Wanna buy 450,000 condoms—cheap? The Rio Olympic Committee stocked up in anticipation of a “Carnaval” in Olympic Village. Put the condoms in big green vending machines that played a bossa nova (just kidding) whenever a coin was inserted. With visions of gallivanting Olympians dancing in their heads, they budgeted at least forty-two per athlete.
But then the Zika virus showed up. So virulent that birth control was too risky to trust. Doctors warned that the virus could live in male sperm for more than ninety days. Athletes were told to abstain for the two week period of the Games and for months afterward if they were pregnant or wanted to become pregnant or wanted to impregnate.
Sex was suddenly less popular than the Russian swim team. No juicy gossip, no TMZ scoops. The only scandal was the Namibian boxer accused of trying to rape a chambermaid. Luckily, Pokemon Go came along to help fill the free time.
Sex is the world’s second oldest profit center. Its brand was created when Adam and Eve’s Edenic idyll was turned into Original Sin. It’s been the motivating force behind art and commerce and social life. And it’s beaten off determined enemies like St. Paul and Leo Tolstoy and Sigmund Freud.
But do we still need it?
Not for reproduction. Marital sex is losing ground to alternate forms of procreation. The Biblical injunction, “Be fruitful and multiply” is a relic of the patriarchal past. The romantic notion that a man and a woman can produce a child after a night of love is so Doris Day.
Sexless parenting is much cooler. Couples can take a few shots the old-fashioned way and if that doesn’t work they head for the lab. Career women can have a baby fathered by an anonymous donor, carried by a surrogate and raised by an illegal alien. Surrogates are also being used by gay couples. Adoption is seen as the nobler alternative, saving a child instead of adding another to this over-populated world.
Single women with no interest in sex or marriage are buying sperm from males with high achieving genetics. One internist in New York has donated his sperm to eighteen women who are hoping to say “my son the doctor.”
Meanwhile, Europe seems to have given up altogether. The EU birth rate is at a record low with countries like Spain and Portugal experiencing negative growth — two deaths for every birth.
Officials fear Spain will soon be a “gerontocracy,” dedicated to the needs of the elderly. Italy is experiencing its lowest birth rate since the country’s founding in 1861. To avert a “catastrophe” the Minister of Health offered a “baby bonus” of cash payments and expanded health services to new parents. The birth needle didn’t budge. They doubled the offer. Still nothing.
Some analysts predict that the surge of immigrants will replenish the population. The EU will eventually be divided between the old and infirm and the young and Muslim. Sweden’s birth rate has already been inflated by the higher rate from the Muslim community. Health Minister Gabriel Wilkstroem is conducting a nationwide survey to understand why [native-born]Swedes are having less sex.
One reason may be that it’s illegal. Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, and France (jamais l’amour?) have recently outlawed the purchase, not the sale of sex. The johns are prosecuted, the prostitutes are let off with a pamphlet on alternate careers.
Sex has lost its therapeutic creds. The “good roll in the hay” prescribed for many real and imaginary ailments can now kill you. STD’s have come roaring back, immune to antibiotics.
Herpes, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C are still dangers. Now Zika has joined the ranks. The traditional “headache” excuse has been supplanted by, “not tonight dear, I have a mosquito.”
Sex is no longer the goal of an evening out. At least not to American millennials. Citing a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the New York Post reports that “15 per cent of 20-to 24 year old Americans have had no sexual partners since their 18th birthday.” This correlates with CDC data that the percentage of high school students having sex had dropped from 54% to 41% in 2015.
“A lot of that drop happened pretty recently,” according to study co-author Jean Twenge. She says millennials are in an “extended adolescence,” putting off careers, marriage and parenting, “putting off everything, including sex.”
Some of them don’t even bother starting. Millennials are twice as likely to be virgins than Gen X’ers born in the ’60’s were at their age.
Why are millennials finding the formerly irrepressible sex urge so easy to resist?
Maybe they’re afraid? Twenge says. “They’ve gotten the message you can get sick or even die from sex.” Maybe they’re intimidated by porn stars they can’t measure up to. Or impeded by social media. Twenge blames dating apps: “If someone who isn’t physically attractive meets someone in a bar, they can charm the other person…On Tinder it’s a picture.”
Sex has lost its news value. A few die hards may be tweeting their genitalia, but the interest lies elsewhere. Gay culture is where it’s at. Transitioning is trending.
the ultimate millennial rebellion will be when we all really do stop having sex and thus refuse to produce a new workforce for capitalism
— carrie from prom (@CarriePotter_) August 5, 2016
Traditional sex is politically incorrect any way you portray it, so why bother? With only Seth Rogen to defend it, sex and its handmaidens lust and love have been banished from the blockbusters. No love interest. No titillation except for a glimpse or two of Gal Gadot in hot pants. The villains thirst for world domination, but if not for rape and pillage then for what? The heroes are prepubertal, not ready for a mature relationship.
Compare Suicide Squad to its inspiration The Dirty Dozen to see how sexuality has been eliminated from the movies.
Are these the leaders of tomorrow? Timid, phobic, bored. If sex has no place in their lives what will replace it? Pop culture offers a clue.