Posts Tagged 'Sex Diaries'

Sex diaries vs. HEA

I heart New York magazine, intensely. And their critical breakdown of the sex lives of New Yorkers, as portrayed in their online Sex Diaries, was a must-read.

Wesley Yang laid out the plagues of being single in the city:
1. The anxiety of too much choice.
2. The anxiety of making the wrong choice.
3. The anxiety of not being chosen.
4. The anxiety of appearing overly enthusiastic.
5. The anxiety of appearing delusional.
6. The anxiety of appearing overly sincere.
7. The anxiety of appearing prudish.
8. Internet-enabled agoraphobia.
9. Separation anxiety.

All this anxiety made me anxious, and I have been monogamous for lo these many years. And the piece also made me sad, thinking of tender NYC youth playing games, telling lies, trolling bars hoping for hook-ups, afraid to care too much.

How antithetical to the fantasy of romance, I thought, where high emotion is expected, encouraged. In the romance novel business, there may be lies, games, sneaking around, and ennui but the conflicts all eventually end in true love. The readers of the Diaries and the readers of romance must live in such different worlds…

But then I read #10:
The anxiety of being unable to love.

And yet perhaps the most surprising psychological attribute of the Diarists, despite weeks upon weeks of guarding their vulnerabilities from the brutality of the marketplace, is their romanticism… [Love] is nonetheless something that the Diarists keep referencing, despite the impression they convey that it is an ever-receding ideal. It’s an odd, negative sort of tribute—a vague longing for something all but lost, but perhaps worth clinging to nonetheless.

We’re all the same after all. Anxiety = conflict; sex = chemistry; love = happily ever after.

For those who prefer to read about NYC lonelyhearts, check out the Sex Diaries. For those who can admit they believe in love, check out the free e-books at



I work as an editor at Harlequin, but the posts on this site are all mine and don’t represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
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