Men Have Needs Too!

Most of the online dating advice given out has been geared towards women. Here is a small exception from the Yahoo! Personals Blog: 7 Reasons Why She Didn’t Write Back. Although the information itself seems pretty basic to me — don’t talk about exes, read the profile of the person you are responding to — the comments from readers make me believe that maybe the advice is warranted. My favorite:
“Addressing one as “babe” or “angel” is not a good way to introduce yourself.”

This is good too:
“DO NOT copy your driver’s license photo and put in online. Yes, I’ve seen it done–yuck!”
Ed Note: This could work if you are smiling purdy. But has a guy ever smiled for his license?

Is there that little common sense out there in cyberspace?

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Making Time for the Big "O"

…If by the Big “O,” you mean “online,” that is. According to Reuters, 20 percent of 1,011 American adults said they spend less time having sex because of the amount of time they spend online. The survey was conducted by advertising agency JWT.

Are these people part of the 38 million people who visited adult Web sites and spent an average of about 90 minutes there in December 2005? Or the 13% of Americans who said they have visited an adult web site or 4% who have downloaded and/or shared adult material according to Pew Internet and American Life? Or are these people just playing video games instead?

Dating Violence and the Internet

Recent research out of Kansas State University, as reported by Yahoo, finds that “Approximately 30 percent of college students have been in relationships that involve physical aggression. Even more have been in relationships that are emotionally abusive.” That is a very unsettling rate.

What can be done about it? Sites such as Love Is Respect, funded by Liz Claiborne, allow people who are being abused or harmed to seek help easily and possibly easier than calling a local hot line. The live chat option is available from the late afternoon to early morning, the times when people are more likely to be able to go online.

And the people behind the site seem to be pretty savvy about issues of privacy and tracking. Before you can even enter the site, there is a warning about computer monitoring accompanied by a phone number in case the computer is not deemed safe. Similarly, throughout the site, there are warnings about the true anonymity of online usage.

An example of some of the positive ways that the internet can impact teen sexuality and relationships.

Playboy U

The LA Times reports that Playboy will be launching its own social networking site called Playboy U. Although the site does not permit nudity, it naturally hosts several pictures of scantily-clad members of the Playboy mansion. Featured message topics focus on penis size and the number of persons one has slept with.

Aimed at college students, Playboy U “managed to get 2,000 members from 500 colleges in early beta tests.” Only those with an email address ending in a .edu will be permitted to join.

Look out Tila Tequila — here comes the competition!

I hope this does not become a new source of sex education for young men — but it probably will be, since schools are teaching less and less of it. From the stories I have heard from my students, Playboy and other “adult” magazines are often one of the main places that boys learn about sex (girls too, for that matter). I see no reason why that wouldn’t expand to its internet site.

Only 1,999,877 to Go!

Tila Tequila built her entire celebrity status through her page on MySpace. She currently has over 2,000,000 friends. Yes, I counted the decimals right. No, I am not one of them. Now, according to TV Week, Tila is the star of her own dating show, “A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila,” which will premiere on MTV October 9th. What makes her unique — aside from her self-created career — is the fact that this dating show will be the first whose dating pool consists of both men and women. I’ll let Tila explain it herself — here’s a quote from her blog:

My show is about finding true love, because for me….having over 2 million friends is cool but sometimes it makes it hard for me to find someone real, and someone whom I can trust and love…..but there is a catch…..the show will be about me finding love as a BISEXUAL!!!!! THAT IS CRAZY RIGHT? So on my new reality show there will be 16 male contestants and 16 female contestants all fighting for my love….the only twist is….yes, there is another twist….the only twist is that these guys and these girls have NO IDEA that I am bisexual and that they are competing against each others sexes!!! GUYS AGAINST GIRLS….WHO WILL I END UP HOOKING UP WITH????? WILL I BE STRAIGHT OR LESBIAN IN THE END?????”

Tila is not exactly the best role model. It’s not her bisexuality that is of any relevance to me, it’s more the way she exploits herself and glamorizes her life of sex and drugs. Her page is littered with all sorts of interesting “facts” about her rise to fame: “Eventually tiring of Houston, she made her rounds to New York, where she experimented with drugs and a hardcore lifestyle. Tired of her all female mnage et trois relationship (sic), she headed to Los Angeles where at 18, she was scouted by Playboy, and eventually became their first ever Asian Cyber Girl of the Month.” And she just launched her own online poker site and is almost finished with her first album!

And “finding “true love through a reality TV show? Puh-leez. Just ask Joe Millionaire’s Evan and Zora (and so many other couples who have looked for partners this way) how well it works.

Hopefully there aren’t too many young girls out there who hope to follow in her footsteps. At this rate, I’ll take Paris any day.

Picking on the Intern

Maybe I am asking too much, or maybe I should just relax. Actually, I know I should just relax. But I found another column by that CNet intern that drives me a little crazy. This one is all about dating advice in the land of Facebook. She makes some decent points, like “Don’t post makeout pictures on MySpace,” so it’s worth the read despite the fact that she also states to not judge a person by their MySpace page and then proceeds to make a strong judgment about boys who post pictures “where he’s flexing his abs while simultaneously doing a thumbs up” (Advice: “Stay. Away.”). Ah, teenagers.

Here’s her situation: She’s at a party, where she sees a gorgeous hunk with dreamy eyes. She admires him from afar. I can totally relate to this — I think this happened to me every other day in high school and college. Then, she goes home and looks up Mr. Dreamy Eyes on Facebook by hunting down his profile through mutual friends. I can still sort of relate. I remember trying to casually ask mutual friends about that random dude while not really cluing in on the fact that I thought he was sexy as hell. I am sure I fooled no one (but I thought I was clever). Finally, after “a series of flirty messages, followed by some text messages and one phone call,” she and Dreamy Eyes agree to go out. My parallel? Those random “I just happened to pass your dorm room (or locker) and you were there” chats leading to something else. It’s the same, just a little different. The modern 2.0 version is somewhat more removed, but the steps are pretty similar.

While it’s cool that she sets up the scenario of how meeting someone through the internet and then dating IRL might work, her hypocrisy is all-too apparent. While she herself admits to making initial contact online, she makes her first rule of teen dating in the digital age “When possible, strike up an in-person conversation before cyberstalking.” Oops. Maybe this paradox is the result of an overbearing editor? Or maybe she is just a typical adolescent who wants everyone to do as she says, and not as she does. Who knows, but it set me off a bit for some bizarre reason.

At least I’m not the only one who calls her on it. Her first comment reads: ” WAIT, SO YOU WANT GUYS TO NOT DO WHAT YOU DID? IM CONFUSED. IF MR. RIGHT WAS THERE AT THE PARTY, WHY DIDN’T YOU TRY TO SPARK CONVERSATION WITH HIM INSTEAD OF RUNNING TO THE COMPUTER?”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Teen to see jail time for stupidity

In Florida, a teen will get 30 days in jail for posting a nekked picture of his ex-girlfriend on a social networking site. He was 17, she was 15, when the picture was taken (consensually) and posted (not consensually). They were going out at the time of the posting.

He was charged with child abuse and attempted child abuse according to CBS news. This accusation was dropped from a sex crime charge which would have led him to become a registered sex offender.

Do you think these charges are justified? Did this boy get what he deserved? Was the punishment too harsh?

Although this may be one of the first instances, you can bet it isn’t going to be the last. Not by a long shot.