Sex & Social Media

by Sophie Milrom
June 20, 2013
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When considering the physical manifestations of our desire to be seen and to be loved, are the two that different?

sexnsocialmedia

Written by Sophie Milrom

Last week my friend Rachel sent me a text message so funny that it made me laugh out loud and spit out my Juice Press coffee: “besides a man being an actor slash model, wearing Ed Hardy is the second biggest loin icer.” Before I could even wipe my mouth clean, I had taken a screen shot of the exchange and was thinking up clever captions.

I settled on “was it Thoreau or Shakespeare who said thy graphic tee is like ice to the loins.” It was perfect and hilarious so I decided it needed no filter, but when I was about to upload it, I realized that I am a willing participant in a global contest to prove “my life is amazing and probably better than yours” called Instagram.

Realistically, I knew that this photo wasn’t going to do more than publicize “I know really funny people–who text me.” I had already enjoyed every intrinsic benefit of the image – it made me laugh, it made me think, and it gave me a line I would no doubt recycle – so I decided against feeding the monster that is my ego and pressed cancel.

Frankly, I may not have the same will power next time. Oscar Wilde said “I can resist anything except temptation.” Well, I can resist anything, except posting pictures that I look exceptionally tan in. And French fries.

Having an “internet persona” has played a large role in my entire adult life. I created a Facebook account immediately upon receiving an .edu email address. Before that, I had an AOL profile where my favorite quote changed monthly and my away message hourly. So what made me all of a sudden question the ulterior motives behind my long-standing engagement online?

Two weeks ago I attended a bible class where the teacher described sex as the “physical manifestation of our desire to be seen and loved.” I think that pretty perfectly encpasulates social media too. If I was Carrie Bradshaw, right about now is when I would  say “and I wondered, is Twitter just arms-length foreplay with hashtags as accessories?”

But I’m not. And that would be cheesy and nonsensical, anyway.

However, I do believe a connection might exist between someone’s choices online and in bed. I’ve seen both used in attempts to prove something, feel a connection, or have an experience. Either could make you feel empowered, cheap, or maybe alive. And it’s always sad to see someone commoditizing them, or hoping they will earn affection or attention that feels otherwise undeserved. Now that’s deep.

Leandra tells me lists are in this season, so on a lighter note here are 10 ways in which partaking in social media is a lot like the horizontal tango–interject at any point:

1) If it is not thought out, there is a significant chance you’ll regret it afterwards.
2) There are rules of reciprocity that are often overlooked or disobeyed.
3) It doesn’t feel natural the first few times.
4) It is an art, not a science.
5) Kim Kardashian is popular for it, and really, really good at it!
6) It doesn’t feel right anymore when you know your parents are doing it.
7) It’s a tempting but dangerous way to cling to an ex.
8) It’s a decent vehicle for showing off your hot new bod after a cleanse.
9) Some people take it more seriously than others.
10) If you indulge in it too much, you will likely be judged, even by your closest friends.

REPLIES
  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    I laughed through the entire list, but regret is the biggest one and I am glad you put it first. I never realized they were so similar either.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • royal wang
  • daisy

    that was awesome. best morning read yet! x
    & Pretty Things

  • http://QuinnCooperStyle.com/ Quinn Cooper

    Love this list. ALL TRUE.

    Quinn Cooper Style

    • liv

      beautiful site!

  • Lucinda

    Ahh the witty truth. Totally agree.
    And your friend is hilarious…and completely correct.

    http://grantedblog.blogspot.com.au

  • Stine Marie

    THE BEST post I have EVER read exclamationpoint. you are brilliant

  • molly alone

    brilliant. just. brilliants

    molly-alone.com

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    Lovely! :-D

    Erm … May I?

    11) “After drinking you may feel more … sassy doing it and even offer some … progressive ideas”

  • ashleymaciejewski

    The list makes you cross-reference your relationship with those you’ve engaged in both avenues…I’ve officially thought too hard before coffee today.

  • Menaka

    What a perfect mix of profundity and silliness. Love this post.

  • http://www.farandwildjewelry.com/ abigail lind

    always use a filter, it’s just plain cocky not too.

    abigail
    http://www.farandwildjewelry.com

    ps. this is far and away one of the best guest posts yet.

