Sex & Social Media

When considering the physical manifestations of our desire to be seen and to be loved, are the two that different?


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.

Get more Postmodern Love ?