Subscribe
Notify of
guest
100 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago

And yet all the 20 somethings I know are in relationships with people they met on holiday, or at Uni or in a bar. I have no idea whether my mid teens grand children are having sex but they seem to having a fairly normal round of crushes and heartache.

Maybe there’s always been a percentage of society, like the Bloomsbury set, whose egos depend on being transgressive. It’s just in the internet age we get to hear more about them.

That said, what could be expected if a society moved from being male dominated to female dominated? Less physical violence but more psychological violence? Prioritisation of the internal emotional state over the external problem? An emphasis on talking over doing? Greater concern over how a thing appears, rather than whether it works? Status games measured in virtue levels? Huge increases in societal levels of risk aversion? Shifting alliances between atomised individuals replacing team dynamics?

Hmmm.

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin Bollis
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Haven’t we seen that with Theresa May and also MP’s like Diane Abbot who says your sex is not what you are born with but what you choose. I think you make a very good point.

Al M
Al M
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

“Maybe there’s always been a percentage of society, like the Bloomsbury set, whose egos depend on being transgressive. It’s just in the internet age we get to hear more about them.“

I can find no grounds to disagree with you. The only thing to note is that this behaviour has gradually trickled down from a small sub-set of the aristocracy to pollute the lives of the middle classes.

We have seen various discussions here around whether Rousseau, Marx or Foucault is the cause of our current malaise. My own view is that the ideas propagated by these dreadful men were always with us; the culprit is surely Dr. Berners-Lee as the unwitting enabler of this lunacy.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
10 months ago
Reply to  Al M

Yes I blame that dreadful man Rousseau whose works I refused to read as a student of French literature many years ago.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I’ve identified a number of societal trends that I think are visible. They are very broad brush and certainly debatable – fill your boots.

I’ve tied these trends into femine stereotypes. Stereotypes are debatable by their nature. Personally I think stereotypes are valid, in that they are recognisable in the centre of the bell curve. I absolutely recognise that many ( most) people fall outside their parameters. By all means dispute them.

Closing down debate with “you’re sexist/racist/homophobic/blah blah is just lazy.

Happy to have a chat – justify your offence. Who knows, we might both learn something.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Thanks for your response. I have a better idea where you’re coming from and can understand what has angered you. The post was intended to be mildly provocative but I can see how it could be read as a sly dig, which is never a good look.

That said, I don’t accept that stereotypes are always used to get one up on people. They often quite a useful shorthand to understand how groups behave.

There is no doubt that there are big shifts happening in western social and moral mores. That this taking place at the same time as women are becoming more visible in the public sphere may well be just a coincidence. I’ve argued in another thread that the underlying philosophies, which are bringing about these changes, originate in the thinking of people like Rousseau and Marx – all men.

However what these thinkers have ushered in is a therapeutic society where externally imposed rules are giving way to subjective internal feelings. Some (by no means all) of this type of thinking seems to me to align more with a female approach to the world. The greater participation of women in society may therefore have initially boosted it. It’s a valid hypothesis.

A lot of the worlds problems can be correctly attached to a masculine world view, with all its judgement, competitiveness and lack of both empathy and subtlety. We are relentlessly reminded of it everyday, whilst the significant benefits of masculinity are ignored or denigrated. It doesn’t seem to matter how much respect I may want, very little is given. I’m not convinced that can just be passed off as “well it’s only the feminists.” From popular TV like the Simpson’s, through tropes like manflu, the cultural soup denigrates men now as much as women were constantly denigrated as neurotic and fragile 100 years ago.

It’s human to want to have the odd pop back. More seriously, I don’t think it’s completely out of order to point out that a world run by a predominantly feminine world view will still be far from perfect. The problems may manifest differently but there will still be plenty of them.

If it helps at all, I also believe women are often more practical than men. As seen in Virginia, when wokeness starts to impact children, it will be women who organise to fight back. Mary Harrington made a similar point in the excellent lockdown TV New Year debate with Aris and Freddie. Women have recognised that Trans ideology is attacking them and rather than just pontificate about it are organising to fight back in practical ways.

Anyway, enough now. This has helpfully taken my mind off a rather bad hangover, but I need to get on with the day. Have a pleasant Sunday.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Great response.

Geoffrey Wilson
Geoffrey Wilson
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I am interested in your “dispute” with Martin Bollis, and I feel you want a rational discussion. In my experience, that can only start by searching for the sense in your opponent’s arguments, and resisting the temptation to exaggerate your opponent’s faults. Can I suggest you challenge yourself first on your statement “women are taking over and it’s all bad”? He certainly says women are having more influence than before, which is less of a claim than your re-phrase taking over. He certainly does not say it’s all bad – please read him again.
Then you discuss stereotyping, but in my view cop out by irrelevantly saying people on both sides get offended by mention of male and female stereotypes. You are actually challenging Mr Bollis’ use of specific female stereotypes in his argument. So let’s look at the specifics. His first use of stereotypes is in saying greater female influence means less physical violence and more emotional violence. That seems to be a powerful and true description of how our society is changing – you may disagree and I would be interested in an argument about that. Mr Bollis certainly did not say emotional violence was worse than physical, just different.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
10 months ago

The working class ( can’t think of a better cliché though some earn north of £100k in so called trades) younger members of my wider family wouldn’t have a clue what this article was about. Obviously I’m not privy to their private lives but they seem to do ok with relationships and socialising then marriage and kids. Then again none of them experienced the wholly artificial world of Uni doing Arts degrees. Ask them about Angst and they’d reply never heard of him. The younger women in particular don’t seem to be in a constant state of overthinking. Covid’s been a damper but apart from that they seem to blithely enjoy life. Refreshing.

