Sex

Helen Fisher: Why the 'Hot Vax Slutty Summer' Never Happened

A new survey of single people confirms that we have more sexual choices than ever. Match.com's chief science adviser explains why such a libertarian outcome doesn't lead to libertinism.

|

Everywhere you looked this past spring, you saw stories about the preordained "hot vax summer" and "slutty summer" that was about to erupt in America like a long-simmering volcano of carnal desire.

Real and imagined experts predicted that single people, newly vaxxed and after a long, involuntary sexual pause due to COVID-19 lockdowns, would be on the prowl like some mix of the premenopausal Sex and the City girls, inmates freed after 18 months in solitary confinement, and the randy castaways of Love Island.

But like so many action films released in June, July, and August, the reality just didn't live up to the hype. While some observers say the reasons for "hot vax summer" going softer than Liberace at a speculum conference include the delta variant and the rise of online porn, Helen Fisher says it's simply because there's been a long, slow decline in one-night stands and hookup culture for years.

Fisher is an anthropologist who is the chief science adviser to Match.com, a senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, and the author of, most recently, a revised edition of Anatomy of Love (2016).

For each of the past 11 years, she's overseen Singles in America, an annual survey of more than 5,000 singles of every age, gender, and sexual orientation. Across the board, but especially among millennials and Generation Z, she says that "looks are out, emotional maturity is in. Stability is the new sexy." There are lots of reasons for this, but she cites younger people's interests in self-care as driving the changes along with the ever-rising options for women in education and work.

As women's status, earnings, and life opportunities have risen, says Fisher, they have become pickier about partners. Men, too, have changed, and are now more likely than women to say they want a long-term partner. They also want a partner who is well-educated, successful, and financially stable—the so-called George Clooney Effect. This new parity is reflected in one of the survey's most remarkable findings: An equal number of men and women say they faked orgasms in the past year.

Fisher talks with Nick Gillespie about the turn to what she calls "slow love" in an age of dating apps, the relief most men feel at not having to be the sole breadwinner, and why the rise of growing sexual opportunities is libertarian but not libertine.

NEXT: Why Aren't Journalists Howling About the Assange Prosecution?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. would be on the prowl like some mix of the premenopausal Sex and the City girls, inmates freed after 18 months in solitary confinement, and the randy castaways of Love Island

    ROFLMAO! Nick Gillespie's idea of an uber-horny sexual feeding frenzie is a group of 5(?) 30-something women. He's been castrated so long he can't even remember what it's like to have a pair of testicles.

    1. I've got my first check total of $15,550, pretty cool. I am so excited, this is the first time i Actually earned something. I am going to work even harder new and i can't wait for next week payment.kkq Go to home tab for more detail.......I highly recommend to everyone to apply...

      Join this right now............Pays-/24

      1. I am making a good salary from home $1300-$2600/week , which is amazing, under a year back I was jobless in a horrible economy. I thank God every day I was blessed with these instructions and ADq now it’s my duty to pay it forward and share it with Everyone,

        Here is what I do…. …………….. Visit Here

  2. Here comes a generation of prudes....

    3
    2
    1

  3. Helen Fisher says it's simply because there's been a long, slow decline in one-night stands and hookup culture for years.

    Minefield of consent and #metoo cultural cow-patties to navigate.

    1. Birthrates are falling and we're spending our kids' money like there's no end in sight, but don't worry. Between forcibly locking couples in their bedrooms and letting single people out of their cages after 18 mos. of solitary confinement, it seems apparent that there isn't a damned thing anybody can do about it even if they wanted to.

      Here's hoping the impending collapse doesn't sour the whole world on classical liberalism for 2-3 generations, if not indefinitely.

      1. Undermining the national entitlement scheme by shrinking the base of payors into it is about the only weapon the younger generations have against their grifting elders.

  4. Across the board, but especially among millennials and Generation Z, she says that

    (1) "looks are out

    Correct. The End of Beauty as some people have called it.

    (2), emotional maturity is in.

    Absolutely incorrect. it's literally the exact opposite. "Emotional maturity" was a requirement of the so-called "hookup" culture. An iron-clad requirement. In the absence of emotional maturity, the hookup culture withers on the vine.

