Apocalypse sex is what happens when two lovers hold on each other tight at the end of the world. On an episode of M*A*S*H*, a TV show set during the Korean War, Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce and Major “Hot Lips” Hoolahan, who normally can’t stand each other, are trapped in a shelter during intense bombing and they have a sort of “apocalypse sex” because they fear they won’t survive the night’s shelling.”

by Tanya Corrin and Anna Moore in Manhattan / Sat 20 Jul 2002

“Why all the sex? Many New Yorkers still chalk it up to ‘terror sex’, a term coined by the internet magazine Salon.com. Ten days after the terrorist attacks, the site ran an article describing the phenomenon. Couples who had been separated for the day of the attacks told how they spent the next few days in bed. A gay man who was late for work at the World Trade Centre and watched the tragedy unfold from the Brooklyn Bridge said he spent the night online looking for sex, and when he found someone, they ‘had sex as if it was our last time’. Events had caused a shift in priorities, the piece claimed. Suddenly, work and possessions didn’t matter. Only relationships were ‘real’. The article ended by anticipating a baby boom in nine months’ time. Although official figures will not be released for another year, the baby boom theory seems to have panned out with many New York hospitals claiming a 15-25 per cent increase in births this summer.”

Perhaps the Most Primal Post-Disaster Reaction: Sex
by Kathleen Kelleher / October 01, 2001

“What’s sick is that on the day that it happened, I watched the towers crumble, and then I’m walking north, really freaked out, but I was noticing more women than I ever do,” said an unmarried Manhattan record executive in his 30s who contacted several women he was dating casually, all of whom he has had sex with since the attacks. “Usually there are girls where you say she’s not my type. Everything was my type all of a sudden. Everyone has been through a shared experience and people’s defenses are down. People are vulnerable and that can be really attractive. It’s biology at work–gotta procreate if the world is coming to an end.” Post-disaster sex is similar to sex that happens before, during and after war, said Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociologist. There is a sense between departing soldiers and their partners that this sex may be the last. Many soldiers marry before they are sent off to war, not because they are magically seduced but because of something more instinctual, Schwartz said. Demographers should expect a hike in the birth rate about 10 months from now, she added.

Although the phenomenon seems to be more common in Manhattan, people all over are reporting heightened libidos. “I have heard all kinds of people say, ‘I don’t know why, but I feel like going out and having sex with strangers,”‘ said Schwartz, author of “Everything You Know About Sex Is Wrong” (Putnam, 2001). “I heard this from a married friend of mine, who if you looked at her, you would never expect it. But the act of sex is a very elemental, primal feeling of being alive and connected to somebody. Sex is part of a life force. When asked, ‘How do you want to die?’ a lot of people say, ‘Making love or having an orgasm.’ What they are saying is, ‘I want to be most alive the moment before I am dead.’ ”

Nothing brings humans closer than sex, Schwartz added, and for many men, sexual intimacy paves the way to emotional intimacy. Married folks get the urge too. A writer who lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan said, “We have sex more often. It’s been more frenzied. A 27-year-old magazine editor who lives and works in Manhattan was so horrified, so frightened and felt so vulnerable after the Sept. 11 attacks that she and her roommate pretty much lived in different bars watching the news with other New Yorkers. “We all sort of wanted to be with a man,” she said, adding that they were also perplexed by this physical impulse. She said that she has never been “hit on” more often than she has been in the last three weeks. “People were looking at each other differently as if they were thinking, ‘Would I be with this person? Would I have sex with this person?’ It was kind of weird. I immediately called this guy I had been dating on and off for a year. I just wanted to be with him.” She spent the next three days and nights with him, at his apartment. “You feel weird about it because some people said the last thing they wanted was sex.

Maybe it is because on some subconscious level you do it because you want to ensure the survival of the species, but all of us are probably on birth control. It may be a way to experience humanity and be connected.” The magazine editor’s roommate, a 29-year-old television production assistant, put it this way: “I just wanted random sex,” she said, adding that she tried to call a man she had dated six times and slept with once. Unfortunately, she said, the attacks compelled him to write “his masterpiece” rather than accept her offer for sexual healing. “I wanted a man’s arms around me even though I knew it wasn’t going to be real,” she said. “I just wanted the escape. I was so frightened. I wanted to feel protected.”

