Study Guide

Brave New World Sex

By Aldous Huxley


(Click the themes infographic to download.)

Let's talk about sex, baby. In Brave New World, sex and violence are portrayed as the two extremes of passion. In this futuristic world, promiscuity is the law and emotional attachment is straight-up illegal. That's right, no more couples and no more love. Sex is no longer used for procreation, but rather for distraction and pacification—kind of like how social media is used today. Sex has been dehumanized and made devoid of passion, treated casually and publicly rather than as a personal matter. Because of this, no space of time ever passes between a desire and the consummation of that desire.

Questions About Sex

  1. Promiscuity is encouraged—no, demanded—in the World State. Is this a subjugation of the natural inclination toward monogamy, or is it catering to the natural inclination of sleeping with as many people as possible?
  2. Is the above question different in talking about men than it is for women? In Brave New World, which gender seems more disposed toward monogamy, and which toward promiscuity?
  3. Why do the World Controllers include sex at all as a part of daily life? Why not just eliminate everyone's sex drives altogether?
  4. Does John have sex with Lenina at the end of the novel? (There is no right answer to this question.)

Chew on This

Sex and violence are intricately linked in Brave New World, proving that in order to have passion one must feel the extremes of both pleasure and pain.

All the sex in Brave New World is destructive.