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Peter Thiel Thinks There's Not Enough Sex In Silicon Valley (businessinsider.com) 283

Peter Thiel recently complained parts of Silicon Valley are "hyper-politically correct" about sexual activity, and shared a friend's theory that conservative parts of America tolerate Silicon Valley "because people there just don't have that much sex. They're not having that much fun." Long-time Slashdot reader SonicSpike quotes Business Insider's investigation into Thiel's claim. Silicon Valley has the highest ratio of single men to single women... (However, it's worth noting that the San Francisco metropolitan area also has the highest ratio of people who identify as LGBT in the U.S.) In fact, Dr. Sandra Lindholm, a sex therapist and clinical psychologist in the Bay Area, recently told Forbes that she's now seeing an uptick in young, male clients who complain about a variety of sexual challenges and issues. "They're coming to sex therapy because they don't feel they have time or energy for sex," Lindhold said.

Some of the common issues include low sexual desire, difficulty meeting women, and performance issues. Plus, she points out people in tech generally have a reputation for being introverted. Another particular issue that frequently comes up is what she calls "tech overload": people spend so much time on their gadgets that they "forget about being in the moment." Although there's no official data on Silicon Valley's sex frequency, a 2012 survey by condom maker Trojan revealed that Bay Area residents had the least amount of sex and the shortest time in bed, in a sample of 10 major US cities including New York, Chicago, Miami, and so on.

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Peter Thiel Thinks There's Not Enough Sex In Silicon Valley

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  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bluegutang ( 2814641 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @03:37PM (#53803373)

    You can take the nerd out of his mother's basement, but you can't take the basement out of the nerd.

    • At least now we have an explanation of why all of Apple's new graphics designs emphasize 'flat."

      • Apple's new graphics designs emphasize 'flat.

        So, I've missed the "get some boob" and "feel arse" versions of iPhone 1 through (is it 7, 8 or 9 today - I don't know.)?

        Or is Thiel (a homophone for "feel," predictably) pumping for the iPhone 10 "ring-fingering" edition?

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

      by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @04:41PM (#53803679)

      but you can't take the basement out of the nerd

      Ouch! Debasement in the basement! I like that.

    • You can take the nerd out of his mother's basement, but you can't take the basement out of the nerd.

      I prefer to look at it this way: You can take the nerd out of his mom's basement, and Peter Thiel is still a know-nothing dumbass.

      • What the hell does it mean that anyways, for these "conservatives" to tolerate silicon valley? Are flyover trailer-parks now full of Kings whose whims determine the goings-on of the coastal states, or the existence of various industries?

        This story is kinda like a story on a drunken email from Linus, except without a clear point.

  • problems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2017 @03:42PM (#53803397)

    Some of the common issues include low sexual desire, difficulty meeting women, and performance issues.

    I can see why difficulty meeting potential sexual partners would be a problem if you have significant sexual desire, and likewise with performance issues. But why would a lack of sexual desire be a problem? It seems like it should make life easier. Let the rabbits get on with the procreating while you do whatever it is you are interested in.

    • Re:problems (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2017 @06:06PM (#53804041)

      Society expectations and peer pressure. You don't want or care much about x but TV and pop culture says that everyone wants x more than anything else: that's going to make you feel like a freak. Then mix in workmates whose main topic of conversation is the quest for x and their made-up stories about how much of x they are getting and you start pretending you too want x to fit in. Recipe for unhappiness.

      • Re:problems (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Sunday February 05, 2017 @12:35AM (#53805337)

        The older I get, and the weaker the hormones are, the happier I am with life in general. Being a young male was hell and honestly getting sex wasn't the cure-all that Mr. Thiel thinks it is... you just get a brief break (the younger you are, the briefer it is) and want back in the saddle again.

        I'm not really sure why we seem to worship this ideal, sex is a biological demand that kept us going, but definitely is responsible for more of the worlds troubles than any other single thing.

    • . But why would a lack of sexual desire be a problem? It seems like it should make life easier. Let the rabbits get on with the procreating while you do whatever it is you are interested in.

      A lot of people are concerned because the reproduction rate is falling. And it's falling especially among intelligent people.

      I think that what has happened is that the male of the species has been marginalized to the point where many of the husband material guys - high earnings, non-violent, pleasant, civil disposition, and intelligent - have come to the conclusion that the much better than average chance that their wife will take them to the cleaners in a divorce, and make their lives miserable, that the

    • It can be a HUGE problem if you're in a marriage or committed relationship with someone else who doesn't match your desire level.

