Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Themes & Motifs

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Genuine emotional connection

Most of the characters in "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" have yet to discover genuine emotional connection, despite their best efforts to do so -- a theme that is introduced in the very first short story, "A Radically Condensed History...." This short story proposes that the specifics of a heterosexual dating relationship do not matter -- i.e., the location, demographics, or personalities of the couple involved -- it is simply a difficult and impersonal process most of the time. This idea is taken to its logical extreme in the later story "Datum Centurio," which proposes that, by the year 2096, men pursue their sexuality primarily by using virtual-reality pornography.

Many of the "Hideous Men" who were interviewed are completely uninterested in genuine emotional connection, instead simply pursuing as much sex as possible. It is only in the last "Brief Interview," with Subject #20 (beginning 287), that...

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