  • Lilly

    Filters are the computer ages beer goggles.

    http://www.funnynameseriousxesign.wordpress.com

  • Thesis Student

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  • grace kane

    Isn’t EVERYTHING, and hasn’t it always been, about sex? How would be continue to be a species otherwise. We play at describing and “understanding” the meaning of life – you do so very entertainingly! All of the pure distractions are driven by the same lizard brain that keeps us alive (and simultaneously is our demise). It’s so entertaining to be human. So we continue…until we use up our nest (said out of the corner of my mouth -
    Groucho with a cigar in hand).

  • Aliénor

    Lovely !!

    xx ifoundmysoulmate

  • Nico
  • Reptilia

    hahahahaha that´s sooooooo funny! Best post ever! love this: “It doesn’t feel right anymore when you know your parents are doing it.” AGREE!!

    http://www.justreptilia.com

    xx

  • http://stylizedexistence.com/blog Lauren Corso

    This is brilliant. ’nuff said.

  • kendall erica

    amazing.
    101% true.

    annnnnd I unfortunately participate in all of the above.

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    A great parallel. Now I’m off to share this with everyone I know. :-)

  • monkeyshines

    wonderful pieces!

    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

  • Patricia

    That’s hilarious. And the list is brilliant and — oh, so true.
    http://memyselfandboston.wordpress.com

  • Cupid’s Trick

    This is absolute GENIUS. 1 and 6 are so painfully true.

    Possible 11: There are controversies over indulging at work…

    And 12: Involving food (even beautiful food) was only interesting the first 10 times.

  • Demy

    6) It doesn’t feel right anymore when you know your parents are doing it.

    OH GOD WHY

  • amilli0naire

    SOPHIE this is amazing. you are amazing. can i steal your “was it thoreau or shakespeare” line when i post this to my facebook? (it’s like i learned nothing after this article but I can’t help it! i want to scream it from the roof top: “HEY WORLD, I HAVE FUNNY FRIENDS.”

  • CarlotaLMorais

    Like like like! Very much true!

  • camille

    Awesome post. This is how I’ve felt about social media since Twitter launched.

  • brunetteletters

    I laughed in the first line, till it ended…

    Great writer and thanks!!

    http://brunettelettersblog.blogspot.com/

  • Rebeka Osborne

    This is brilliant. I’ve read it like three times already. The list at the end is spot on (read: hilarious), and so is the quote from the bible teacher about sex being the “physical manifestation of our desire to be seen and loved.” Because yes, this is so true for both sex and social media. This is so well thought out and on point, I just can’t get over it.

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda
  • http://pantherstophat.com/ The Panther’s Tophat

    I think as you grow older, you become less inclined to share things on Facebook/Instagram especially if you have an array of extended family members who are also friends on your social networks. I find they like to have a deeper nose than anybody else :-) Also think about those annoying friends on FB who like to share every detail of their day including the 10th masterpiece their little Daniel drew at kindergarden that day. Just saying :-) How do we judge them?

    http://pantherstophat.com/

  • Look Sharp Sconnie

    evokes ambiguous emotions when done in the morning

  • Ana González

    The list is totally right! Kim Kardashian is the queen of both… i don´t like this world. lol

    http://medium.tictail.com

  • http://www.profreshstyle.com/ Christina of Profresh Style

    Ace.

  • Astrid

    The first paragraphs are so honest and true and funny, great job

  • Samantha Berkley

    The analogy of internet and sex is very interesting and thought provoking. Arecent study ( I read it somewhere but can’t remember who did this study) showed that the frequency of facebook posts ( or perhaps any social media posts) is directly related to your emotional stability….. those posts are most likely the result of desire to be seen, heard, and loved.

  • Daphnia Neofytou

    So true

    visit my blog

    http://daphniaslife.blogspot.gr/

  • Olivia

    Good. On. You. This was a refreshingly frank article.

  • Kate

    NUMBER 6! Oh my gosh… Honestly, I go back-and-forth with you. I’ve been a long-time reader but I follow, un-follow, follow, un-follow…. I can’t quite figure you out. I’m a big feminist and, while I remain open-minded, I love defining things. But I can’t define you; I don’t know how to. And I love that! That is why I will always come back.