When people are afraid, the body’s fight or flight response is triggered, said Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University who lives in Manhattan. A cocktail of hormones and neurochemicals is released, stimulating the survival instinct, driving up levels of dopamine and, possibly, the hormone testosterone, which stimulates the libido. “I noticed this phenomenon in 1994 when I was on a book tour in Los Angeles following the earthquake there,” said Fisher, referring to her bestselling book, “The Anatomy of Love (Fawcett Columbine, 1994). “In a matter of hours, many people came up to me and asked: ‘Why, in the middle of this disaster, am I so horny?'” Disasters and tragedies are situations of novelty, danger and fear, all of which can stimulate the sex drive. Partly, you want to hold your sweetheart out of gratitude that you are still alive. Feeling sheepish or and guilty about experiencing pleasure when so many people are in pain or mourning is common. “I felt guilty for having sex at all,” said a 29-year-old woman writer who lives in Manhattan.

Fans of the movie “Summer of ’42,” in which a teenaged boy is sexually initiated by a young war widow seeking physical solace when she receives news of her husband’s death, will recognize another phenomenon that is known to occur in the wake of disaster. Those in mourning may have sex with a stranger, acquaintance or someone other than their partner, said Carol Rinkleib Ellison, a clinical psychologist in Oakland. “Someone might go home from a funeral and have sex with a neighbor and might not mention it again,” she said. “It seems to be a statement that life goes on, that we are the living. People need to understand that the motivation for sex after death or devastation might not be out of lust or passion, but out of a need for reassurance, comfort or an affirmation of life.”

Indeed, the scale of the World Trade Center attacks is a profound reminder of mortality, especially for New Yorkers, said Xavier Amador, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University. “When people feel their own mortality and feel how precious their own life is, in an odd way it gives them courage to do and say a lot of things they may have wanted to but have-n’t.” So it was with the magazine editor, who became so frightened the Saturday after the attack, when, according to rampant rumors, a second attack was supposed to hit New York. The man she had spent three nights with was supposed to fly to Washington, D.C. She had a few drinks, called him and left this message: “Tomorrow may be the end of the world, and I love you.” Neither one of them had yet uttered the word “love,” a this-relationship-is-serious benchmark. That’s how profoundly changed she was by the catastrophe. “It made me say the L-word.”


NYers who believe in Mayan apocalypse search for sex before the world ends
by Amber Sutherland   /  December 20, 2012

“A sexy swimsuit model and countless other lusty New Yorkers say tomorrow’s predicted Mayan apocalypse is a great reason to have sex, and are turning to social media and doomsday-themed parties in hopes of fully experiencing humanity’s steamy climax. “If I die, I don’t want to die on a dry spell!” declared model Niki Ghazian. The sexy fashion plate, who works in New York and Los Angeles, told The Post she’ll attend a fashion party with friends tonight to celebrate Doomsday Eve — and, hopefully, hook up with someone hot. “Everybody should go out feeling satisfied,” she told The Post. “If the world’s gonna end, why hold back?”

All the horny hubbub has been caused by a doomsday prediction made by the ancient Mayan calendar, which predicts the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, at 11:11 a.m. While some people around the world are arming themselves and digging into bunkers, many New Yorkers are simply hoping for a hot time. “I will be looking for an end-of-the-world hook-up,” Dennis Cintron, 29, a Lower East Side bartender, told The Post. “If you’re going to go out, go out with a bang.” Cintron said he’ll buy new clothes and get a haircut for the big day because he wants some “companionship” to ring in the rapture.


Sara Saperstein, 26, of Bushwick is also hoping for one last romp. “It’s like New Year’s. I want to go out on a wild note!” Saperstein said. She won’t have trouble finding a spot for that. More than a dozen bars and clubs in New York City are throwing end-of-days bashes, including a comedy show at the Bell House in Gowanus and an “End of the Funking World Party” at B.B. King Blues Club in Midtown. Other singles posted ads on Craigslist.org and OKCupid.com, seeking apocalypse-themed dates, “casual encounters” and even “end of the world sex.”

“If you’ve got no plans for the apocalypse, let’s get together,” wrote a 30-year-old single guy from Midtown. He added, “Send me how you’d like to spend your last hours on earth — and a photo.” Kerri McMearty, a 35-year-old nurse from Long Island, wants to spend her last night on earth enjoying a boozy dinner with a “new man. You come into the world with people — you may as well go out with them,” she said.

