Canadian of any stripe who disagrees.

    His lawyer won her case according to the rules. The Crown’s case was terrible and it melted like ice in springtime, but NOT BECAUSE Ghomeshi was non-violent and non-aggressive toward scores of women. Nobody has ever questioned that Ghomeshi is a violent, aggressive monster with women. He wrote about his BDSM proclivities in a lengthy Facebook post that circulated throughout Canada before the trial. Before becoming his winning lawyer, the lawyer joked about Ghomeshi’s sexual violence to a social/professional gathering of defense lawyers. You can’t make these things up.

    In the end, Ghomeshi made a public apology (read aloud to the nation on courthouse steps) to one of his accusers in exchange – in a legal deal – for her dropping her charges.

    PLEASE stop using the “Ian Buruma/Jian Ghomeshi” story as any foundation to evidence the problems of #metoo or #BelieveAllWomen. This movement is deeply flawed. Don’t make a further mess of it by dragging vile and nationally loathed Jian Ghomeshi, and impossibly stupid Ian Buruma, into it.

  38. SinuousGrace says

    I saw a story the other day about men filming statements of consent prior to sex. It’s probably not a big jump to filming the entire sex act.

    We’re going to go a lot further down this rat hole. I’m 44 and married two years, no kids, though #MeToo has certainly changed the nature of our relationship and sexual lives. But if I were 19 or 24 or 29, given not just #MeToo but several other elements of the culture war, I believe I would make the very pragmatic and grounded decision to go MGTOW.

    • Evander says

      MGTOW is a flawed-premise philosophy.

      From the website: ‘MGTOW… is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else.’

      Protects his own sovereignty above all else? Let me be a pre-modern man, then.

      In traditional marriage vows, a man promises to love, cherish and protect his wife. The ‘forsaking all others’ clause is my favourite. It’s about the relinquishing off sovereignty in loving service of another.

      If you want a meaningful relationship with another person, strive to be caring and humble. Like attracts like. If you’re after serial flings, liability and emptiness await.

      Liberal sexual culture is contemporaneous with hook-up culture, mass pornography, the objectification of women, lowering birth rates, and increasing tension between the sexes, to name a few maladies.

      We’ve made a god out of sex and unhappiness is the consequence.

      • SinuousGrace says

        I’m no fan of hookup culture, etc. But I don’t find anything wrong with the bit that you quoted about MGTOW. I think based on what I’ve learned, it comes down to an understanding that an accurate and honest risk-reward analysis does not support or favor (or no longer supports or favors) the decision, from the male’s perspective, to become entangled with a woman, whether casually, emotionally, or legally.

        Not needing another is a great thing. I didn’t marry my wife because I needed her. I’d be fine without her. And, truth be told, there are times I muse about how life would be different if I hadn’t become entangled with her. I’d be healthier (better sleep, for one thing), more financially fit, more physically fit, have much more personal freedom and time, be better able to donate my time to my hobbies or to helping others, etc. These are just facts. I’d also have far less risk, both the kind of risk that comes from having a second person to support and the risk that, should things go irreconcilably south, I’ll lose half of my net worth.

        I chose to marry her because I wanted to, and she did the same. Either one of us would be complete, sovereign people without the other. We each chose to take the risk (arguably my risk was higher due to bringing far more financial assets to the partnership as well as knowing how the legal dissolution proceedings would inherently favor her, everything else being equal, due to her gender — which is why we did a simple pre-nup).

        It’s a pretty good partnership, but the biggest benefit is hard to quantify — it’s mainly intangible, even emotional. But I can respect a hypothetical alternate reality version of myself who decided to stay single and sovereign, because pragmatism probably better supports that than the more emotional decision I made in this reality.

        I’m not an expert on MGTOW, but I’ve listened to and read a few bits from fairly principled practitioners, and for many it doesn’t seem to be about serial flings or serial monogamy, nor about raging involuntary celibacy, nor about being anti-woman.

  39. Jezza says

    Vicki babe, sweety, why do you bother? Any man would pick up on your vibe the minute you walked in the room and avoid you out of self preservation – that is, if you really ARE a mature woman and not a twelve year old frightened child. You are NOT in a relationship if you spend your life kissing a mirror. It takes courage to risk lifelong commitment to a person of the opposite sex, and years to gradually understand and appreciate one another. As the man said,” Men are from Mars, women from Venus”; I suspect you are from Pluto.

  40. If you want to write dude smut, knock yourself out. I haven’t read “Fifty Shades” but I’d probably read yours. Having said that, I’m not a huge fan of sexually explicit writing, and I purposely left it out of my novel because it’s a historical fiction trope; however, sex has its place and I honestly feel the same way you do. I don’t like that heterosexual male sexuality has become taboo and demonized. Male sexual aggression isn’t sexual predatory behaviour and male sexual desire doesn’t equal sexual deviancy.

    I hope you get published. Write it.

  41. Hmmm… adults whose behavior is compelled to act by the pleasure principle are actually defending themselves against awareness of the anxieties that inhibit their ability to engage in genuine intimacy. What we need is not more smut but erotic writing that focuses on a genuine emotional connection between a man and a woman.

  42. Paul Tyler says

    i just came here to say that henry miller is my favorite author and i turnt out okay. i think. oh and non monogamy works within the context of a decades long, loving and fulfilling relationship (even with kids involved). lotta smart folks with closed minds in this thread…

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