Last edited 10 months ago by Terence Fitch
Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Quite. I think the only difference in young behaviour in Newcastle is that the trendy places to be on a Friday night have moved from the Bigg Market to the area around Central Station. What is apparent though, from the occasional ‘history’ features in the Chronicle, is that young women now look like the bizarre, remodelled dolls of Geordie Shore rather than fresh-faced young clerks and shop assistants enjoying a night out. That’s a shame.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

It’s wonderful to see young people honouring marriage with their feet on the ground. There is a great strength in it. Some of these solitary overthinking types can do themselves a lot of damage. I know that some singles do not have that calling and keep themselves pure.

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Yes – thank you! It is an interesting article, but I couldn’t help thinking that every time ‘woman’ or ‘man’ was mentioned, it needed to be prefixed with ‘middle-class’.

Penny Rose
Penny Rose
10 months ago
Reply to  Lord Rochester

And not even just that. The (very) middle class young people I know all seem to have formed relationships in exactly the same way as their parents did. The only people I know in relationships made on the internet are middle aged. I’m not saying that what the author describes doesn’t exist, but it’s certainly not the only experience out there.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Yes, it’s another permutation in that eternal mystery: why are so many well off, privileged, advantaged, educated young people such a psychological mess? Some even seem to wear it as a badge of honour – a sign perhaps of their wonderfully hypertrophied sensibility.
Anybody working class who goes to university is struck by it, and wonders why.

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
10 months ago

The trouble with an entirely open sexual martketplace is that it is a winner takes all game. OK Cupid data repeatedly shows that the top 10% of men account for about 90% of romantic matches.
On the flip side there are women who, because they are able to have sex with high ranking males, imagine they can also have a relationship with one and, because of this, shun the 90% of mere mortals that exist beneath the 10% of Brad Pitts. Men, in short, without being tall, dark, hansom, ripped and rich, stand almost no chance of securing a mate in the dating market.
Women, in contrast, often foolishly hold out for a relationship with the top 10% of men, imagining that one of these days one of these men will “see them”. But they don’t realise that such men, with all the choice in the world, have no reason to settle with anyone, much less the woman holding out for him.
In short, the open dating market is a recipe for huge sexual activity among the top 10% of the population, and involuntarily celibacy and loneliness, among everyone else.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago

Strangely, short, grey and ancient seems not to be as problematic as might first appear.

I think it’s the “ancient.” The dynamics change considerably in later life.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
10 months ago

I think this YouTube video is still relevant today. Watch to the end to see the Matrix for women too. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pInk1rV2VEg

Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack
10 months ago

Great points. But does the 10% in the last paragraph not refer to men? Surely, these 10 percent of men are sleeping with the 20,.30, 40% of women who are chasing them?

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
10 months ago

Re: the last paragraph – no, it won’t change while the risk is so uneven. For a man it starts before there’s even been a date – making an approach to a woman, say at college or work, risks being accused of sexual harassment if she doesn’t think him attractive and welcome his approach, which he can’t know in advance.

If they want relationships, women are going to have to be the ones to ask for dates etc. and face the possibility of rejection.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

I remember a story not so long ago about a young geeky man (boy) who touched a girl’s arm and waist and got put onto the sex offenders registry.
https://reason.com/2019/10/11/manchester-teen-griffiths-sex-offender-friend/

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
10 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

In my experience it is often the woman who chooses the man and wins him over without even a a date proposal. They are very subtle and use friendship and purity which can lead to marriage. That is the case with my wife and also the case with my best friend. Our marriages are happy marriages and have lasted for decades and only death will finish them.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
10 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Surely it works the other way too. As a single young woman I had no interest in any guy that approached me, I was only interested in the guys that I wanted to pursue. I read articles today on consent and sexual harassment and see a young me (in my experience, guys were rubbish at picking up a subtle approach so my flirting was very much blatant).
The scary yet exciting minefield of flirting and dating that we all once navigated is now deemed ugly patriarchal enabling [email protected] culture! And yet what I see today is verging on clinical and completely lacks the romance and excitement (much more fear and anxiety despite all the safety nets) that I experienced when going out “on the pull”.

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay Snoman

Not gonna happen. The standards for what’s considered to be an attractive man are higher than they have ever been, whereas women have all the camera filters and online fanboys at their disposal. They simply don’t have any incentive to make a move on anybody who is not their perfect dream prince. Yes, they will end up lonely, but try to tell them that.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Of course with todays aversion to responsibility, when they all end up lonely and miserable, it will be everybody else’s fault too.
Tbf though, I’m sure the majority of guys actually prefer a natural girl than on over made up and surgically enhanced girl.

