Bodley Head signs Kate Julian's sex recession investigation

Bodley Head signs Kate Julian's sex recession investigation

Bodley Head has signed The Sex Recession, on how modern society is disengaging from sexual intimacy, by Atlantic journalist Kate Julian. 

Stuart Williams, publishing director at Bodley Head, acquired UK rights from Chris Wellbelove at Aitken Alexander Associates, on behalf of Allison Devereux at The Cheney Agency. US rights were acquired by Daniel Loedel at Scribner. It is scheduled for publication in spring 2022.

Bodley Head said of The Sex Recession: How Modern Life is Complicating Intimacy: “Young people around the world are beginning their sex lives later and having sex less frequently than members of previous generations. In the US, young adults will have fewer sexual partners than their parents. In the UK, frequency of sex among young people is on the decline… Societies across the globe are recording similar trends. What is happening?”

The Sex Recession promises to be "a broad-reaching, global investigation, exploring issues such as distraction and inhibition, pornography and online dating, as well as bad sex and evolving consent culture". The Vintage imprint said: "It interrogates how these factors have diminished young people’s desire for physical intimacy and romantic relationships at a time when our culture has never been more open to sex. By bringing an intimate yet crucial subject out from behind closed doors, and exploring the phenomenon’s variegated roots and causes, The Sex Recession will be a step toward reconnection."

Julian is a senior editor at the Atlantic. Prior to joining the magazine, she was the deputy editor of the Washington Post’s Sunday Outlook section and the managing editor of the New Yorker. She has also worked at Slate and Lingua Franca.

Williams said: “Kate Julian writes about this major shift in human behaviour with tremendous insight, generosity and a truly global perspective. Her book will start a lot of conversations and go a long way to providing answers.”

Julian added: “When I set out to write for the Atlantic last year about how young adults seemed to be retreating from sex and romance, I realised that I could not do the topic justice at magazine scale. To fully consider the phenomenon’s causes—among them, a growing sense of economic precarity and pessimism regarding the future, changing sexual mores, and mental health trends—would fill a book. I’m honoured that Scribner and Bodley Head are giving me the opportunity to do that.”