An article in today's New York Observer makes the bold claim, "Young New Yorkers no longer care about having sex." Lord help us all.
On a recent Friday night, a 22-year-old in his first year of living in New York hosted a late get-together in his Little Italy apartment. Everyone there would call it a good party, but it decidedly lacked a climax.
Until 10 in the morning, a dozen attractive men and women — day laborers in film, public relations, media, fashion — drank Peroni, smoked cigarettes and indulged in cocaine as someone with an iPhone 4 blasted songs through the speakers. A girl sitting next to a Harvard M.B.A. student looked through a coffee table book of Todd Selby's photography. There was a conversation going on about Twitter — most of those present kept a vigorously updated account.
Twitter? These people prefer Twitter to sex? Worse, they prefer talking about Twitter to sex? Either these people have never had sex, or I have not been using Twitter to optimum capacity.
I also have a feeling this sex problem can be summed up in one word: Cokedick.
The gist of the piece is that a certain very small segment of this city — heterosexual early twenty-somethings who work low-level media jobs, basically, a cohort which the author mistakes for "Young New Yorkers" — is too self-obsessed, too neurotic, too given to the coke sweats, and too sensitive to this city's grinding anomie, to have sex. Too troubled by their own complicity in the great sociotechnological experiment of our age and the self-sacrificial fragmentation of their identities across its many platforms to be bothered trying to get a leg over on a Friday night.
I suppose I ought to thank the writer of this piece, Nate Freeman (who happens, I should mention, to be an acquaintance) for giving me an entirely new and unfamiliar experience: reading this story, I felt very old. The experiences articulated by all these (anonymous) sources are so remote that I feel quite as though I am eavesdropping on a conversation in a foreign language. This was not how my early twenties were.
Young people. Not having sex. Because they are apparently instead busy worrying, "How will I look on Patrick McMullan tomorrow? Or just on Facebook?" (Patrick. McMullan.) And they are apparently instead talking to reporters at Kenmare (God, nightlife is tragic in this fucking city now) and they are turning to those reporters and sharing really deep, soulful thoughts like, "Capitalism has replaced sex."
Commerce necessarily exists in opposition to the only one of life's pleasures that is free. Capitalism's fundamental goal is to monetize sex, to canalize it, to yoke our most basic human desires to instructions like "Buy Yves Saint Laurent makeup" and "Overpay for this Armani cologne." Anyone who's ever watched thirty seconds of American television anytime in the past 40 years or read a fucking half a page of Foucault knows that is how the game works. And everyone also knows that the objective is not to let capitalism win. Sad young undersexed straight people of the media, I am here to tell you that the game is only worth playing if sex wins. Now go out and fuck, for God's sake. You're only young once, etc.
Sexless And The City: Web Warps Libidos Of Coked-Up Careerists [New York Observer]