As a society, we are more and more obsessed by sex.  Yet surprisingly, we are having less and less of it.  The sociologists call the latter phenomenon the “sex recession.”  One writer asks whether it is turning into a Great Sex Depression, like the great economic depression of the 1930s.

What accounts for this odd fusion of obsession with indifference?  I suspect that it results mostly from the ongoing project of separating sex from the making of new life and the mutual devotion of the husband and wife in making it.  For it isn’t just that people have sex outside marriage.  Even within what passes for marriage, they often seek to avoid having children.

What a bore.  If sex is but willful sterility, why not just use porn?  It’s a lot less trouble.  You don’t even need other people.

Over time, though, that sort of thing loses its ability to excite.  You must seek more and more extreme stimuli, for less and less result.  Surprise, surprise!  That’s just how obsession works.