I have been almost permanently disturbed since reading Dawn Kawamoto's revelations about a survey suggesting that women would rather forgo sex for two weeks than give up Internet access.
When I read that nearly half the women surveyed felt this way, I had a number of purely instinctive reactions.
First came the notion that the Harris Interactive surveyors, at the behest of Intel, had merely been screening women who work in information technology. This would have made the results entirely understandable--for so many reasons.
However, then I shook off this conception in favor of a simple explanation: perhaps it's the men these women are choosing (not) to have sex with. The slightly more than 50 percent who could not give up on, as Richard Nixon would put it, fornication, were possibly either fortunate to be in a rare, healthy relationship with a man or preferred the intimacy of women.
So many men can be, as they put it across distant shores, toerags. And the sexual quality that was (not) enjoyed by this worrying percentage of females might reflect male insensitivity and incompetence, rather than some lasting lust for the Web.
While I am obviously unable to help with the immediate need for finding better sexual partners, I can, in an attempt to influence Dawn's poll, offer Six Deadly Reasons why sex will always outscore the Internet.
- When a man crashes, he generally does so after sex. A laptop will often choose to crash right in the middle of the video you've been just dying to see.
- Sex takes up so much less time than the Internet. With sex, 20 minutes can give you a considerable spike of adrenalin and even a little tingling of the fingers in the company of a living and, usually, breathing human being. With the Internet, you can lose untold days socially networking, till your fingers believe they've just played Rachmaninoff's 3rd at the Lincoln Center. And what do you get for it? A bunch more imaginary friends.
- When it comes to sex, you've normally had dinner first. Which means that it is far less messy than most people's evenings on the laptop. They perch it on their knees, fingering the keyboard with their left hand while reaching for Domino's finest cheese, pepperoni, and green pepper with their right. If they're not crisp with their bite, the cheese stretches out like a ghost in a cartoon movie, until it makes contact with the keyboard, sticking to it and sliding into the cracks between the keys. Before they know it, their Apple is cheddared.
- Sex exposes you for exactly who you are. There you lie, entirely denuded of pretense, being as much yourself as you could ever be outside of, perhaps, when you play golf. On the Internet, by contrast, everyone lies. The interactions you have are as false as a flamenco dancer's eyelashes. How can anyone take pleasure in that?
- Sex gives you something to talk about. It gives the tabloids something to write about. Which gives people something to read about. Which gives them something to talk about. Can you ever imagine a publication solely devoted to what Britney Spears and her fellow cohort of stars do on the Internet? How crashingly dull that would be.
- The internet will always be there tomorrow. What about your lover?