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Culture & Religion

Would Americans Really Give Up Sex for Bacon and an iPhone?

A slate of surveys suggesting that sex has become less of a priority to Americans mask a sinister commercialism, which companies use to suggest their product is better than sex. 

What’s the Latest Development?

A new survey conducted by and has found that one in three singles would pass up a chance to have sex to eat their favorite food instead. The survey is the latest in a series that suggest sex is becoming less of a priority among American men and women, who are apparently eager to eat bacon, use their iPhone, and get a good night’s rest rather than play nookie. The problem? A Canadian bacon producer funded the bacon survey, a mattress industry council funded the sleep survey, and an app maker funded the iPhone survey. “Sex is the ultimate measure of desire—so why wouldn’t a company try to position its product as shockingly even more desirable?” 

What’s the Big Idea?

The truth, says Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory, is that Americans are not devaluing sex but that grossly unscientific studies are being fed to the media as headline grabbers. “These surveys powerfully feed into our fears over the way that technology is changing our world, especially the ways we relate to one another. At the same time, they validate those of us who have felt the pull of virtual, over real-world, intimacy. (And most of us have probably spent some time on both sides of that line.)” Clark-Flory also worries these studies perpetuate gender stereotypes when they overemphasize how readily women will go without sex to pursue more material pleasures. 

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