Mikis Hasson
Mikis Hasson
10 months ago

Great points! The quest to avoid being hurt or offended in any way with propriety and safety behind elaborate and impossible to navigate consent rules is destroying both intimacy and sexuality. Women will regret emasculating men and men will regret downgrading themselves to conform.

David McDowell
David McDowell
10 months ago

As others have pointed out, the risks for a man in dating have changed considerably over the last 20 years. He’s now much more likely to be investigated and indicted for criminal conduct whether or not he did anything wrong. And if he is indicted the legal establishment wants to see him convicted regardless of the evidence.
Young men know this and that it’s safer for them to remain behind the computer screen for as long as possible.
Young women complaining about it is ridiculous as it’s they who are responsible for the changes in the first place.

Last edited 10 months ago by David McDowell
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  David McDowell

The basic problem is that from a man’s point of view, the risks attached to relationships have not changed
– the onus is on men to initiate and get consent
– still judged based on capacity to be a breadwinner (Of all the women I know, I can’t think of a single one who has married down)
– still exposed to risk of losing touch with children and being financially damaged post divorce.

Last edited 10 months ago by Samir Iker
Terry Needham
Terry Needham
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

All my intimates went downmarket. Perhaps my good looks and wit count for more that I realise.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
10 months ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Marriage then sex would cure all those ills.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

It would just expose them to an additional set of risks (eg financial expropriation) on top of many of those they face as singles (eg accusation of rape).

Michael K
Michael K
10 months ago

Studies suggest that about 80% of women on dating apps are in competition for about 20% of the men.
The author wholly fails to understand the significance of this point. 80% of women on dating apps are not indeed competing for the 20% of men who are slightly above them in terms of education and earning power. They are competing for the top 20% (actually more like 5-10%) of men who are considered highly physically attractive and successful, wherein that second point is more of a sidenote.
This is not a feature of feminism or female empowerment at all – it’s a feature of a highly visualized dating environment that relies almost exclusively on externalities. If these women had any kind of sense, they would realize that their competition actually goes for the same men as they do, and so the men don’t have to settle with any one woman. But they won’t realize that, because a woman, when asked what her preferences are, would always say “the kind caring man”, whereas she would claim that her competition would go for “the attractive bad boy”. When the reality is that they are all collectively going for the attractive bad boy – they are just deluding themselves into thinking that they chose him for other qualities. The guy, then, will proceed to use them and throw them away, like the attractive bad boy he is.
The women, over time, develop the view that men are trash, shallow and don’t know what they want. When the capital mistake was that the women themselves, from the get-go, were extremely shallow in terms of which men they would even give the chance to have a conversation with. Clearly if you are ignoring 80% of men, there must be something going wrong on a fundamental level.
This is entitlement culture on steroids and yes, the author is right, if everything goes down to numbers, these deeply emotional matters lose their humanity.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

“Studies suggest that about 80% of women on dating apps are in competition for about 20% of the men.”
As someone who is too old to have experienced online dating, I’ve always been given the impression by people and the media that it’s merely a continuation of the old cliche that most men try to get only the most attractive women. And the cliche was a stick of Neanderthal type morals that women would often beat men with.
But this statistic clearly shows it’s the opposite, which really surprises me – and probably means that the cliche was actually untrue even prior to online dating. And so doesn’t say much about women’s morals.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Bang on ! no one reads books anymore so are doomed to be functionally stupid.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

A possible explanation for this 80:20 point is that when you look at pretty well all human endeavours and qualities you get a bell curve, a Gaussian or “normal” distribution. But the female and male curves are different; women are clustered a lot more closely around the middle. So if you look at something like IQ, the low, high, mean, and median will be the same, and the area under the curve will be the same, but there will be fewer women with a 6-sigma IQ than men, and more women with a +/- 1 sigma IQ than men.
It doesn’t matter if your politics instruct you to disbelieve in IQ – what any curve is charting is beside the point. The point is that this is true of any quality you take, whether it’s height, shoe size, anything. Women are more closely bunched about the average, meaning that they are, in a broad sense, quite similar.
How this reads into looks is that there are quite a lot of extremely good-looking men and relatively fewer average ones, whereas there are a lot of average-looking women and very very few exceptional ones. As a result, men’s idea of good looks in women necessarily takes in a lot more women. A man who considered only 6-sigma females good looking would be overlooking almost all of them. So the male gaze falls with appreciation on 5, 4, 3 and even 2 sigma females.
As a result, when you ask women to rate the looks of random men they rate maybe 20% good-looking whereas when men rate women they rate about 60% good-looking. They’re both right given the material they’re working with. But a not-especially-outstanding female – OK looks, OK intelligence, OK charm, OK economics, OK personality, fairly standard humour level and opinions – is so used to being regarded as a prize that she imagines she can attract a mate who’s actually out of her league. She’s one of the 80% most men would agree is quite to very attractive – and the gap between quite and very is quite small – but in very few cases is she herself a 5 or 6 sigma player.
One of the things I noticed about women by the time I was about 26 or 27 was how similar they all are. What explains this is that personality traits and much else comes from the X chromosome and as women have two they get the average of the two. Men get the one. So if you have a six-sided dice and you roll it you have an equal chance of getting any number between 1 and 6. If you instead roll two and take the average, you have a 1 in 36 chance of getting a double one or a double six and a much higher chance of getting a 3 or 4 than any other score.
This is where female homogeneity comes from, broadly, and while it doesn’t tell you anything about any individual woman, it does explain why things like CEO jobs and pure maths professorships are generally held by men. People who are CEOs are right-end outliers on several curves at once and are thus certain always greatly to outnumber women with similar attributes.
Women often take offence when you point this out to them, but I couldn’t really care less.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Does this express in the pareto distribution and hypergamy?