    Every once in awhile, you put up a post like this that has me laughing and crying “amen!” Keep preaching it, girl.

  • chezsasha.com

    omg big YES for #7!! that is some dangerous stuff

  • Arad Yam

    On point. *a global contest to prove “my life is amazing and probably better than yours”*

  • Charlotte Hartwell

    Brilliant list! Made my day

  • Holly-Bella

    hahahahaha so painfully true.

    http://thepersephonecomplex.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://festofstyle.blogspot.com/ Christina

    hahahahahaha.those are for sure two converging bitches

  • Elisa Taviti
  • ni ni

    THAT LISTTT!

  • Pennywise Poundcake

    Hilarious read and excellent points : )

    http://pennywisepoundcake.com

  • Elle

    Loved the list!!

    bisouselle.blogspot.com

  • allie

    Very intriguing and probably true!

    tie-dye-eyes

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  • Allie May Redmond

    This is incredible. Mega Lolz, you’re a babe.

    http://www.thefridaygirl.co.uk

    xxxx

  • Sophia

    yeah and so you could make the same analogy between social medias and fashion couldn’t you?.. Minus the Kim Kardashian point,obvs!

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I simply adore all the guest posts on this site, and Sophie always has something witty to say! While I must say that I’m only versed in the social media side of this conversation, I can completely see the connection, since she’s managed to break both down in an incredibly funny way. Lists are so in.

  • Elizabeth

    Brilliant! All so true.

  • edafiliz

    totally agree! love the bra thou

    http://twogirlsandareddoor.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Kristy

    I like 6 and 10.

    but isn’t everything about sex?

    And I don’t mean it in a “but in the end nothing really matters” type of way. I just mean, a lot of these comparisons are broad enough to be sex and _____.

    and to be anal-retentively obsessive about a joke, the Thoreau and Shakespeare dichotomy presented is throwing me off. It’s because it does actually seem like something a modern-day Shakespeare would say, while Thoreau, as a realist philosopher is…random but not outlandish enough. I’d say Shakespeare or Wilde, or Shakespeare or Austen or be completely ridiculous and say Shakespeare or Joan of Arc or Shakespeare or the Dalai Lama.

    /drunk mumbling

  • Rachel

    Hey. Thank you for posting this. It’s important that we take the time to reflect on our true motives for the things we do. It’s great that you’re thinking about the internal moral repercussions of your actions—even though it seems like posting one or more kinda vain pics “isn’t that big of a deal,” it can and will have an effect on your perception of the world and future actions.

    Read this piece from the wise, beautiful and introspective Jenna from Sweet Fine Day, I thought it was great:
    http://www.sweetfineday.com/2013/04/why-do-we-blog/

    Much love and many blessings!

    Rachel

    • Leandra Medine

      I just took a look. Thank you for passing this along, Rachel!

  • miasuraya

    Enjoyed this a lot, Sophie. Thanks!

  • Hyd imarks
  • http://www.sar-maddox.co.uk/ Sar

    This is a fantastic article spot on!! Ive seen so many friends post photos of themselves half naked for attention.

    On another note, I love the bra in the photo, any idea what brand?

  • KimP.

    Gosh why is this so accurate! Social media and sex are long lost cousins! (I’m now wondering the other things it’s comparable too) Awesome post Leandra!

  • Behind the Mirror

    This is a great post!!! One of the best ones I have seen in quite a while!!! LOVE.

  • anna

    scandinvians think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.

    It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work “nasa” can mean both “to marry” and “to lift” and “to desire” among many other verbs..

    In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.

    It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work “nasa” can mean both “to marry” and “to lift” and “to desire” among many other verbs..

  • Natalia P. Betancourt

    Amazing… with just the right amount of sassiness. LOVED IT!

  • aczentil

    this list is perfection!

  • Micah

    Pretty right on the money! haha loved it!

  • Lucy

    “a global contest to prove “my life is amazing and probably better than yours” called Instagram.”

    ^^ Spot On. This is why I deleted Instagram (and Facebook) 5 months ago and am so much happier for it. Happiness is relative people, don’t compare your life to other people’s highlight reel!

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    Rather in-sightful!

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