Posted on November 16th, 2012
Yesterday we looked at Mary Eberstadt’s analysis (in Adam and Eve after the Pill) of perpetual adolescence among today’s males as stemming from the sexual revolution causing “an atrophying of the protective instinct in men.” Eberstadt’s second piece of evidence pointing to the child-man being the product of the sexual revolution is “the consumerization of love.”
The consumerization of love—the way that many people now go shopping for sex and romance much as they do for inanimate commodities—has had a rather major unintended consequence. It has led to more discerning consumers in an area of life where heightened discernment appears inimical to long-term satisfaction. In other words, the perpetual and often successful hunt for sexual novelty ultimately works to the detriment of longer-term romance. This is nowhere as obvious as in recent research on another aspect of the child-man of today: his use of smut, or what might otherwise be called the paradox of declining male happiness in an age glutted by sexual imagery.