Young People Aren't Having Sex In New York

The New York Observer has run a very interesting piece about the supposed sexless lives of twenty-something New Yorkers. According to writer Nate Freeman, people have sold their sex lives for a large following on Twitter, cocaine, and an iPhone. He writes:

Young New Yorkers no longer care about having sex. It’s not the endgame, nor even the animating force of social interaction. Men and women still get dressed up, but not for the purpose of taking off their clothes in another’s company. What used to signify desire or the desire to be desired now boils down to narcissism. How will I look on Patrick McMullan tomorrow? Or just on Facebook?

As a twenty-something whose career exists in the blogosphere, I would be lying if I said this article didn’t touch a nerve. Since I started writing full-time, I’ve started my own Twitter and seen a rise in my followers, I get emails from gay babes a few times a week congratulating me on my work and exuding some virtual flirtation, and I have more Facebook friends than I’ve ever had in my life. On paper, it would seem my social life has been enhanced, not decreased. But what has it all amounted to? Not a lot of sex, I’ll tell you that. To a certain extent, I do agree with this notion that young people are too busy fucking themselves to actually get around to fucking anyone else. With the rise in social media, people feel more connected to each other than ever, but wonder why they’re going home alone each night and ordering delivery food. “I have 3,000 people following me on Twitter. Will one of them just fuck me?” Social interactions have become so mechanical and constructed that a tender moment spent lying in bed with someone and snuggling is almost jarring. Any moments spent offline are getting to be uncomfortable, which is terrifying. That being said, will my sex life resume its usual course if I sign offline? New York City has always been a place that’s full of people who are career first, personal life second. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if people had less sex here than, say, in Iowa. After all, there’s nothing to do in Iowa besides have sex, right?

But here’s the thing. This major Blogger Boy Problem only applies to a small portion of the population. You really can’t make blanket statements like “twenty-somethings aren’t boning in New York” when it’s really just me and everyone at the New York Observer, The New York Times and any other New York-based publication. People will always want to have sex and for those who aren’t, maybe they should stop letting the Internet cockblock them, and get down to business. After reading this article, I know I am. Just give me a second to tweet about it. TC mark

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image – Jack Siegel

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Guest

    I'd fuck you, but New York is far away.

    • Ryan O'Connell



    As someone who has never had sex, this article really struck a chord with me. Now I know that it's okay and no one else has either.

    • Nicolette Beach

      'Never had sex' and 'not having sex anymore' are two very different things. Both are totally fine but there is a big distinction.

  • Julene

    Painfully true. I met more “interested” dudes in a month in the midwest than I have in six in NYC. Then again, this 4 (or is it 5?)-to-1 ratio of heterosexual females to males is not helping anything.

    Is that 140 characters? Quick, someone stroke my e-go.


      I always hear about that ratio but I think it only hurts women and doesn't advantage men.

      • Julene

        That might be true, but I've seen some real stunners with dudes on the train that made me… wonder a bit. Especially due to accidental-on-purpose eavesdropping.


        Hopefully the next column on TC will be advice for men on how to take advantage of this huge gender gap.

      • Julene

        Oh that's easy. Pick up a copy of 'The Game' by Neil Strauss. Ignore all douchey references to jewelery and magic tricks, utilize all tools for actual interaction with females. Then read 'God Hates Us All' by Hank Moody. If you can't work it out between those two, seek therapy. I know of a pretty good shrink in midtown, if needed.


        Thank you! I will check that out. I don't want to just “pick up” women though for casual sex. So I don't know if this will work.

        But I will read both of those, memorize the entire Qur'aan and undergo therapy anyway because is there any person who isn't better off by seeing a therapist?

      • Julene

        Another hint: it always starts casual, unless she's insane and has more daddy issues than the average girl. Using the stuff in those books makes you… I don't want to say more interesting, but aware of the need to be semi-elusive and therefore interest-worthy.

        I'm not campaigning for anyone to turn into a jerk, but being too available or too interested seems to be the kiss of death in this town.

  • veganleather

    It's different in the crust punk community. I live in a house where the naked olympics are constant.

  • Zoë

    try okcupid? works for amy.

  • Ryan Culliver

    I for one, am not having sex with New York.

  • Jordan

    sex or cocaine. you can't have your cake & eat it too. FML

  • EmiliaBedelia

    I'd be curious to see a flow-chart with online usage vs. offline sex life per city. Toronto is one of the most connected cities in the world (I am pretty sure it beats NYC, actually) and I am also pretty sure almost everyone I know in Toronto isn't having sex. But the three people I know who don't have FB are all having sex.

    • Tommmmmm

      That's true. I'm from Toronto, I'm on facebook and I'm not having sex.

    • Julene

      Ditch FB, get laid. NOTED.

      (Wait, does this include you? I saw your post on the right to disappear online which means… YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY BE HAVING SEX OMG.)

  • lando

    weird, my twitter gets me laid all the time.

  • NoahTourjee

    Its because sex sucks and its much better to not only continue not having sex but also to delete your facebook so you can click away from your netflix tab less frequently.

    • Kathleen Gambo

      hahahaha so poignant and painfully true.

  • ..


  • Harry R. Traulsen

    My gay friends have told me of this mystical app called grindr. Apparently if herpes isn't a dealbreaker, there's plenty out there through that?

  • Nyo

    The Observer article was a piece of shit, yup

  • P. H. Madore

    It's worse being straight. Try saying hello to a possible casual fuck who's much too busy texting on her billion dollar phone to even look up, and then if she does, only to sort of snort-chortle at your ancient hardware. It's easier than ever with older ladies, though, because dudes their own age are busy with the same technology trying to nail girls my age. So I guess it all works out.

  • Brenna Haddan

    I read that book. Don't be that guy, PERFECTCIRCLES! Don't be that guy.

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