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

personality traits and much else comes from the X chromosome 

Do you have a reference for personality being coded to a large extent on the X chromosome?
I think you might be onto something re similarity of personality – but any evidence of that other than personal experience?
As a counter, I would say that men are redeemed by intelligence. Without it, they can be a pretty dull lot. Whether they are all dull in the same way I’m not sure – but they do have a pretty narrow range of interests.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

There’s this:
the X chromosome has a role in the development of the human brain (see [6]), suggesting that it may harbour variants associated with behaviour.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-019-0388-2
That particular paper is concerned with the relationship between neuroticism and the X chromosome. Anecdotally, something else I have observed about women is that a remarkable number of them are a bit crazy to some degree. Food fads, hating their mothers, being afraid of spiders, motorways, tunnels, and aeroplanes, and a number of personality disorders such as being bipolar are either common or virtually the norm among women, but remarkably rare among men.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

fascinating thanks – and maybe another practical outworking of the gene difference is that men seem to have more varied ‘interests’ whereas a very high percentage of women seem to be focussed on homemaking , security etc – which often seems rather boring tho pleasant to many men…..who would rather focus on anything but…..

R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago

I’m a young guy and I’ve essentially given up on young women for all of the reasons you describe. Their aspirations are entirely out of sync with 2020s society. It’s all soulless.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

there will be gals out there smart enough to see thru all the rubbish – you just have to figure out where they hang out – and read a lot of ‘proper ‘ books. vs social media based crap !! – or you will be doomed get a social media based twit…

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
10 months ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Evidence?

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

damned good question !! I have actually met 3 I think over the past few years – and they were always in an ‘intelligent, adventurous’ context – sailing, climbing, animal rights etc – that appears to be the key – the context…

Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
10 months ago

Dating apps are exhausting. Absolutely exhausting. They have gamified dating. It would be interesting to see what percentage of attachment styles are found on dating apps. I suspect it would be a high proportion of anxiously attached women chasing avoidantly attached men. The majority of which are destined for short-lived toxic relationships. People with secure attachment styles will probably be coupled up long before they need dating apps.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

I agree. That’s how it always was. My self and my peers did not need dating apps to get happily married.

Al M
Al M
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

I suspect the success rate of these apps is close to zero. Although I’m way older than the age group under discussion here, I was about when dating online started and, like most of my friends, gave it a go. Nobody I know met anyone they then went on to form a lasting relationship with or marry. Everyone met their spouses or partners, both males and females, gay or straight, either at work or through social networks – the type that includes pubs and nightclubs rather than a computer screen.

I’m actually glad I’m a miserable old s0d now. Being young looks absolutely dreadful.

Ian May
Ian May
10 months ago
Reply to  Al M

I’m also way older than the group under discussion here but I formed that lasting relationship you mention. My wife and I first made contact online via a chat program called ICQ. We were opposite sides of the Atlantic. After progressing from chat to phone calls, I then flew across the pond for our first physical meeting. That was in 1998. We got married the following year and have been together ever since.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

I suspect it would be a high proportion of anxiously attached women chasing avoidantly attached men.

There does seem to be evidence that this is increasingly the case as people age. The ones left in the dating pool have either driven former partners away, or have left them.
The men seem little interested in long term relationships any more, while the women pretend that getting pumped and dumped all the time is really what they want.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

I am not sure its the pumped and dumped – maybe more likely the blokes get sick of being micromanaged……..towards goals that might not be theirs….i also note a significant amount of attempted upgrading by the gals who manage to maintain their nubility…

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
10 months ago

This is not the usual topic that would grab my attention, it did because of a recent conversation. I must say it is a well scribed essay effectively pulling together what many of us see around us and shake our heads in despair. I read it to the end and within it found some thought provoking lines.
I found it all the more poignant following a recent exchange between myself and my golf-buddy, and a waitress at our club. Somehow, we found ourselves relaying to this young lady how we had each chatted up certain young girls at discotheques, women who later became our wives in marriages that, in both our cases, have lasted over forty years.
The waitress said, in all seriousness. and we felt with a tinge of weary tiredness, “ I just wish some boy would walk up to me and have the confidence to do that”………….

