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Adopting the role of participant-observer, she moves through an assortment of sexual subcultures.

Many of these are artifacts of the internet, from online dating to sadomasochistic feminist pornography sites to webcam peepshows such as one called Chaturbate.

The obvious reason for declining marriage rates is the general erosion of traditional social conventions.

A less obvious reason is that the median age for both sexes when they first wed is now six years older than it was for their counterparts in the 1960s.

Like any other freelance operator, you have to develop and protect your brand.

At its worst, as Moira Weigel observes in her recent book, Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, dating is like a “precarious form of contemporary labor: an unpaid internship.

Five decades ago, 72 percent of men and 87 percent of women had gotten married by the time they were 25.

By 2012, the situation had basically reversed: 78 percent of men and 67 percent of women were unmarried at that age.

In 2000, Jeffrey Arnett, a developmental psychologist at Clark University, coined the term emerging adulthood to describe the long phase of experimentation that precedes settling down.

Dating used to be a time-limited means to an end; today, it’s often an end in itself.

You cannot be sure where things are heading, but you try to gain experience.

If you look sharp, you might get a free lunch.” In Future Sex, another new examination of contemporary sexual mores, Emily Witt is even more plaintive.

“I had not sought so much choice for myself,” she writes, “and when I found myself with total sexual freedom, I was unhappy.”of a dating revolution.

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