Candy-crushed My Sex Life
Is technology taking over our sex lives? This recent article by the BBC outlining statistics from a ‘once-a-decade poll of 15,000 Britons found those aged 16-44 were having sex fewer than five times a month’ and states that this seemingly dramatic drop in figures from 6.2 to 4.9 over the past ten years is the cause of stressful modern living (though how you can have sex 0.2 or 0.9 times I’ve yet to figure out; perhaps different acts = different percentages?). The article suggests that rather than feeling one another up, we’re getting busy fretting about our finances; concerned more for our actual jobs than the last time we gave a blow job; and retreating ever more into the ether of the internet instead of the dark and saucy corners of our bedrooms. The main issue arising from the Beeb is that our modern generation has far too many gadgets to hand which are distracting us from enjoying a healthy and frequent sex life. We have TVs in our boudoirs, we go to bed with our iphones, and the touch-screen-tablet has taken precedence over the little-blue-pill; we are constantly pressing the wrong buttons. Despite the statistics, it was actually two comments from the general population which sent alarm bells ringing in my head as to a possible cause of our sex slow down. Firstly a comment from a 72 year old man who claims not to have had sex with his wife since 2006:
‘It is something that we no longer talk about and she looks disgusted when I approach the subject. Personally I think that it is a perfectly natural thing for people to do when they love each other, no matter what age. We have two dogs, three TVs, two PCs, and two tablets – not to mention the phones. Perhaps I should get rid of them all.’ – Roger
That’s right, I mean forget the fact that the iphone wasn’t released until 2007, lets get rid of the phones and your faithful fluffy companions because a conversation is just too fucking difficult to have.
Similarly another disgruntled gentleman writes:
‘In my situation, it’s all thanks to good old Candy Crush (the game). My sex life has nearly vanished thanks to this game. Not just my sex life with my partner but our social relationship as well. The only “thing” keeping us together are the kids. Do I blame social media and candy crush? Yes I do, especially after I’ve done everything in my power to fix this! She’s addicted and needs help.’ – Jacques
Now when your wife would rather crush fictional fluorescent jelly beans over having her own bean flicked, you both seriously need to re-assess your forms of communication.
The concept of social media addiction is a serious one. People are constantly turning to the internet as a means of self validation and recognition – how much karma do I have on Reddit? How many points on Imgur? How many twitter followers do I have? Who’s been reblogging me on Tumblr? How many Likes do I have on Facebook? Who’s following my pinterest/instagram feed of really boring food? If you’re not getting the attention you want from your loved one it makes sense that you attach to a source that actually does reward you and make you feel selfie-worth. Our Jacques states that he has done everything in his power to ‘fix’ this situation (because non-procreative women are definitely broken…thanks patriarchy), and I for one would like to call BULLSHIT. Most often relationships which lose the sexual vibe do so due to a lack of communication. If your social and sexual life is going down the drain due to social media there’s something far more serious at the root. She’s likely turned her attention to this ridiculous game because, frankly Jacques, you’ve probably lost yours.
The second aspect of the article that made me sit up in my seat, aside from ineffectual communication, was the BBC’s interpretation of the data; it seems to insinuate that our lack of copulation is linked to a decreasingly sexual population. However, our sexual appetites aren’t constrained to mere intercourse, and many of us are simply finding our kicks in different places. Since we’re discussing the relationship between gadgets and sex it makes sense to look at the country at the forefront of technology, Japan.According to various sources, modern day Japan is apparently ‘suffering’ from the modern phenomenon of sekkusu shinai shokogun or what the media have dubbed ‘celibacy syndrome’. The Guardian reports that ’45% of women aged 16-24 ‘were not interested in or despised sexual contact’, and more than a quarter of men felt the same way’, concluding that ‘japan’s under-40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships’. This is apparently linked to Japan’s high numbers of persons suffering from social anxiety and various extreme reclusive attitudes (these known as the hikikomori). The population seems to be turning away from ‘conventional’ relationships and delving ever deeper into virtual realities, anime, and pornography. But is this turn away from convention such a terrible thing? Is the fact that ‘japan’s under-40s won’t go forth and multiply out of duty, as post war generations did’ something to be truly worried about? Is it so crazy to consider that we may actually be moving to an EXTREME situation where sex in the 21st century is directed more towards pleasure and gratification, than procreation and reproduction? The phenomenon of manga/anime pornography known internationally as Hentai stems directly from Japan’s embracing of the online community and obsession with fantasy. Translated, Hentai means something along the lines of ‘a perverse sexual desire’, yet depictions of tentacular pornography stem back into the 1800s making one question how ‘perverse’ or non-conventional this type of content really is? The amount of Hentai users around the world is on the increase with fantasy adult stores opening to feed a growing consumer base who prefer magical romances to fleshy fuck-fests. This could have to do with the fact that establishing a connection and a storyline is a key element of this type of pornography – a feature that is highly lacking in most ‘Western’ traditional pornopgrahic content. The attraction isn’t simply to the explicit scenes, tentacular though they may be, but in the attachment to a character and a narrative not bound to the tired-trope of the oblivious hand(s)y-man. The increasingly popularity of anime pornography breaks the glass ceiling of ‘normality’; people’s fantasies are not limited or delineated as something deviant or unhealthy but are depicted as a sort of norm, reflecting our changing sexual appetites and attitudes.
This alternate attitude from procreation to pleasure, is also indicated in the Study. The Sex Study has found that while the amount of sex we are having is decreasing, the actual types of sexual interaction we are indulging in are becoming increasingly more interesting and diverse – especially for women. Ladies are enjoying more partners of both sexes than any previous study; same-sex female relationships have increased from 1.8% to 7.9% and the average number of sexual partners women have experienced has doubled. It seems that traditional and conventional sexual avenues are fast becoming abandoned and boring. We are diverting away from the physical into the fantastical via the means of the web, a trend that several companies have noticed and are subsequently developing ways of linking the two realms. If we’re spending so much time on our gadgets, surely we may as well incorporate them into our foreplay? Take a look at vibease.com for instance, they have developed a discreet vibrator controlled by an app, providing stimulation for yourself by yourself, or a fun way for your lover to turn you on. AWESOME. Similarly Durex has jumped to the head of the pack through their Durexperiment apps and newly invented long distance vibrating ‘Funderwear’ (don’t worry, I’m sure not only ridiculously attractive australians use the product, despite what the video suggests) allowing you to get in close contact with your partner from miles away. Beyond sexy gadgets the wonders of the world wide web are actually a key way for people to get involved with one another. The swathe of dating sites numbering in the hundreds (Match.com, eharmony, POF etc.) and apps such as Tinder and Grinder, are fast helping singles get together and get it on (incidentally several friends have recently found fantastic sexual partners through these mediums). Ultimately technology allows us to branch out of the confines of normality, we are able to indulge our fantisies and fetishes in new and exciting ways where sexting, Hentai, webcams, and cybersex can be considered as a means of cumming together (spelling intentional) and not a tool to force us a part…as long as we learn to embrace it in the right way.