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Shelf Help: ‘Future Sex’

Re-evaluating our assumptions about sex and partnership.

By Peter C. Baker


Future Sex. (Photo: Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Future Sex
Emily Witt
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In her wonderfully ruminative debut, Emily Witt attempts to divine America’s sexual future not just by exploring the frontiers of our sexual present — from Tinder and Chaturbate to Bay Area polyamory and boutique porn shoots — but also by historicizing them, seeking out the shifting relationship between sex and, well, everything: technology, culture, politics. The whole enterprise is motivated by Witt’s personal quest to re-evaluate her own assumptions about sex and partnership. Refreshingly, she arrives at no single revelation or decision; her book is delightfully thesis-free. In the place of presenting a grand argument about, say, the “orgasmic meditation” movement, Witt tries something trickier and more useful: to help us see the movement without the tint of preconception. And instead of telling us what, exactly, “future sex” will consist of, Witt reminds us that the choice is ours, or at least should be.