Before the advent of social media sites like Facebook, sex was the biggest industry on the internet. Porn sites have been plying their trade online for years and there have been many embarrassing situations where a worm or virus has loaded itself onto a PC only to repeatedly offer up porn hoping you’ll find something you like and hand over your credit card details.
Say what you will, but porn sites have been at the forefront of internet marketing strategies, constantly trying to find new ways to dodge Google’s algorithm, squat on unsuspecting domain names (for years www.whitehouse.com was a porn site) and get you, the unsuspecting surfer, to their website.
Despite knowing all this, nothing prepared me for a tweet-by-tweet episode of sex on Twitter. It appeared on my tweet-stream as a bunch of retweets and I felt compelled to look at the posts, like some 21st century voyeur — except of course I had been invited into the bedroom.
As the story unfolded, it emerged that this was not just some pimply-faced teenage boy telling his friends how he’d scored the hot chick in class. Nor was it a sexologist giving some advice. It was, instead, a truly modern story.
Two lesbian women wanted to have a baby. But in vitro fertilisation is rather expensive, so they decided to ask an ex-girlfriend’s brother if he would help out. And so, 14 days after the younger woman’s cycle, the penis-in-the-relationship, Bert (not his real name), is invited to do the deed while the older of the couple remains in the room to live-tweet the experience.
Truly, I am not making this up.
The couple has said they wanted to tweet everything to leave a record of the experience. I couldn’t read more than a few tweets as I felt deeply disturbed by the whole episode, but I am sure many people would say it’s simply the next step in moving away from our repressed Victorian English heritage.
It’s no secret that people are becoming more and more comfortable with putting the details of their lives up on the internet. I saw a T-shirt on a chap the other day that said “What happened last night, stays on Facebook”, and that seems to be exactly how things go these days. There are no sacred cows.
Even Google has begun to build up a profile of you to ensure that you are seeing the most relevant information you search for. And of course the most relevant adverts. It’s Utopia for the advertiser.
The worrying thing for me personally is, now that people seem to be comfortable with live-tweeting sex, where will this stop?
P.S. For the voyeurs among you (and to prove I’m really not making this up) you can see the “record of conception” for yourself here: