No sex please, we’re Millennials

August 15, 2016 Originally published on SFGate

Perhaps we’ve got it all wrong. Maybe the downfall of western civilization will not, in fact, come by way of a gaseous cloud of rancid, orange-faced ignorance. Maybe we will not unwittingly consume our own souls by way of savagely neglecting of the increasingly overheated, unstable planet.

Perhaps our imminent doom will, instead, come from a far less melodramatic source, one as cruelly nefarious as it is, you know, devastatingly boring.

It will be from sex. Or rather, the meek, the laughable, the deeply unfortunate lack thereof.

It’s all the Millenials’ fault, of course. Isn’t it always?

“Millennials are having less sex than any generation in 60 years,” is what the headlines (tepidly) blared, spinning off a swell little study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, written by sassy, hot-topic author (Generation Me, The Narcissism Epidemic) and San Diego State prof Dr. Jean Twenge and her crew, and apparently reveling in the idea that there is, right now, a surprisingly large, sad army of enormously uninteresting thirty-somethings (and teens) out there who are choosing to skip the delirious joys and time-consuming responsibilities of sexual relationships altogether, in favor of, well, whatever bulls–t nonsense tech-stupid dogma Generation App has been trained by Silicon Valley to believe is the real point of human existence: overwork, $8 coffee drinks, video games, trolling YouTube, coding a new widget, taking the Google bus home at midnight, dreaming about VC gold and stressing about rent and/or which of their roommates broke their vaporizer and if this oversized hoodie is too rancid to be worn one more month without washing it.

Hey kids! Less MDMA, more skillful cunnilingus

Hey kids! Less MDMA, more skillful cunnilingus

It all results in what we might call a wholly new American species: Intelligent and vocationally skilled, but also a sort of flavorless and lost, missing an essential ingredient, a funky, chthonic scent that tells you this is someone who can’t tell a clitoris from a kneecap, a Hitachi Magic Wand from a hand blender. You know, just like the Puritans. Only with lamer fashion sense.

Is that too harsh? I’m not so sure. Is it all quite laughable? No question.

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter what generation you call home or which unbearable religious dogma you’ve allowed to decimate your soul, the idea that it’s of any sort of inherent value to say you can’t be bothered with undressing the slippery mysteries of humankind’s single-most gorgeous and worthwhile contribution to the entire goddamn cosmos, all because you’re too busy doing who the hell knows what – playing Pokémon Go, chasing VC cash, listening to the heartless spiel of numbed-out billionaire trolls like Peter Thiel – well, the gods have a message for you. It goes something like “pbbbbbttthhttt.”

But let’s be fair. Maybe the overexposed, tech-addled millennial generation deserves a break (and dear God, we in the media are sure as hell tired of writing about them).

After all, here in the Bay Area, once the beloved epicenter of the sexual revolution, the birthplace of the love-ins and topless strip shows, home to the Folsom Street Fair, Burning Man, and debaucheries of a thousand flavors, the bland lure of tech has become so potent, you can smell it in the air. And it smells like… sadness.

Translation: For all its gargantuan ego and mountains of hollow money, Silicon Valley and the tech biz overall are, far and away, the least sexy, least erotic, least romantically charged, least culturally interesting hub of inventiveness in the modern world, a place where “normcore” is considered a valid fashion option, sexism is baked into the very software and Tinder is still considered the sine qua non of basic human connection.

I mean, no wonder so few care (or know how) to get it on. The M generation has been trained to be about as sexually awake as a Samsung commercial playing on an iPhone 4 in the Whole Foods parking garage in Mountain View.

But of course, we shall not get carried away. There is plenty of reason to believe this generation, as all others, will be just fine, sexually speaking, and we will instead destroy ourselves in any number of the more traditional ways.

After all, coaxing another useless trend piece from the wary conclusions of a small cultural study is the hallmark of the witless new media culture, and is almost never to be trusted. As the NYT drolly pointed out, it might be true that lots of Millennials aren’t having sex – but a vast majority are. And hey, at least they’ll have virtual sex education (thanks, porn industry)!

Sure, Millennial sex might be terrible. Their skills might be embarrassing, inept, all kinds of clumsy due to so many years slumped behind various screens instead of kneeling at the altar of a partner’s orgasmic rapture, their gropings and comminglings of an overall quality that would humiliate a hyena in heat.

But hey, at least they’re trying. Most of them, anyway. The dears.

Read more here:: No sex please, we’re Millennials

Mark Morford

About Mark Morford