      I suspect it's also a problem for people who feel they need to conform with some "normal" standard of society, and that they're somehow "abnormal". As a guy who grew up mainly wanting to associate with girls and play with "girl" toys or do "girl" activities (including a pink lunchbox in 1st grade), I realized that I am who I am, and unless my behavior is morally wrong, I'm not
    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      But why would a lack of sexual desire be a problem? It seems like it should make life easier. Let the rabbits get on with the procreating while you do whatever it is you are interested in.

      You haven't seen the movie Idiocracy have you? Or maybe you haven't heard the hit 90's alternative song Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger "I've been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding." You don't consider that type of future a problem?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Some of the common issues include low sexual desire, difficulty meeting women, and performance issues.

      I can see why difficulty meeting potential sexual partners would be a problem if you have significant sexual desire, and likewise with performance issues. But why would a lack of sexual desire be a problem? It seems like it should make life easier. Let the rabbits get on with the procreating while you do whatever it is you are interested in.

      Overwork (read fatigue) leads to lowered libido in young adults (willing to bet old ones too). This is a common phenomena in modern Japan as not only work, but family pressures have made young people more and more insular. Often even if they have the drive, they just don't have the time with their work commitments.

      Given that working in Silicon valley often means working long hours and even though the pay is good, the living costs are extreme. Its likely that the long hours are eliminating the drive and l

    • by Altus ( 1034 )

      Human contact is extremely important and its difficult to maintain a close and intimate relationship with someone without the reinforcement of sex, its kind of built into our brain chemistry. Now if both partners are of a low sex drive variety then maybe its workable, you find other ways to be intimate and close but if one partner wants sex and the other is un-interested it can create a much more serious issue. This is only made worse when compounded by the gender stereotype that men want sex all the time

  • So what (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2017 @03:43PM (#53803407)

    The lack of women in SF ultimately does not matter. A boyfriend who spends all his time with startup colleagues is no boyfriend and husband who works so much is just a glorified back account anyway. What would those guys do even if women were there? Nothing, they would still close themselves into males only group (except maybe striptease or night bar visit).

    However, the ratio might explain why some techies tend to became either completely radical feminists or total sexists. Having no contact with people who are not male techies or moms, they place wild imagination over reality and believe that the one women who talked with them last year is stand in for all women.

    • Re:So what (Score:4, Funny)

      by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @07:10PM (#53804267)

      "The lack of women in SF ultimately does not matter."

      My first really good relationship was a woman who wrote SF.

    • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

      The lack of women in SF ultimately does not matter. A boyfriend who spends all his time with startup colleagues is no boyfriend and husband who works so much is just a glorified back account anyway

      The Child Tax Credit that just got nerfed came into existence in the late 90's because of a concern that people weren't having as many children putting children off for careers. There is always time to make money but don't make any kids and that's it, the human race is finished. All for naught.

  • by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <[agnosticpope] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday February 04, 2017 @03:51PM (#53803441) Journal

    conservative parts of America tolerate Silicon Valley "because people there just don't have that much sex. They're not having that much fun"
    which translates to
    Peter Thiel Thinks There's Not Enough Sex In Silicon Valley
    Total non-sequitar. That aside, this is the single dumbest article I've not read on /. since Bennett Haselton [slashdot.org] was an "editor".

  • Not getting any sex because nobody finds you attractive is one thing. But if you can't find time for sex when it is on offer you are doing life wrong!
    • But if you can't find time for sex when it is on offer you are doing life wrong!

      And where would that be?

  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bytesex ( 112972 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @03:55PM (#53803463) Homepage

    'conservative parts of America tolerate Silicon Valley "because people there just don't have that much sex'

    What? Why would anyone care about how much sex is going in Silicon Valley, and why would 'conservative parts of America' have anything to say about that, and why would Silicon Valley be in any way special in this regard? The mind just boggles trying to conjure up the reasoning that must be behind an expression like that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Why would anyone care about how much sex is going in Silicon Valley, and why would 'conservative parts of America' have anything to say about that, and why would Silicon Valley be in any way special in this regard?

      This would be the same conservative parts of America that think there should be laws about who can have sex with whom, what a woman does with her body, etc.
      Gee, why would they care about this topic...

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        This would be the same conservative parts of America that think there should be laws about who can have sex with whom, what a woman does with her body, etc.

        Ah yes, the places that yell to everyone about their "freedom".

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Gordo_1 ( 256312 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @04:26PM (#53803621)

      Having lived in a conservative part of America before moving to Silicon Valley, I can not tell you how many times I would overhear at parties "well, I hate those liberal techy scum, but they don't have much sex, so I guess they can stay."

