Future Sex

Emily Witt. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-0-86547-879-4
Witt’s debut provides an illuminating, hilarious account of sex and dating in the digital age, when hook-up culture and technology have vastly altered the romantic landscape. As a 30-something single woman, Witt explores her own sexual and romantic ambivalence as a symptom of society’s expectations and challenges herself to abandon her comfort zone. She gamely participates in an orgasmic meditation session and a public BDSM performance, uses nitrous oxide at a group sex party, and guides readers down the rabbit hole of Chaturbate, a website where women on camera get paid to perform everything from naked yoga routines to ennui-laden existential monologues. Witt is a master at pithy observations, describing a bland man as having “the human neutrality of an Apple Store or IKEA” and the Northern California New Age atmosphere “where one intellectual stumble can turn you into a wild-eyed apostle of pet acupuncture or shadow healing.” While discussing polyamory, Witt hits on the crux of her problem: being part of a reactionary post-sexual revolution generation culturally molded to push back against certain rules while maintaining the legitimacy of others, to embrace change but “not to tamper with the fundamental structures of the family and society.” This is a vital conflict at the center of many women’s lives, and Witt explores it with remarkable nuance, intelligence, and an admirable commitment to experimentation. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/27/2016
Release date: 10/11/2016
Ebook - 978-0-86547-880-0
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