Last edited 10 months ago by hugh bennett
Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
10 months ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

It’s not a lack of confidence today, it’s a fear of accusations!

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
10 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay Snoman

And also that asking out someone you’ve taken time to get to know is considered at best “creepy” and at worst “grooming”.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Tbf, there will be those who fail the initial attraction but become more attractive the better you get to know them and those who pass the initial attraction but become uglier the better you get to know them, for all manner of reasons. Initial attraction has a roll to play but it’s not the be all and end all.

In my youth, I was very confident when it came to approaching guys that some assumed that as such, I was a domineering woman and once they realised that I wasn’t, they dumped me. I came to the conclusion that this was an important factor for men when choosing a partner and I needed to find a man that wanted a chill (in my view) girl like me. Fortunately I found one and have been happily married ever since.

Also worth pointing out that the longer someone is single, the more their net widens as their standards drop. Of course the downside of this is that there are those who can smell that desperation and prey on it. Leaving their victims bitter and disenchanted and blaming all for their suffering.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
10 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay Snoman

there will be those who fail the initial attraction but become more attractive the better you get to know them and those who pass the initial attraction but become uglier the better you get to know them

That puts it very well and is, in a nutshell, what is lost when people rely a computer to arrange liaisons. Dating apps are a socially inept computer nerd’s idea of how relationships should form, and entirely overlook the gradual manner in which we form our impressions.
I have dated women I worked with an in every case they were women I had known for at least six months and sometimes two or three years. That’s how long it took to notice there was something afoot here.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Agreed – ie in a ‘natural’ environment.

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago

How coarsened we’ve become

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew D
William Shaw
William Shaw
10 months ago

For men today, sex is merely a fun leisure activity that is managed via contract: Tinder hookups summoned as casually as a pizza and discarded just as readily. 
For women, sex is a vehicle for financial reward: university classes on becoming a Sugar Baby or how to launch yourself on OnlyFans.
For both sexes, the interpersonal landscape is dominated by pornography: women supply and men consume.
It’s not surprising that young men have little interest in getting married or even wanting a serious relationship.
For many young men, a university education has become irrelevant to their life goals. Since men are now deemed to be unnecessary and no longer expected to be the family breadwinner a well paying job is also no longer essential.
Nothing is more expensive than a wife and children.  No wife equals a happy life and no child equals a healthy bank balance.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

I agree – and there is wonderment about low procreativity !! Women have finally got what they pursued – again no one reads anything of import anymore except for the over 50’s – maybe.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

I’m not sure that this isn’t part of a wider social change in the Western world. The article banging on about sex and intimacy is just part of it.
The social world has changed to a much more transactional relationship between individuals. People no longer do the right thing because they should, they ask “What’s in it for me?” first.
Now you can argue about the cause of this increasing emphasis on the transactional nature of relationships. Perhaps it is the decrease in religious belief, or traditions. The increase in divisive victimhood. Or perhaps the distractions of technology. Or just too many people.
Perhaps it is the ready availability of knowing the cost of everything? And also knowing the value of nothing.

Last edited 10 months ago by AC Harper
Jesse Porter
Jesse Porter
10 months ago

Sex never has been and will never a relationship. Sex has never been and will never be free. Sex has never been and will never be just fun. Sex has always been for propagating.
The ‘progressive’ attempt at decoupling sex from propagation in the vain hope of turning it into recreation are doomed to failure. Tell it to any prostitute or customer, despite what the creators of TV, movies and porn desperately hawk to us, that sex decoupled from propagation is bliss, fun or merely satisfying and you get an entirely different narrative. Well, it would be if only _______. The blank is endless, from guilt to diseases to filth. Why do participants go to such lengths to avoid discovery. King David murdered his friend and valuable soldier in a fiendish way.
Lest you resist the truth by pointing out its historical persistence, I will point out the persistence of its ill effects. Wars have been instigated, suicides proliferate. Diseases flourish. Degeneracy of individuals and of cultures occurs. Such are unavoidable consequences of sexual immorality.

Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
10 months ago

Wow. Come a long way in one lifetime. It used to be called sexual intercourse – which implied at least another person. Its prime purpose was to make babies. Not one mention of babies in these posts. They are so irrelevant. Now this is as it should be given how we are ruining the planet with overpopulation. This is also the reason the LBGT community is being lauded and plauded. The digital age effected a revolution greater than any previous one. We are turning into non-biological beings. We should look to Japan for clues of the future. Sex will virtually become virtual.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago

The biggest issue for relationships is that women decided to “compete” with men, portray themselves as the same as men. But, judged by the standards routinely applied to men, they are so pathetic and unlikeable.

After so much “winning”, women are still absent from most risky, hard, real world occupations – truck drivers, plumbers, construction. Even where females dominate, such as education or medicine, the bulk of the “hard” stuff, animal vets, engineering, surgery, is done by men. And while movies, books etc are full of STRONG women, their real life counterparts insist on being helpless damsels in distress, in need of constant protection.

