A thoroughly scientific study by sociological journal Cosmopolitan says 20 per cent of women prefer Facebook over sex. This number sounds low to me. In our era, Facebook's made almost everything enjoyable and worthwhile about sex obsolete.
For all of time, sex has been about you. Of course, both partners (or all five, whatever, do it how you like it!) are supposed to be in touch with the sexual needs of one another. Put it where it belongs, not too hard, etc. Communication! But, biologically speaking, you're in it for you. Millennia of evolutionary impulse compel you to orgasm — if we weren't inherently sexually selfish, we'd have died off as some sort of amphibious monkey thing a long time ago. But sex isn't just about the o-face — it's an affirmation of the self. The afterglow. The conquest. Sex puts the you in euphoria — the rest of the world peels away.
Facebook does you better.
Whatever self-love you get from someone giving you good lovin', Facebook does faster and easier. And that's because it was built to make you feel great — not just connect you to your high school friends. Sam Lessin, the guy in charge of Facebook's new bodacious Timeline profile, said it himself: "We want you to be proud of yourself... our whole goal here is to help you be proud." Pride. Feeling good about yourself. The joy of self-reflection, of posturing, of status. Timeline is the lushest garden of digital self-indulgence ever cultivated by man, spanning years and faces. It transcends breakups. You tell your own story. There's no erectile dysfunction or disappointing performance. There's your life as you frame it, in resplendent high definition.
Facebook is a self-worship that we've never known, a means of satisfying primal urges through the LCD. We want to be seen, be liked, be loved, gain attention. The joy of the shining Facebook presence knows no limits, and gratifies our biological necessity to be liked and gazed upon. And if we run into any problems, we can fix them ourselves. Can you say the same thing about sex? Of course not — it's the most complicated, convoluted thing we can do with our brains and bodies. Sex is a serious, serious hassle.
It can kill you. It can ruin friendships. It can ruin lives. It can create inconvenient babies. It can be used as an act of violence. Sometimes it's hard to do when you're really drunk. Sometimes you'll regret it for the rest of your life. It can be hard to come across and even harder to maintain. It requires money — if only indirectly. It can be tiring. Sometimes you're just not in the mood. It requires setup. It's rarely on demand. You usually have to shower afterwards. It feels good, but it's complicated. It's an old way of feeling good. We have new ways of feeling good.
Facebook removes all the bother out of self-gratification. We have hundreds of partners, myriad ways to gain their praise, and an unlimited amount of time to let it make us feel appreciated. That fuzzy feeling when a link you post blows up. Flattering words about your new picture. A clever status update. It all makes us feel pride, good, and gratified, with only clicks and swipes required.
Most of the ego-orgasm effects of Facebook will take care of themselves. You're tagged by others, commented on by others, friended by others. The good vibes flow toward you. And it's instant. It requires no planning, no courtship, no condoms. We can wade into photo galleries, admiring ourselves, smiling about fun things we used to do, and blocking out the present with a cathedral of well-curated JPEGs. And if you really need that physiological oomph, there are always pictures of your ex-partners online. Y'know.
There's just one small caveat: it might destroy our entire species. As we retreat further and further into our own heads, neglecting personal relationships that are so much harder to maintain in the flesh than on Facebook, we may lose sight of sex entirely. It's just so much easier to add a friend than a friend with benefits. Why consummate when we can comment?
And besides, staring at ourselves in boundless beautiful mirrors of our own making is an ecstasy that no other human can match. We might just die off, mouths open at our friend count. Oh well!