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Publisher's Summary

Sex is cheap. Coupled sexual activity has become more widely available than ever. Cheap sex has been made possible by two technologies that have little to do with each other - the Pill and high-quality pornography - and its distribution made more efficient by a third technological innovation, online dating.

Together, they drive down the cost of real sex, and in turn slow the development of love, make fidelity more challenging, sexual malleability more common, and have even taken a toll on men's marriageability.

Cheap Sex takes listeners on an extended tour inside the American mating market, and highlights key patterns that characterize young adults' experience today, including the timing of first sex in relationships, overlapping partners, frustrating returns on their relational investments, and a failure to link future goals like marriage with how they navigate their current relationships.

Drawing upon several large nationally-representative surveys, in-person interviews with 100 men and women, and the assertions of scholars ranging from evolutionary psychologists to gender theorists, what emerges is a story about social change, technological breakthroughs, and unintended consequences.

©2017 Oxford University Press (P)2018 Tantor

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Pretty Darn Accurate...unfortunately

People question why I am single as a very fit, healthy, intelligent and attractive 35 year old woman living in one of the best cities in the world (I live in San Francisco), yet what most fail to realize or choose not to see is the following:

Cheap sex has changed, and is very much still changing, the ways in which men and women relate to one another since it is eroding the backbone of long term relationships / commitment. When I talk about this concept, I am usually greeted with sighs and eye rolls from people of the older generations who grew up in a totally different era and think that there is just something inherently wrong with me; and my female friends who keep wasting their time with the dating apps, etc. deluding themselves into thinking that if they just keep doing what they are doing, they are going to get something different: an amazing man who is handsome, successful, fun, smart, emotionally available, marriage ready and possesses the desire for children.

I hate to be a buzzkill, but....

It is my experience that if we keep doing what we're doing, we're gonna keep gettin' what we're gettin', and most single women in San Francisco have the same complaints across the board as many other women in the United States unfortunately: the guy is either a bit of a loser, or if he's not a loser, and is actually somewhat interesting and attractive, he is nowhere to be found after a couple of dates because he is so sought after on the dating apps (usually having a plethora of women to choose from so he can keep going to his next best option and thus never having to really settle down). In the meantime, while he navigates the myriad of options he has on the dating apps and offline, he can get his sexual fantasies and needs fulfilled with the wide range of easily accessible porn in combination with the multiple flings he has going on with these desperate women who keep thinking that he is legitimately interested in them, when he is really just stringing them along for his own pleasure and entertainment. And, yes, for the men who actually want a committed relationship and/or aren't as desirable online/offline, they would probably say the same about attractive, interesting women in SF, but, more often than not, it's the other way around because, like the book comments, men ultimately hold the power at this point since cheap sex has infiltrated the dating / relationship / marriage market.

I have to say that although I am somewhat sad to say goodbye to the way things used to be (you know, like the days when a guy actually had to have the balls to ask a woman out in person and then had put some effort into actually planning the date, etc.), I have found a beautiful sense of freedom as I have basically become the man I always wanted to marry. With the way things are headed, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I never get married or end up in a decent committed partnership thanks to cheap sex. And while the people of the older generations keep scratching their heads trying to figure out why I am still single, and my female friends keep complaining that the dating scene is fruitless, I am going to keep enjoying the best relationship in the world: the one with myself... because, ultimately, what other options do I really have? Sadly, not very many in today's digital age.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful