In search of Erotic Intelligence

Reconciling our desire for comfortable domesticity and hot sex

| September / October 2003


Everybody's not doing it. That's the word from Newsweek, The Atlantic, and other trend watchers: Couples are having less sex these days than even in the famously uptight '50s. Why? Busy, exhausting lives is the easy answer. But how Americans view eroticism in the wake of recent sexual and social revolutions may be an even bigger factor, according to a growing number of researchers and social observers. -- The Editors

A few years ago, at a psychology conference, I heard a speaker discuss a couple who had come to therapy in part because of a sharp decline in their sexual activity. Previously, the couple had engaged in light sado-masochism; now, following the birth of their second child, the wife wanted more conventional sex. But the husband was attached to their old style of lovemaking, so they were stuck.