The link between social media and depression
Hopes and dreams.
Published: June 9, 2014
Q: I am currently a senior in high school, but come Saturday, I will be a high-school grad! (Fuck yeah!) The only thing I’m worried about besides my hopes and dreams, and making it in the real world? My sex life. I’m a virgin. When I go online, I see all my friends and peers having these crazy, awesome, smoking-hot sex lives. I am obsessed with this guy in my class. Like all teenage-girl crushes, I can’t get him out of my head. I could spot him on the other side of campus in all his tank-top-wearing, soccer-playing glory. I’ve been sitting in class all day thinking about all the sex we will probably never have. I want to know if it would be weird for me to ask him to hook up at a post-graduation party? I don’t care if my first time is with someone “special,” I just feel like if I don’t say something to him now, I’ll never get a chance to have sex at all, with anyone, ever. I feel like I know what you’re going to say, Dan, but take it easy on me! —Does It Get Sexier?
A: First, DIGS, some research shows a link between time spent on social media and depression. The issue seems to be people comparing what they know of their own lives — which are complicated, messy, and sometimes painful — with the idealized portrait others create of their own lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Remember: While your friends may appear to have crazy, awesome, fun-filled lives on Facebook, their actual lived reality likely includes as many sads and fails as your life does.
Something else to bear in mind: Teenagers are waiting longer to have sex, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and nearly 40 percent of 18-year-olds of both sexes are not yet sexually active. So you’re not a freak, DIGS. All of your friends and peers may tell you they’re sexually active — or their Facebook and Instagram posts may imply that they’re sexually active — but the data tell us (and I’m telling you) that some of your friends are liars.
Finally, DIGS, this boy is not the last boy on earth. You will have other chances to have sex, with other people. Lots. But I think you should make a pass at this boy — if not for the sexual experience, then for the experience of making the pass itself. Make it an honest, straightforward, and explicit pass. (“I’ve had such a crush on you, and this is crazy, but fuck me maybe?”) If he’s interested, tell him you’re a virgin, tell him condoms are required, and tell him you’d rather do it sober or soberish. If he’s not interested, well, that’ll suck. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for your first sexual experience, DIGS, but you’ll have an opportunity to practice handling rejection with grace (“Well, I still think you’re a great guy, and I hope things won’t be awkward between us”), and you’ll see that rejection isn’t the end of the world — or the end of boys, either. Good luck!
Q: I was combing through some old columns and podcasts and came upon a few instances where you counseled women on selling their used underwear online. So I was wondering: Is this particular kink strictly limited to straight guys looking for ladies’ panties? Or is there a market for used men’s underwear? Because I’m one guy who would happily earn a few extra bucks selling my old boxer briefs. —Undie Noob Desiring Interesting Extra Salary
A: Duncan Black — the gay porn star and male escort (duncanblackxxx.com), not the liberal blogger (eschatonblog.com) — does a brisk business selling his used jocks and briefs online. No offense to anyone, but I don’t think Blog Duncan could move as many units of dirty underpants as Porn Duncan. It’s like this: The more people who want into your pants, and the more sexualized your public image, the more people will pay to get their hands on the consolation prize that is a pair of dirty underpants. So unless you’re conventionally hot and willing to put yourself out there (show your handsome face and hot body online), UNDIES, you aren’t going to move many units, either. (I follow both Duncan Blacks on Twitter, and so should you: @iamduncanblack for porn, @atrios for politics.)
Q: I love my girlfriend, but here’s the thing: She might be a lesbian. I base that opinion on the fact that she’s dated women in the past, she hits on women when she’s drunk, and she has made out with at least two of her female friends in the last year. She says this is normal for girls. Most troubling is that our sex life has dried up. Despite having many honest conversations, she just won’t (or can’t) be sexual with me. I know what you’re going to say: Be honest and tell her what my needs are, and if she can’t meet them, ask for an open relationship. But that conversation is harder to have than I think you realize, Dan. Although it’s hard to see her hit on women or make out with her girlfriends when we aren’t being sexual, I can live with it because I love her more than I can say. My questions: 1) Is it unfair of me to ask her to define her sexuality? 2) Am I overthinking this? 3) Are the behaviors I’ve described normal? —Helping Evaluate Lesbian Preference
A: 1) You know what’s unfair? Hitting on other people — men, women, whatever — in front of the boyfriend (or girlfriend or whateverfriend) you can’t bring yourself to fuck. Your girlfriend is being unfair to you, HELP, and you have to stop making rationalizations for her shitty, inconsiderate, and cruel behavior. Your girlfriend could be a lesbian, she could be bi, or she could be the kind of straight woman who has relationships with other women, hits on other women when she’s drunk, and makes out with other women biannually — that kind of straight woman is called a “closeted lesbian” — but getting her to precisely define her sexuality isn’t going to change this simple fact: She has no interest in fucking you. Not into men, not into you — what difference does it make? That rumbling sound you heard a moment ago, HELP, was millions of Savage Love readers mumbling “DTMFA” under their breath as they read your letter. Take their advice.
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