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Wisdom of Crowds

Apr 5, 2022

This week we were joined by Christine Emba, a columnist at the Washington Post and author of the fascinating new book Rethinking Sex: A Provocation. What resulted was the longest episode in Wisdom of Crowds history, delving into some uncharted territory. We discuss a lot of big topics—the perils of modern dating, the sex recession, consent, incels, marriage, porn, and Tinder hookup culture. If we have so much freedom, why are we so unhappy about it?


Shadi presses Christine about whether her arguments about sex are a metaphor for broader disappointments with liberalism and the burdens of unlimited choice. Damir wonders if Christine is being a bit Straussian in an attempt to push conservative values into sex discourse.


In Part 2 of our conversation, available here, we dive deeper into the fraught world of sex culture in America today. When one can "order" the delivery of a sexual partner, like the Tinder Delivery Guy story from Christine's book, is it time to go back to the drawing board? Can a case be made that people were more happy decades (or centuries) ago? Also, Christine lays out her argument that consent is not enough.


Subscribers get access to all paid content, including weekly bonus episodes, Q&A features with Shadi and Damir, our full essay archive, as well as members-only conversations with guests like Ross Douthat and Glenn Greenwald.


Subscribe here to listen to Part 2.


Required Reading

  • Rethinking Sex: A Provocation, by Christine Emba (Amazon)


  • "Consent is not enough. We need a new sexual ethic." by Christine Emba (Washington Post)




  • "A Manifesto Against Sex Positivity" by Michelle Goldberg (New York Times)


  • "Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary" by Michael J. Rosenfeld and Reuben J. Thomas (American Sociological Review)