Real-Life Tales Of Getting Lucky In The Age Of Obama
by Amy Sohn  /  03/06/2009

“In the fall of 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, New York was struck by a phenomenon called “terror sex.” Some called it “apocalypse sex.” The world felt dangerous and frightening, and people wanted to feel close. They went out to bars and took home strangers. They called up old boyfriends and girlfriends and reunited, some for a night, some for good. These days, following the Obama inauguration, New Yorkers, many of whom have already lost jobs due to the flagging economy, are engaging in a different kind of sex. Optimistic that change will come – economic and political, these New Yorkers are engaging in what Breakupgirl.net calls “hope sex.” (Insert the requisite joke here: “Change you can conceive in,” “Yes! Yes! Yes I Can!”)

One reason that New Yorkers are having more hope sex these days is because of the endless parties and celebrations – many of them alcohol-fueled – that accompanied the election and the inauguration. Regime change leads to partying, and partying leads to . . . well, you know. Take my friend Ellie, for example. On Election Night, the 34-year-old literary agent invited over an ex-boyfriend with whom she’s still friendly. They smoked marijuana while watching the returns. She cried when Obama won Ohio (partly due to the pot). “As I listened to Obama’s acceptance speech later that night,” she recalls, “I was surprised to find that I was sexualizing the experience. I felt like hope came on my tits. That feeling was so exhilarating that I had hope sex with my friend that night, although the pot put me in a good mood all around. The sex wasn’t all that memorable in and of itself, but it was comfortable and comforting.” Stephen, 34, a recently-married Manhattanite musician, has been feeling a renewed sense of commitment to his wife of late, and thinking about making a baby – even in the wake of financial uncertainty. “My wife and I are feeling optimistic and thinking about procreating. We did canvassing for Obama, which was a fun thing to do together. There is something about Obama that soothes the nerves. He’s like a horse whisperer.”

“Hope is a physical as well as mental state,” says Pepper Schwartz, PhD., professor of sociology at the University of Washington and author of Prime: Adventures and Advice About Sex, Love and the Sensual Years. “When we feel hopeful we produce positive hormones, such as adrenalin and dopamine, that energize and uplift our spirits. Making love is both more desired and more poignant… These are complex, troubled times and we need hope to keep us going in our relationships and in our day-to-day life, so we can repair, progress and even love.” Stephen, the musician, suggests some hope sex may be fueled by the sexual appeal of the Obamas themselves. Handsome (but not too handsome), confident, and affable, the President-elect is popular with men, who like him but are not threatened by him. Obama is to men what Sarah Jessica Parker is to women. “I’ve seen him with his shirt off and I feel like I could take him,” says Stephen. “He is something my wife and I can both agree on, and I can be Barack and she can be Michelle. Maybe I’ll suggest that tonight.” Ernie, a gay 43-year-old translator, has been having more sex than usual in the past few months because his Obama-supporting boyfriend has been in such a good mood. “He was an Obama supporter and I was for Hillary,” Ernie says, “so what’s hope sex for him feels like sadomasochism to me.”

The real question is whether all of this hope sex – at least, the heterosexual variety – will lead to a baby boom in August, nine months after Election Night, and perhaps again in October, nine months after the inauguration. Obama himself, as the Huffington Post has pointed out, was born almost exactly nine months after John F. Kennedy’s 1960 election. Annette, an ad exec in Brooklyn, is already expecting an Obama baby. “I had been pressing my boyfriend for procreation,” she says, “since I’m almost 37. I was also pressing for marriage but that evoked nothing but a frown. We were in the break-up-or-get-married stage. Election night was very emotional for us because we had gone to Pennsylvania together to campaign for him and made phone calls to battleground states. “My boyfriend cried for a good five minutes when the Obama news came. We went home and had a serious unprotected hump, without acknowledging that we were making an Obama baby. That was followed by four more days of unprotected rolling around – all without speaking of it. Now I’m ten weeks along. We’re spreading the rumor that we’re naming it Hussein, regardless of gender.”

Justianna, 35, a schoolteacher in Brooklyn, had hope sex a bit earlier, in July 2008, after Obama won the Democratic nomination. She wound up getting pregnant with her fourth child – but her first with her new boyfriend. “I see the baby as a member of a new generation, one which my current three kids (ages 11, 9, and 6) are not a part of: a generation where people see proof of the messages of equality and hope. I am excited to have a baby in this very special, politically thrilling, financially frightening time. Can we get pregnant? ‘YES WE CAN!'” But if all this talk of hope and optimism turns your stomach, never fear. In a city as big as New York, some people never get action. Mike, a 55-year-old headhunter, says he’s not getting any lately, though he has been eating more chocolate out of financial anxiety. “Forget about hope sex,” he says. “I’m just hoping.”



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