Witt’s stories are not entirely without humor, though, since sex is so often a comedy of errors. Witt explains how entertainments like Chaturbate and Public Disgrace (an online pornography series) have come to be, what purpose they serve.She just deals with her disappointments and awkward moments in a different way: She plays them down, looking for answers in books and interviews rather than her own navel — or below. Her chapter about Internet porn is another highlight.[Jessica Valenti’s memoir, “Sex Object’] Instead Witt, a Fulbright scholar and cultural critic whose work has appeared in the New Yorker and the London Review of Books, turned her personal malaise into something beyond herself and beyond shtick: a serious exploration of American sexual culture, from birth control and polyamory to Burning Man and Internet porn. The woman who greeted us at the door had advised us to express loud, enthusiastic consent.Witt bravely plays guinea pig, taking readers inside sexual subcultures without pre-judging or snarking at them. “When we left the dome, we walked over to a nearby shade structure where sitar music was playing.” It’s almost a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.Witt treats her subjects (even her bad Internet dates) with respect instead of the judgment or mockery you might expect. Readers will find this approach either droll or dull.It’s like reading something by David Mc Cullough if he wrote about dating apps. What “Future Sex” does better than a typical sex memoir is go out of its way to understand things that would make many people blush.
I could watch a porn starlet hula-hoop on my computer while I had sex with a battery-operated prosthetic.” In fact, she did none of these things.In one memorable chapter, for example, Witt goes into an “orgy dome” at Burning Man. But Witt tells it straight: She and her male companion enter the dome and first watch, disappointedly: “It was all heterosexual couples having sex with each other.” Realizing that they should either “do something” or leave, they decide to “do something”: “ ‘Should we have sex? After a graphic recount of a porn shoot, she admits, “I had never tried masturbating to porn on my computer.” What comes next is a brief history of the women’s movement’s challenge to pornography, which Witt identifies as the source of her aversion to it.She comes to realize that feminism cannot decide what kinds of sex its adherents are allowed to enjoy.But there was something about this dude from Canada that helped me let my guard down and entertain the idea of becoming friends with my onscreen love interest. He’s pushed me when I’ve been lazy, which can be a lot of the time. We’ve had to pull off some of the toughest scenes, sometimes we failed miserably but that didn’t keep us from trying again the next day.