    (3) Stability is the new sexy."

    See #1, Stability isn't "sexy", it's "safe". This is the kind of shit that feels like it came out of a NYT 'dating column' where they try to describe constant, affirming consent, and possibly in writing as "sexy". We're confusing the new generation's near universal risk-aversion as-result-of-helicopter-parenting (It's like Lenore Skenazy doesn't even write here) with "sexy". It's not sexy. Sex, sexiness, sexual attractiveness, sexual allure, all those things are out...out... out with the new generation.

    1. >>younger people's interests in self-care

      also misspelled "younger people's interests in totally being cared for"

      1. Self care is one of those things I’ve heard a lot of lately, like “preferred pronouns”. I take it to mean “retreat to your safe space, cry, and suck your thumb”.

        1. It sounds like a made up term that libertine people can use to pretend they're not being self-indulgent.

      2. "Self-care" could be what was called "self-abuse" in the Victorian and Dark Ages. You knlw, the kind that allegedly causes epilepsy, seizures, hairy palms, infertility, and insanity and is allegedly cured by Rev. Graham's famous Crackers and John Harvey Kellogg's equally famous Corn Flakes.. 🙂

        1. I am apparently out of touch.

    2. Let's take one tiny example. Let's pick a random comedy from, oh, 1981. *reaches into grab bag*

      Here's one. It's called Stipes, starring Bill Murray. Great comedy. Two adrift misfits join the Army, and through a series of comedic misadventures make good.

      Straightforward comedy-- a classic in the eyes of many, but a relatively low-budget, damn near family friendly comedy, almost no real serious foul language, no serious violence beyond a somewhat comic gunfight as the big finale with the Russians... but there's a scene in the beginning where Murray's girlfriend is topless. It's not a sex scene, she's merely changing clothes when Murray comes home after losing his job. This is the kind of thing that's aggressively eschewed now as "exploitive" because no one has the "emotional maturity" to deal with a topless woman on the screen.

      1. because ... that's why guys in my car club call me The Cruiser

      2. Well, there's also a scene with John Larroquette peeping into the women's shower.

    3. They also want a partner who is well-educated, successful, and financially stable

      Note: well-educated, not intelligent; successful, not driven, hard working, or motivated; and financially stable, not happy or content.

      Nothing says 'sexy' and 'emotionally mature' like putting pedigree above personality. Seems like this whole 'marrying/coupling for social status' thing is familiar... like it's happened somewhere before.

      1. I wonder if the seeking-out of "successful and financially stable" could be attributed to a particular gender? One might call that gender "Maureen Dowd gender"

        FYI, this is back when Reason could throw a fucking punch.

        "Feminism Isn't a Fucking Dating Service"

        Or so claims one very pissed Feminister at Feministing in response to this excerpt from the excruciatingly unnecessary Are Men Necessary?, a long Maureen-Dowd-powered discussion of why intelligent women will end up childless and alone.

        [...]

        From this anecdote and a conversation Dowd has at the gym, we are to conclude that powerful men will always seek women less successful than they are. Taking this seriously for a very misguided moment, every man who married "down" (as she puts it) apparently found a woman looking to marry "up." In Dowd-world, the dating market is completely determined by men. But unless life really is just an extended episode of Joe Millionaire, it's probably safe to assume the women in question had some say in their choice of spouse, and with that choice they chose to marry someone "famous and powerful." The "beautiful and successful actress" wasn't going to marry her personal assistant; women always marry "up."

        [...]

        But if there is any truth at all in Dowd's claims that "Women moving up still strive to marry up" and "Men moving up still tend to marry down," it's hard to see how men are more to blame than women for a state of affairs that (supposedly) locks out both successful women and unsuccessful men.

        1. As women's status, earnings, and life opportunities have risen, says Fisher, they have become pickier about partners.

          While I myself swing back and forth on this issue, I'm beginning to settle into the "women were always picky about partners". Hell, even Jordan Peterson, NAZI misogynist extraordinaire, when asked this question-- if women were becoming frustratingly picky causing a rift in the relations between bitches and dudes, he postulated that from a psychological perspective, woman have always been picky, we just have newer, better ways of measuring it.

