[P]eople “need” multiple partners like they need four houses or six automobiles. These are wants, not needs. And when seemingly reasonable people argue that in previous eras people didn’t live so long, such that the death of a spouse functioned as a way for humans to fulfill their “need for sexual variety” it pays to be skeptical. (Since when did golden anniversaries become something to pity rather than something to celebrate?). No, the new turn away from monogamy was made possible not because we figured out that we are still animals but because we figured out how to effectively prevent pregnancies or end them prematurely, freeing us up to pursue the art of sexuality—the body as a tool of consumption rather than production.
Monday, August 13, 2018
Friday, August 10, 2018
[N]early all of the women—and a solid majority of the men—with whom we spoke in person want to marry. But many of them do not know how to make it happen. Marriage as it has been conventionally understood—faithful, closed (to others), enduring, kids, the whole package deal—is a desired state into which very many young Americans hope someday to naturally and passively find themselves. They do not think of it as a pathway requiring their present-time discipline, discernment, sacrifice, self-control, and prudent judgment, together with ample amounts of the same from their peers. Young Americans are not practicing to be married, but rather hoping to someday wake up in it.
Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.174
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
[C]heap sex does not make men more productive. And it will not contribute to their marriageability in an era in which marriage rates are tumbling. Bumeister and Vohs [Sexual Economics] hold that “giving young men easy access to abundant sexual satisfaction deprives society of one of its ways to motivate them to contribute valuable achievements to the culture.”
Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.152-153
Monday, August 6, 2018
Nowadays young men can skip the wearying detour of getting education and career prospects to qualify for sex. Nor does he have to get married and accept all those costs, including promising to share his lifetime earnings and forego other women forever. Female sex partners are available without all that. . . . Sex has become free and easy. This is today’s version of the opiate of the (male) masses. . . . Climbing the corporate ladder for its own sake may still hold some appeal, but undoubtedly it was more compelling when it was vital for obtaining sex.
Kathleen Vohs, Sexual Economics, pg. 523. Cited by Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.149
Saturday, August 4, 2018
I cannot help but note the contrast between classic descriptions of marital sexuality and how sex is portrayed in modern pornography. The latter redirects sex away from any sense of it as involving relationships of permanence, exclusivity, or expectations of fertility. On the contrary, pornography typically treats gazers to a veritable fire-hose dousing of sex-act diversity, and presses its consumers away from thinking of sex as having anything to do with love, monogamy, or childbearing—all traits that most Americans long equated with marriage. So, add to the sharing of bodies temporarily and non exclusively a significant dose of alternative sexual activities—different positions, roles, genders, and varying numbers of participants—and that is basically where porn leads today: away from sex as having anything approaching a classic marital sense or structure.
Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.125-126
Friday, August 3, 2018
In a world increasingly bereft of transcendence, sexual expression is emerging as an intrinsic value. Sex is the new opium of the masses…, a temporary heart in a heartless world. Unfortunately, something so immanent as sex will not—and cannot—function in the manner in which religion can, has, and does. … Sex does not explain the world. It is not a master narrative. It has little to offer by way of convincing theodicy. But in a world increasingly missing transcendence, longing for sexual expression makes sense. It should not surprise us, however, that hose who (unconsciously) demand sex function like religion will come up short. Maybe that is why very liberal women are also twice as likely to report being depressed or currently in psychotherapy than very conservative women.
Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.79-80.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
When relationships start with sex…the odds that women will flourish and enjoy a long-term relationship are dramatically lowered. It is not impossible, just rare.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
If we all really believed that sexual orientation was congenital—or present at birth—then no one would every worry that social influences could have an effect on our sexual orientation. But I think that in reality, we all know that sexual desire is deeply subject to social, cultural, and historical forces.
Jane Ward, “No One Is Born Gay (or Straight): Here Are 5 Reasons Why,” cited by Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.55
Monday, July 30, 2018
The creation of plastic sexuality, severed from its age-old integration with reproduction, kinship and the generations, was the precondition of the sexual revolution of the past several decades.
Anthony Giddens, The Transformation of Intimacy. Cited by Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.54
Sunday, July 29, 2018
But since pregnancy can be easily prevented now—a reality we take for granted today, but one that was unimaginable not so long ago—having sex and thinking about or committing to marry are two very different things today. Now we have a split mating market, one corner of which is for people primarily looking and hoping for sex with no strings attached (NSA) and the other corner of which are people interested in making the strongest of commitments (marriage), with a rather large territory in between comprised of significant relationships of varying commitment and duration. Marriage is still widely considered to be expensive, by which I mean that it is a big deal, not entered into lightly, and is costly in terms of fidelity, time, finances, and personal investment. Sex, meanwhile, has become comparatively cheap. Not that hard to get.
Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.35
Saturday, July 28, 2018
There are 2.4 million more women in college than men. In 2015, 39 percent of 25- to 34-year-old women, but only 33 percent of men, had earned at least a bachelor’s degree. There are now more women than men in the paid labor force. Documentation of the dismal state of men almost constitutes a genre of literature today. Where exactly are all these missing men? As recently as October 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that over 11 percent of men between the ages of 24 and 54—about seven million people—were neither employed nor seeking work. What are they doing, and why have they come to languish? How, if at all, does some men’s failure to thrive shape not only their own relationship behavior and sexual and marital decision-making but also those of their more successful male counterparts? There are, of course, a variety of reasons that have been floated to explain the plight of men, and the state of marriage and relationships. But few if any have wrestled with the possible sexual sources of these significant shifts. Basically, does cheap sex undermine men’s motivation to achieve? Perhaps.
[In the book, the author proves this is the case.]
Mark Regnerus, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, pg.11-12
Friday, July 27, 2018
There is a deep tension between the premises of the sexual revolution and those of #MeToo. The sexual revolution promises greater availability and enjoyment of sexual pleasure without commitment or guilt. This promise can only be accomplished by the trivialization of the intrinsically personal meaning of sex. It is very difficult to see how we can simultaneously promote the trivialization of sex and treat sexual assault with the seriousness that it deserves.
But a powerful personal drive like sexual desire cannot really be trivialized, and its personal meaning cannot be completely denied. If sex ceases to be about love, it will necessarily be about war. This is evident in the hook-up culture, which pushes the revolution’s core premise—sex without marital commitment, or “free love”—to its logical conclusion by elevating sex without any commitment at all. In the hook-up culture and its #MeToo reaction, we can see how sex without comprehensive commitment necessarily becomes predatory, thus paving the way for sexual assault.
Elizabeth Schlueter and Nathan Schlueter, What #MeToo and Hooking Up Teach Us About The Meaning of Sex