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Literal Hustle Porn Is Based on the Sad Reality That We’re All Too Busy or Too Tired to Have Sex

There’s a good reason the ‘guy who’s too busy to fuck’ porn trope seems less popular than ever

Whatever your porn watching habits may be, most of us are familiar with the genre of porn where the guy is “too busy” to fuck. Currently, the most popular one, according to Google’s “too busy to fuck” index, is actually a lesbian video, but the premise is the same: In it, one of the women appears to be busy writing notes for a potential presentation while her partner — stricken with horniness — is standing in the doorway rubbing her clit with a telephone cord. As the video continues, the woman with the telephone cord moves into the bedroom and begins to seduce her astutely-focused-on-charts partner. It is, quite literally, hustle porn 

For those who’ve somehow mercifully avoided it thus far, the term “hustle porn” (formally coined by Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, according to Inc. magazine) is “the fetishization of people — particularly entrepreneurs or employees in the tech industry — overworking themselves.” Nowadays, hustle porn, being the metastasizing cancer of late-stage-capitalism culture that it is, extends to nearly every walk of life — and similar to most cultural trends, the porn industry was there first. 

The plot of these literal hustle porn videos is fairly basic: Husband is constantly working, i.e., too busy to please his wife, so she either has to aggressively seduce him, or finds a guy — typically her neighbor, handyman, etc. — to do what her husband never seems to have time for. The underlying plotline of both is based on the sexist but somewhat common claim that husbands are too busy making Powerpoints to sex it up with their wives. 

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While that may seem like an extension of reality for some, the truth is that, as per myriad Reddit posts, both men and women are experiencing a dearth in horniness caused by the crushing weight of hustling to make ends meet, rearing kids or both. “My job now has me working 50-60 hours every week and I hate the job,” writes one redditor. “She doesn’t work so I support us both. She’s sick a lot too so I take care of her when I get home. Even on my days off I feel too tired to have sex. I’ll masturbate a couple times a week in the bathroom (sometimes multiple times a day), but just the thought of physically having sex makes me way too tired to even try.

Another writes that she and her fiancée probably have sex twice a month. “I know my fiancé isn’t happy with this,” she writes. “He’d probably like once or twice a week, maybe more. I used to like it pretty often too, but I’m just tired and disinterested. I’m always thinking about grocery lists or PCR or something. After our dates, my fiancé always tries to set the mood and stuff, but I’m dense as a brick and don’t notice any of that. I just wanna sleep.”

The internet, naturally, is flooded with articles about being too tired for sex. “When life gets busy and tiring, our sex lives are often the first casualty,” reports Good Housekeeping. Over at ABC Life’s Dear Tanya column, one woman wrote in, explaining how she’s always too tired or busy for sex, saying, “It’s the last thing I feel like doing when I get the tap on the shoulder from my partner. How can I make it more of a priority?”

Lanae St. John, aka The MamaSutra, a board-certified sexologist with the American College of Sexologists, tells me that the “too busy for sex” trope could actually be based on a host of other truths as well: “Ranging from finding sex dull or a waste of time, to not really enjoying the sex with this partner, or they don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings, to [the fact] they’re getting their needs met elsewhere, or any other personal reason,” she says. “We’ll really never know unless the relationship is a safe container for both people and where the person making up the excuse feels secure enough to share those uncomfortable truths and be honest.”

To be fair, though, as per the same article in Good Housekeeping, “a National Sleep Foundation survey (2010) found that nearly 25 percent of cohabiting respondents report often being too tired to have sex with their partner.” Which is to say that being too busy or tired for sex is a problem plaguing at least a quarter of all couples, at least half of whom would rather get some much-needed sleep than boink. 

But what the hell is sexy enough about any of this for it to have become a porn trope? 

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According to St. John, the plotline exists less because people are too tired or busy, but because, she says, “some men really want to be seduced.” “‘Too busy for sex’ mandates that the other person try their hardest to change the other person’s mind and submit to sex,” she says. “Traditionally, men are the ones who are always supposed to be dominant and ‘always want to have sex.’ Porn plays up the fantasy that the opposite could be true.”

Despite this, adult film director Ivan Puba believes that the genre doesn’t really make for a good enough storyline, because for many, it’s just too real. “Porn is a fantasy, not a deterrent from sex,” he says. “Why would anyone watch porn where the guy refuses sex? That’s not a fantasy. And in real life, for guys who refuse sex because they’re too busy, they don’t have time to watch that type of porn fantasy.” Which probably explains why the far more plentiful work-related genre of porn these days is the adjacently-named “horny wife fucks while husband away on business” — because who needs to actually see the hustler who’s choosing work over sex?

But while our culture continues to glamorize the person — usually a guy — who’s always grinding (figuratively speaking) and therefore too busy to have sex, St. John tells me that in porn plotlines, the opposite is true. “I do see a shift, where people who are nurturing and compassionate are seen as hot and the person who is always working is a bit of a douche,” she says.

So once again, the porn industry is (hopefully) pioneering the next boom in our political and economic system: Sex under socialism.