Emily Witt


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Emily Witt is a writer in New York City. She has written for n+1, The New York Times, New York Magazine, GQ, the London Review of Books, and many other places. She has degrees from Brown, Columbia, and Cambridge, and was a Fulbright scholar in Mozambique. Her first book, Future Sex, about the intersection of sex and technology, will be published in 2015 by Faber & Faber.

Average rating: 3.5 · 2,338 ratings · 282 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
Future Sex

3.45 avg rating — 2,078 ratings — published 2015 — 21 editions
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Nollywood: The Making of a ...

3.38 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 2017 — 3 editions
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Future sex: liefde in tijde...

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Future Sex (DOCUMENTS

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What Do You Desire? n+1 Ant...

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No Regrets: Three Discussions

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3.92 avg rating — 183 ratings — published 2013
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n+1 Issue 11: Dual Power

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3.80 avg rating — 20 ratings — published 2011 — 2 editions
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n+1 Issue 9: Bad Money

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4.31 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2010 — 2 editions
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n+1 Issue 8: Recessional

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4.06 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2009 — 2 editions
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The Flood

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3.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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“I had not chosen to be single but love is rare and it is frequently unreciprocated. Without love I saw no reason to form a permanent attachment to any particular place. Love determined how humans arrayed themselves in space. Because it affixed people into their long-term arrangements, those around me viewed it as an eschatological event, messianic in its totality. My friends expressed a religious belief that it would arrive for me one day, as if love were something the universe owed to each of us, which no human could escape.

I had known love, but having known love I knew how powerless I was to instigate it or ensure its duration. Still, I nurtured my idea of the future, which I thought of as the default denouement of my sexuality, and a destiny rather than a choice. The vision remained suspended, jewel-like in my mind, impervious to the storms of my actual experience, a crystalline point of arrival. But I knew that it did not arrive for everyone, and as I got older I began to worry that it would not arrive for me.”
Emily Witt, Future Sex

“The body, I started to learn, was not a secondary entity. The mind contained very few truths that the body withheld. There was little of import in an encounter between two bodies that would fail to be revealed rather quickly. The epistolary run up to the date only rarely revealed the truth of a man's good humor or introversion, his anxiety or social grace. Until the bodies were introduced, seduction was only provisional.”
Emily Witt, Future Sex

“It was as if we had made something very simple incredibly complicated. Here were these bodies, ready to reproduce, controlled against reproduction, then stimulated for an eventual reproduction that was put on ice. My friends who wanted to prolong their fertility did so, now that they were in their thirties and professionally successful, because circumstances in their lives had not lined up as planned. They had excelled at their jobs. They had nice apartments and enough money to comfortably start a family, but they lacked a domestic companion who would provide the necessary genetic material, lifelong support, and love. They wanted to be the parents they had grown up under, but love couldn't be engineered, and ovaries could.

Hanging over all of this was an idea of choice, an arbitrary linking of goals and outcomes, which reduced structural, economic and technological change to individual decision. "The right to choose"―the right to birth control and abortion services―is different from the idea of choice I mean here. I mean that the baby question justified a fiction that one had to conform one's life to a uniform box by a certain deadline. If the choice were only to have a baby or not, then anybody who wanted a baby and was physically able would simply have one (as many people did), but what I saw with my friends was that it wasn’t actually about the choice of having a baby but of setting up a nuclear family, which unfortunately could not, unlike making a baby, happen more or less by fiat.”
Emily Witt, Future Sex

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