They are also utterly disinterested in any of the fun hobbies that characterise men – though constantly whining that gaming, football etc being male domains is “patriarchy” (hence the obligatory useless female commentators or live women’s football broadcasts)

Imagine a man who has no manly interests, doesn’t have the guts to go for the tough jobs that maximise family earnings, pretends to be macho but at the tiniest pinprick starts sobbing about how unfair the world is, gets drunk and sleeps around and then moans about how he was “abused” because he was drunk….

Can you just imagine the queues of women forming up to date him?

john zac
john zac
10 months ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this essay and feel Kat possesses a view worth hearing. I ordered her book and thank you for introducing her to us. Intimacy, sociality, dialogue, mental illness, aggression, addiction are all topics that need to be covered today as they reveal much about the direction of our culture. Of course tech believes they hold all the answers but have they understood the problems?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
10 months ago

I don’t think it would be right to touch a woman without her wanting it. There is nothing wrong in that safety rule. Where things go wrong is that the opposite sex are just people who might be possible to have sex with. If you want safety and intimacy just keep pure until that day when you can commit yourself wholly and faithfully in marriage to the one you love.

Last edited 10 months ago by Tony Conrad
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I don’t think it would be right to touch a woman without her wanting it.

Granted. But how is this established?

Does the man ask ‘May I touch you, please?’

Or does the woman say ‘I consent to your touching me?’

I dunno, does this happen in real life? And if it doesn’t, back to my question: how is it established that a woman wants to be touched?

Moro Rogers
Moro Rogers
10 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

She slips you some tongue, or throws her arm around the back of your head. If she doesn’t do either of those things, apologize and start looking around again.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
10 months ago
Reply to  Moro Rogers

Apologize.

Police Officer: ‘Sir, according to a complaint received, I have reason believe that you had occasion to apologize to a certain Ms X. Would you kindly accompany me to the station to assist in our enquiries?’

Moro Rogers
Moro Rogers
10 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

how is it established that a woman wants to be touched?” -a Bloke
I was just trying to help!

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
10 months ago
Reply to  Moro Rogers

Yes, you were. Please don’t feel that your efforts were unappreciated! (Unlike the person now accompanying the police officer to the station … )

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
10 months ago
Reply to  Moro Rogers

Aren’t you already touching (kissing, to be precise) if she slips you some tongue? And while throwing her arm around your neck and behind your head isn’t necessarily while locking lips, I doubt that it happens often without such osculation. So, I don’t see how you really answered the question. You’re expostulating on Stage B or C – at least – when the query concerns getting to Stage A.

Moro Rogers
Moro Rogers
10 months ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

The path to Stage A is manifold.

Last edited 10 months ago by Moro Rogers
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

As I once wrote in the FT some years ago, from insect to mammal, the female of the species is inherently more capable, and able than the male in all bar physical strength: however, divorce and listening to others who have gone through the ” lawyers lottery”, when emotion engages the frontal female lobe, all that superiority of judgement, all that logic, analysis, ability to conclude and process information, disappears… logical, fact based argument, discussion and debate sans innuendo, heresay, conjecture and speculation becomes impossible….

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
10 months ago

What a thoroughly depressing article. Where is the soul?

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
10 months ago

Could not help thinking that this was remarkably clever, probably true and very sad.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 months ago

“Studies suggest that about 80% of women on dating apps are in competition for about 20% of the men.” Isn’t that normal for many animal species? Or why in other species the proportion of females to males is around 80:20 ? Or what could happen in societies where every man can have 4 wives ? Maybe the last 2000 years of Christianity was just an abnormality that humanity is now leaving behind.

D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago

Fisher’s principle explains why the sex ratio is close to 1:1 in sexually reproducing species. It’s one of the most successful parts of evolutionary biology.
The proportion of males who actually breed is a different matter. For every bull elephant seal on the beach with a harem of females, there are dozen defeated males wallowing just offshore, hoping that one day their chance will come.

Michael
Michael
10 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Meanwhile the girl seals who mated got the packet of genes they were driven to seek by their unconscious. Sexual selection just as it should be ! Inequality drives , so cruel, so unchristian, so Foucault.

Last edited 10 months ago by Michael
Christian Moon
Christian Moon
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael

And once this dynamic develops, any one female won’t feel secure unless she too makes her way towards the master of the harem. Am I not good enough for him?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 months ago

One of the mysteries of my lifetime is how rampant promiscuity for its own sake (as opposed to sexual experimentation) was sold to the supposedly superior sex. When I was young, most people understand that bad sex was OK for men and awful for women. That was why women took time to choose sexual partners and once the sexual relationship had started to find ways to have sex that were mutually pleasurable.
I also remember one woman whose idea of sex was to use the p***s as a d***o around which she could [email protected]@te herself to satisfaction. I presume that there are many more like her nowadays.

Chelcie Morris
Chelcie Morris
10 months ago

Honestly, I think the path we’re going down is a blessing in disguise. The sexual revolution was bad for women overall, it made us all cheap game for men and created objectification that feminists pretend wasn’t their fault. Now that prostitution is essentially coming back, it’s good for the rest of us because men will go to the prostitutes for sex while courting other women for marriage. At least, I hope.

