Sunday, 1 April 2012

I'm no Mary Whitehouse but are social networking sites and mobile phones destroying the last grain of dignity we posses?

"Lady Chatterley's Lover" - D H Lawrence; "Queer" - William S Burroughs; "Story of O" - Pauline Reage... These are some of the novels I've loved... I'm no Mary Whitehouse.. far from it, I believe sex - often in it's most raw and animalistic form - is an inherent part of healthy human romantic relationships...

But I was quite stunned and even more depressed the other day, travelling home from work on the train, to hear three attractive women, all in their late 30s/early 40s, sharing their experiences of 'relationships' with men they'd recently met on facebook.. specifically they were sharing explicit sexual text messages their 'boyfriends' had sent them - in each case after just one 'date'. Not romantic messages, nothing about beautiful eyes and gorgeous smiles and the smell of your hair.....nothing remotely like courting... These texts didn't pretty it up, they went straight to the business in hand, devoid of emotion, crude, vulgar, like something from a really tacky hardcore porno mag...

Reading the texts out, the women clearly felt embarrassed, uncomfortable and all three admitted that the messages they'd been receiving were the exact opposite of a turn on. And yet all of them confessed they'd immediately sent similar explicit messages back, because "Well, everyone does this now" and "Blokes don't bother with you if you don't sextext"... And as they chatted more about these men they were falling for, clearly what they were (desperately) looking for was a serious partner, but it was even more clear that the guys they were getting to know weren't remotely interested in building a real relationship, based on trust, respect, honesty... and I found myself wondering if these men were sending the same sorts of messages to lots and lots of women - knowing that some would engage in this weird practice for a while, probably until the woman realised this was never going to develop into something meaningful.. and then the guy would just move on to another facebook woman!

With every failed attempt at a relationship through this explicit sextexting, the women were likely to feel more degraded, have lower self esteem and they were actually harming their chances of finding a decent man to settle down with. While it was fulfilling something (albeit short term) for the men, it wasn't meeting the needs of the women at all... But it seems like it's a growing trend now sadly, just like everything else in this shallow culture we live in, people don't want to wait for it, they don't want to nurture and grow something gradually over time - they want sex and relationships now!! Today!!!

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