Sex, Ecology, and the Collapse of Desire
What is the carbon footprint of your libido?
In this highly original book, Dominic Pettman examines the mutual influence and impact of human desire and ecological crisis. His account is premised on a simple but startling observation: the decline of libido among the world’s population, the loss of the human sex drive, closely tracks the destruction of environments worldwide. The advent of the Anthropocene leads to the decline of eros, the weakening of the link between sexual pleasure and human reproduction, and thus, potentially, to human extinction. Our capacity to care for one another in any meaningful way is being replaced by a restless, technologically-enhanced zombie drive. The environmental crisis of our time is also, and simultaneously, a crisis of human reproduction and of interpersonal intimacy. What Freud called ‘libidinal economy’ has morphed into libidinal ecology.
Drawing on the work of a wide range of thinkers from Georges Bataille to Donna Haraway, Pettman explores the implications of peak libido, linking this development to the new cultural interest in eco-sexuality, polyamory, and other cases of the ‘greening of the libido’. <i>Peak Libido</i> is a forceful reminder that our hearts and loins are primarily ecological organs, beholden to their wider environments, and, as such, they share the same fate.