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @04:49PM (#53803709)

      What? Why would anyone care about how much sex is going in Silicon Valley

      Indeed, why would religious people care about how much sex who has with whom anywhere? Yet they still do care for some reason.

    • What he means is, his conservative friends tolerate the fact that he's gay because he is rich and doesn't talk to them about sex.

    • Not only that, but just because the male to female ratio is high doesn't mean there isn't a lot of sex going on.. it is California, after all.

      What a strange thing for Thiel to comment on or worry about.

  • Betas will beta? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dread_ed ( 260158 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @04:15PM (#53803579) Homepage

    Overwork, constantly subverting the durinal impulse, stress chemicals cranked to the max, overlaid with caffeine and god knows what other stimulants, PHB's and TPS reports sapping your autonomy, random production death marches, and constant reminders that you have no authority: this will absolutely destroy the testosterone production of any male, much less ones dedicated to a sedentary workstyle.

    Humans are built for physical work for 8-10 hours a day and plenty of social interaction. These people are about as far removed from the natural harmonious state of human interaction with people, their world, and their environment as you can find this side of a solitary confinement wing. No surprise they aren't copulating. It's like their genes are saying, "Why bring children into this environment? It sucks ass."

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fermion ( 181285 )
      The sex drive in humans is a continuum. Not everyone has a life controlled by where their next orgasm is going to come from. And not everyone simply has sex only before they go to bed. Sex on the kitchen table or in the office is not an unattainable fantasy, even for a person with little sex drive.

      in fact one issue we have had over the past couple decades, and perhaps even for out entire history, is that drugs are overused to promote the sex drive, even when there is no natural desire. The stages of ad

    • Overwork, constantly subverting the durinal impulse,"

      You have two urinals?

  • "introverted" "tech" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2017 @04:26PM (#53803623)

    You know how I know you're lying?

    Your allegedly "introverted" "tech" workers are hypersocial self-aggrandizing narcissistic bloggers.

    Introverts don't advertise. Introverts don't brag. Introverts don't blog. Introverts don't get jobs in silicon valley. Not anymore. There aren't any introverts left in "tech" because tech has been completely displaced by social media marketing.

    Don't bullshit me bro.

  • people spend so much time on their gadgets that they "forget about being in the moment."

    I'm glad this person has an advanced degree to state the obvious. Pick any location and guaranteed you will see someone taking a selfie or quickly pulling up their phone to take a picture then just as quickly moving on, not bothering to enjoy being at that place at that time.

    Then again, these people are the ones who brag about working 16 - 18 hour days, seven days a week, always on call because of the money t
  • thoughts: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @04:37PM (#53803659)
    High male-to-female limits sex-per-capita in a couple different ways:

    1. In general, men want to have sex more frequently than women and are more willing to engage in non-committed sex. Ignoring homosexual males, since they're a fairly small piece of the picture even in the Bay Area, the amount of sex is going to be strongly tied to the # of women.
    2. More men than women makes it a "woman's market", so to speak, so women can afford to be more choosy and less promiscuous. In situations where women outnumber men, women are generally less choosy and more promiscuous, leading to more sex.

    Lest I be accused of being a red-pill patriarchal Trump guy, let me assure you I'm not.
    • by PMuse ( 320639 )

      High male-to-female limits sex-per-capita in a couple different ways:

      It seems to me that we could do a couple of interesting studies along those lines:
      1. Does per-woman* sex/month correlate with male/female** ratio in dating pool?
      2. Does per-woman sex/month correlate with average female education level (or some other proxy for intelligence)?
      3. Does per-woman sex/month correlate with female income level? with male income level?

      *Obviously, per-man sex/month will decrease if there are more males than females.
      **We might be able to formulate some non-hetero questions, too.

  • Prostitutes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ... uptick in young, male clients ...

    Really! The usual meme is young females are having more sex because they don't have to be a 'good girl' in these modern times. It's probably the same old problem; the women fuck the attractive men and the rest get nothing. So it's time for the usual answer; prostitutes.