Fam Barr
Fam Barr
10 months ago

Agree with this article – I do think that intimacy is dwindling because the younger generation have been taught by social media to be over-sensitive to normal human experience. But like the comments below point out, just go out to a club and hopefully you’ll see that there are quite a few who have good grip on reality and are having fun – and will ensure the human species survive.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
10 months ago

Hi! Yoo-hoo! Sex Trade Survivor, here!
First of all, If you have to pay someone before they’ll let you penetrate their body, they are not consenting to sex, they are submitting to sex because they need the money. Whether sex is coerced through economic or physical force, it’s still coerced sex. And coerced sex is rape.
Second of all, the word “grooming” is only used with adults when they’re being groomed by a predator, whether a con man, a trafficker ,or a batterer. Adults are people, too, and many adults are vulnerable. Those adults who are targeted by predators deserve compassion, too.
Third of all, love & connection are the enemies of Capitalism – so anything an entrepreneur can create that undermines love & connection will be highly popularized and widely promoted.
Porn and hookup culture turns sex into a drug, rather than a way to share pleasure, express affection, and intensify bonds with another human being.
If sex is a drug, what difference does it make if you’re having sex with a stranger or a bot or a trafficking victim or an image on a computer screen? The dopamine hit is the point,and the hit is not personal.
Love is hard to find, risky, and peels the armor off our hearts. Love makes us extremely vulnerable.
But sex?
Sex is one of the cheapest and easiest drugs to manufacture, and incredibly profitable.
A trafficked little girl is like a fragile glass meth pipe,delivering hit after hit of of orgasm to grown men. Super profitable for the trafficker.
Aella is also a drug delivery system, but she’s more powerful & expensive than most women (and kids) being sold for a thrill.
Aella’s less a fragile glass meth pipe than a solid gold cooking spoon.
Good for her!
Profiteers like Aella and Laci Green keep the world safe for men who buy their way into the bodies of women (and kids) who have no other options.
By making sex buying seem like good wholesome consumerism, they keep those sweet sweet profits rolling in for sex traffickers (sex trafficking cannot exist without sex buyers, and there’s never enough willing “supply” to meet demand – so trafficking victims are just a necessary part of the cost/benefit ratio of the Sex Industry).
People like Aella and others who profit off the Sex Industry are not just destroying intimacy, they are destroying lives.

D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

they are submitting to sex because they need the money

Or are they making a lot of money in a quick way that avoids the hourly drudgery of real work? Lots of women earn a wage and support themselves.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
10 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Thanks for this Penny. While not fully agreeing with most of this, I think you make several important points. Excess demand for paid sex does sometimes result in trafficking, leading to destroyed lives. Even those who believe the sex trade may be a net positive should face up to that.
Sex (and the porn assisted solo variants) is indeed a harmful addiction for a great many people. (Though at the same time it may be a useful palliative for things they are missing.) It might be an overstatement to say Capitalism is an enemy of Love. But certainly some capitalists, especially in the platform economy, are effectively trying to bring every aspect of life into the commercial sphere. Including parts previously left to unmediated communal activity, and to Loving relationships.
As per other comments, many young people are still forming intimate relationships in old school ways. And there’s probably quite a large section of the population who are well suited to the shift towards more transactional & platform mediated living. But then there’s a third group who are adversely affected, whether it be by traumatic experiences, extreme loneliness, or are just left craving for real intimacy & love but dont know how to find them. Not sure this group has the critical mass to lead to the revolution sketched out in the last paragraph of the article. But they are to a degree already being listened to.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
10 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

“First of all, If you have to pay someone before they’ll let you penetrate their body, they are not consenting to sex, they are submitting to sex because they need the money. Whether sex is coerced through economic or physical force, it’s still coerced sex. And coerced sex is rape.”
But it isn’t coerced, is it? Slaves are coerced – they are denied the choice of saying no. By your reasoning I was economically coerced into my agreeable and well remunerated career in higher education. But we both know that I wasn’t coerced, don’t we? Rape is a serious crime that should not be belittled by fatuous airheads using fatuous arguments to support an indefensible ideological position.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
10 months ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

She has been in the business end more than you have. Maybe she has a point regarding her own experience? Not quite an airhead, methinks?

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
10 months ago

As, according to her line of reasoning, I have also been subject to economic coercion, I can claim to have been in the coercion business somewhat longer than she has. Or you, in all likelihood. Methinks indeed.

Robert Parker
Robert Parker
10 months ago

As a gay man I can anecdotally report that many “straight men” are now covertly crossing over to the other side for some man on man action that has an almost old fashioned simplicity in terms of the relaxed ease of being able to get some consensual, discreet, no strings action.
By contrast Male/female relationships and casual hook ups have seemingly become such a complete minefield in terms of the ever changing complexity of negotiating what exactly constitutes consent, as well as the very real potential for the slightest clumsy misunderstanding to suddenly be escalated in to being accused of sexual misconduct or much worse.

Carol Moore
Carol Moore
10 months ago

I don’t think this is as widespread as suggested. It seems like a ‘chattering classes’ kind of problem?

