The easy answer to this is question is that, like the characters in the book who took the mind-altering drug soma, Huxley also experimented with mind-altering drugs such as mescaline and, most famously LSD, albeit starting in the 1950s, long after the novel was published. More interestingly, the novel reflects a society on the cusp of change. Huxley was involved with an avant-garde set of friends in post-World War I England known as the Bloomsbury Group. This group rejected Victorian sexual mores and engaged in freer sexual practices than the society at large. Brave New World both satirizes Bloomsbury sexual experiments and extends them out to a whole future society. Because our society, with safe birth control available, has largely embraced these freer sexual mores, it is easy to lose how shocking some of the customs in the book, such as the widespread and socially sanctioned "hooking up" for casual sex, would have been to early audiences. Likewise, the book was written before post World War II consumption patterns set in, so such practices as throwing out clothes insead of mending them would have been more shocking, and comic, to Huxley's contemporaries than they are to us.