    About 16 years ago, during the dot-com boom, the press in my country went ballistic when they discovered that IT businesses had corporate accounts at local brothels. They never articulated why a corporate perk was wrong (and failed to men

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      They never articulated why a corporate perk was wrong

      If it's using a lot of someone elses money for something personal it's generally wrong whether it's sex or not.
      It looks especially bad when companies go bust and people out of work or owed money learn about such perks.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @05:06PM (#53803787)

    I work a fairly normal job doing systems architecture stuff for an IT service provider. I have a spouse and 2 kids, and some semblance of a life outside of IT/dev. I seriously doubt I'd have the family and normal life part working for some of the crazy SV employers. I think the key reasons are crazy work environment and cost of living:

    I've never worked for a startup or a tech company notorious for crazy culture, but I have plenty of acquaintances who do. I say "acquaintances" because they're never around to talk to -- they're always working. I love my job; it's great getting paid to solve complex problems. But I don't love it so much that I work 90 or 100 hour weeks constantly. Even established companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon are famously "all inclusive" -- 3 meals a day at work, bus service to and from work and an implicit expectation that you belong to them. Startups are even stranger with the founder-driven work or die culture. Having a relationship is incompatible with this. In a startup, I've heard you barely see anybody outside the company...that limits the pool to other workaholics trying to win the buyout lottery...and they don't have time for each other either.

    The second thing is cost of living. I live in New York, and I think the cost of living here is crazy. California and SV take it to a whole new level. Either you perpetually rent a tiny apartment with roommates, or you go into permanent indentured servitude to buy a $1.5M house that costs $300K elsewhere. Who has the money available to go out and play the field in a situation like that?

    Another poster mentioned something about basement-dwelling nerds, but don't forget that that's mostly not SV anymore. Most of SV is these hyper-social startup companies where the stereotype "brogrammer" was born. I'm sure there are still plenty of nerds, but most of them are migrating to places like cloud providers or established software vendors.

    • by hambone142 ( 2551854 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @08:00PM (#53804467)

      I lived in Si Valley a while ago. I found that it was difficult to even *see* anyone come out of their homes. It's get up, hit the garage door opener, go to work, go home and hit the garage door opener again and repeat.

      There is not much "community" there. No one sitting outdoors, having BBQs, going for walks.

      It's fuggin' intense and not much fun.

      My solution was to get the hell out of the valley. I transferred to a new location with my same company and had a blast. Back were the pool parties, the BBQs, going skiing, biking, boating.

      I'll never be back.

      • My solution was to get the hell out of the valley. I transferred to a new location with my same company and had a blast

        From my consulting days, I remember a lot of companies being delighted to pay 80% of a Bay Area salary to me when my cost of living was around 10% of the Bay Area. They paid less, I put vastly more into savings than if I'd been living in SF. I still don't really understand the attraction of living out there (it's fun to visit - I'm actually in the Bay Area this week - but a week or two a year is enough).

  • That does not mean that other denizens of the valley are in the same situation.
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @05:09PM (#53803815)

    Perhaps he's holding it wrong.

  • Oblig Joke (Score:5, Funny)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @05:35PM (#53803923)

    A s/w developer was walking along a path when a frog said, "Ribbit. Kiss me and I'll turn into a beautiful princess." The devel picks up the frog and puts it in his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog say, "Ribbit. I'll turn into a beautiful princess and do anything you want" The devel just walks along. After a while, the frog says, "Ribbit. What's wrong with you? Don't you want a girlfriend?" The devel takes the frog out and tells it, "I'm a software developer. I don't have time for a relationship. But a talking frog .... that's cool!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A software developer cycles in to work on a shiny new bike, and his coworker asks where he got it.
      "Funny thing, as I was walking in to work this beautiful woman cycled up to me took of all her clothes and said 'take whatever you want'"
      "Good choice!" said the coworker, "the clothes probably wouldn't have fit".

  • Even if two people met in SF and were down for sex, where would they go? With so many people living 20 to a bedroom it doesn't seem like there are many physical places to have sex... I guess that's where having sex in Uber's started? It'll be a real boon when when you can just order a self driving car up and tell it to circle the city for an hour or two.

  • If a billionaire philanthropist wanted people in Silicon Valley to have a place where they could get together and enjoy fucking.
  • ... is probably the reason for him to say this. http://sanjose.backpage.com/Fe... [backpage.com]
  • ... increasingly seems to be going off the deep end.

    If I was involved with companies he was backing, I would be worried, quite frankly.

  • Could anything in the world possibly be less relevant to /. readers than some jaded hag's opinions on Thiel, and the silicon valley?

    -jcr

  • First of all, I would tend to agree with Thiels general premise that there isn't enough sex/eros/sensuality in the tech-camp, even with so-called "high-functioning" nerds and successful techies. But I wouldn't see this as a tech problem rather than a problem of modern society in general, creeping up on all of us, not just the nerds. It's only us getting there quicker.

    I see a lot of factors playing into this. The modern day phenomenon that Houellebecq describes as the "Extension of the Combat Zone" [wikipedia.org] would be

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