          As the quoted statement above says, and as my link to Reason's own Kerry Howly suggests, as women become more successful and move up the success ladder, but still only want to marry up, the number of successful men and partners is going to get thinner and thinner. Couple that with successful men being exactly like unsuccessful men: They (we) mostly are interested in young hotties-- there simply aren't that many young hotties running Fortune 500 companies.

          So that's the grand bargain we've struck here. Get women more successful, and moving higher up the social success ladder, but their attitudes about wanting to date or marry "up" are unchanged. Good luck with that.

          Hell, I wish I could link to it, but one of the most extensive sexual and dating habit studies in the world found that poor men wanted saucy babes. Rich men wanted saucy babes. Poor women wanted successful, wealthy men. Rich women wanted... successful wealthy men.

          1. Apparently, it seems most of humanity settles.

            TLC can get away with not dating scrubs. Most girls and women only get to have scrubs.

  5. Fisher talks with Nick Gillespie about the turn to what she calls "slow love" in an age of dating apps, the relief most men feel at not having to be the sole breadwinner, and why the rise of growing sexual opportunities is libertarian but not libertine.

    I'm not sure I'd call a stable, safe, long-term partner who falls within the "looks are out" category" is on my list of "growing sexual opportunities". But I realize I'm from an older, more innocent time.

  6. Fisher talks with Nick Gillespie about the turn to what she calls "slow love"

    I thought the technical term was "slow Cosby."

  7. So... fuck Joe Biden?

    1. Not even with your dick, after being cooped up for 20 months, apparently.

  8. JohnSteed Never fakes an orgasm.

    1. He’s got that umbrella.

  9. "They also want a partner who is well-educated, successful, and financially stable—the so-called George Clooney Effect."

    By the way, when are George and Amal going to have their next anniversary party?

    1. Wait, Wikipedia doesn't mention them being divorced. Maybe it worked.

  10. How do you expect a generation who can’t even decide what gender they are on any given day to even know how to have sex?

    1. You mean, like, with other people?

      1. They can’t have it with themselves either if they don’t know what genitalia they possess

        1. There is always trial and error to find what's enjoyable. Unless t's anything non-adult and non-consenting and/or that draws blood and leaves a corpse, the "error" isn't bad.

          1. How can you even ask for consent at every stage and before every action if you don't know which things might be fun and which not?

            They're basically flailing around out there.

  11. Real and imagined experts predicted that single people, newly vaxxed and after a long, involuntary sexual pause due to COVID-19 lockdowns, would be on the prowl like some mix of the premenopausal Sex and the City girls, inmates freed after 18 months in solitary confinement, and the randy castaways of Love Island.

    Perhaps lockdowns, economic downturn, unemployment, rinflation, shortages, supply-chain disruptions,"get-paid-to-exist" checks, riots, the crime wave, Wokeism, the propect of civil war at home, emboldened enemies abroad, natural disasters, and general dystopic tyranny and destruction are all big cock-blocks and vajayjay shrivelers for everybody! Just a thought.

    By the way, without all these to contend with daily, would. All three. In a dark empty room, groping for each other playing naked blind-man's bluff.

  12. Nice Blog, keep it up for more information like this. accounting training

    1. Accounting is definitely not sexy either.

  13. Why would anyone think there would be a 'slutty summer'?

    1. Young men in the cities are basically women now and straight women don't find what they've created to be attractive.

    2. The women have been using the pandemic as a good excuse to lock themselves up away from society and collect their Biden Bucks - Julia at her finest.

    3. The people outside the coastal blue cities have been 'back to normal' since the middle of last year. So if there were any pent up sexual desire we've already dealt with it.

    1. Like, what are you people doing out there in DC and LA? What the hell is wrong with you?

  14. Hmm. Maybe part of it is that there are a lot of people who aren't giant pussies and haven't actually been isolated for the past 2 years.

  15. Another reason it didn't happen is because Match deploys fake accounts and tolerates fraud, plus the TV commercials suggest it's for normalists, ableists and conformists.

  16. Facing an issues with Kaspersky? Visit kaspersky.com/support to fix Kaspersky security issues.

Please to post comments