The Commoditization of Female Sex

Question: When it comes to women, what has sex become?

Elizabeth Debold: I think recreational sex has been something that's been around for quite some time and certainly has been exploded into popular culture with the '60's generation. Sex has become more and more commoditized. I read an article recently about prostitution being a new, like lucrative life choice for young women. I think the new Freakonomics book was mentioning that.

Women's sexuality-- everybody knows that, all you have to do is look around you, you know, and you can see that. What's fascinating is in this context where women are very much sexualized and commoditized in the marketplace, that young women are remarkably percentage wise non-orgasmic. And I find that absolutely fascinating. That the same young women who are strutting their stuff and acting super confident in relationship to their sexuality, are often not having or experiencing pleasure in sex, at least not at the orgasm level. And I think that that shows that there's a real disjunct between what it is that young women want and need in order to be really, stay really connected with themselves, and sort of where the culture has been going.

So will there be some kind of push back in relation to that? I don't know. But I think that women need to start having a conversation about this and I think young women need to start having a conversation about this.

Recorded on November 2, 2009

Recreational intercourse isn’t anything new. But wouldn’t you think that today’s women are more in touch with their wants and desires in the bedroom? Gender expert Elizabeth Debold begs to differ.

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