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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Top Video Splash
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and things that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way.".