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago

Ahh, does anyone still remember the good ‘ole days when your father chose your lifelong mate? It was not that long ago and still exists in some cultures.

jonathan carter-meggs
jonathan carter-meggs
10 months ago

Social media, including dating apps, is in the process of completely changing the interactions between humans. I believe, as the strategies employed in this arena are for the benefit of their billionaire owners and shareholders, then the outcomes will not be optimised for humanity as a whole. However, humans are highly adaptable and so there is hope that their own strategies will win out. Of course these will not necessarily match the current political trends that are circulating, but when has the selfish gene ever cared for politics?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
10 months ago

One of the mysteries of my lifetime is how rampant promiscuity for its own sake (as opposed to sexual experimentation) was sold to the supposedly superior sex. When I was young, most people understand that bad sex was OK for men and awful for women. That was why women took time to choose sexual partners and once the sexual relationship had started to find ways to have sex that were mutually pleasurable.

Last edited 10 months ago by Christopher Barclay
Tim D
Tim D
10 months ago

I have to comment on such a masterpiece of writing beyond it’s important subject matter. I am as well appreciative of the pertinent comments.

There is so much to absorb because you craft with words that describe the complexity rather than homogenize it. As all great writing, it leads me to reflection, learning and perhaps better understanding of others and myself.

The most important relationship we have is I and me. As we grow up I adds the distinctions or commonality with you by distinction. It is often difficult to identify whether the emotion in the language applies to myself or the other, especially when there are consequences for that public identity to csrry sanctions, both gain and loss.

I cannot speak to the rest of the world, but in the U.S. the Elephant in the room is a financial corporate attempt to reduce all transactions, commercial and private to one-sided monetary payment and accumulation of wealth; and now it’s derivative investment profit at all cost. Think Facebook.. I suspect the 80% chasing the 20 are very interested in the stock portfolio of the perspective intimate.

Having more years than many likely to read these words, I admit regret having to protect myself to seek what this piece offers at core – a gentle honesty tohat describes the problems and benefits rather than shames into conformity.

The hallmark of intimacy is fundamentally honesty. We are too often rewarded for adopting a momentary alternative definition of honesty, which fundamentally confuses the speaker’s needs with the listener’s. Truth to some is what gets the other to act as I wish by hiding the conflict. When emotions and druthers are involved, which party has the power to be pleased rather than forced to please? The mutuality of joy and sharing has the same language as selfish satisfaction to the outside world.

I believe the operative word is force. The powerful get to force their own will on the other, and a more universal way to do that is to monetize transaction while pretending connection. Wrap oneself in the conformity that substitutes for comfort.

Vijay Kant
Vijay Kant
10 months ago

A very enjoyable read. Thank you.

PR C
PR C
10 months ago

Why do those who write about sex workers never seem to speak to them? Hear Aella speak for herself here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCfvF226TV4 being interviewed at length by Holly Randall, whose podcast series gives sex workers and performers the chance to speak for themselves. Like Aella, these people mostly seem to be smart, articulate and interesting – and committed feminists! Try listening to a few of them, Kat, you’ll find a snide comment like “good at decoupling heart (and hormones) from mind” unwarranted. Perhaps if public debate and sex education were not so woke and so woeful young people might find it easier to articulate the totally new language of social media. Smartphones are 15 years old (iPhone, 2007). No adults grew up with them. Everyone’s guessing!

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
10 months ago

Just a general observation and one that doesn’t help much, but the pace of change is now so great that we soon find ourselves living in a world that is not the one that we were born into.

John Croteau
John Croteau
10 months ago

One day, Gen Z will wake up and realize the soul-replenishing benefits of real relationships with real people. Get their heads out of their smartphones, computer monitors (and asses) and enter the real world. I only hope it’s not too late for the young ladies, for children replenish the soul as you get older. Sex fades like old parties that you occasionally revisit, but enjoy far less. Guys have more time, but the same law holds true. Someone needs to provide some leadership, and Kat strikes me as insightful enough and smart enough to lead the charge.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
10 months ago

I know women who married down to look after their men. In one family, it was somewhat surprising for me to see the man driving the sports car (paid for by his wife), and the woman being taking on a more traditional role.
Another family I know connected in a triple – a married lesbian couple (one a trans) which later enlarged to include a man. They’re living all together looking after their children.
Conservative people will continue to marry and raise their offspring as they’ve done. Ditto those who’re not part of this culture war (e.g. immigrants, adherents of minority religions).
It’s hard not to see this as survival of the fittest as Darwin envisaged. Those who can adapt to the new age will (genetically) survive, and create the new generations. Still reminds me of Ayn Rand. It’s possible to ignore reality, but not the consequences of ignoring reality.

John Harrison
John Harrison
10 months ago

Is ‘grooming’ what we oldies used to call seduction?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
10 months ago

An i nteresting interview which relates to this essay. Starts around 6:30

https://youtu.be/vCLk0pSEukg

N T
N T
10 months ago

A lot of unsubstantiated claims and zero data makes this a lot harder to believe.

Last edited 10 months ago by N T