Abel Ferrara, Ms .45, 1981, 35 mm, color, sound, 80 minutes. Thana (Zoë Lund).

SOMETIMES A CIGAR is just a cigar, but sex is never just sex. The drive that Freud decorously called Eros is always entangled—in the most serious and urgent ways—with technology, politics, ideology, economics. And in 2015, these entwinements seemed even more vexed and rife with contradictions than usual. The hacking of philanderers’ website Ashley Madison revealed that (surprise) many defenders of “traditional marriage” don’t practice what they preach; India’s government vowed to expand Internet access and promptly blocked Internet porn; “female Viagra” turned women on but also made them pass out cold: These are just a few of the recent events that might prompt us to reflect on sex as a paradoxical force that challenges neoliberalism and abets it, opposes fundamentalism and energizes it. For its annual look back at the year that was, Artforum asked contributors to consider

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