Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Friday, February 24, 2006

MySpace for sluts and other sensualists


For all the teenagers posting on MySpace about their friends and parents, whining or exulting about their lives, there's another group using the site for very different purposes. This group isn't looking to vent, it's looking to get laid.

In VanityFair's March issue, the issue with the naked actresses arrayed on the cover, there's an article heralding MySpace's role in youth culture. And where the magazine's cover is sexy (who could resist Scarlett Johanson's naked rump?), the article profiles people who are all sexed up. In particular, we get to learn about one of the site's most successful sluts - Jeremy Jackson.

Jackson is vulgar but amusing, pointing out to the author all the women he'd fucked because of MySpace. And it's not just idle boasting. The women confirm having slept with him. Even Chrissy, the female ejaculator.

While I once might have found Jeremy's assertions implausible, I don't any longer. Several pals, who are even a few years older than Jeremy, have found "friends with benefits" on the site.

MySpace is an interesting alternative to casual dating sites like Nerve and LavaLife It's even free where the dedicated dating sites charge money if you want to connect with a possible partner. However, MySpace's lack of specificity means that a different kind of investment is required from those looking for companionship.

First, those looking for friends and lovers must have a page - the equivalent of a profile on a dating site - where they identify themselves in a fun and enticing way. And then they have to go out looking for simpatico people. Straight men, in particular, must make an effort. Reminiscent of sites like Match.com, it's necessary to search for likely partners. Unlike the conventional dating sites, if you happen to be a music freak, it's possible to find someone who shares your fondness for Coldplay or The Dresden Dolls. Unfortunately, MySpace's "browse user" capacity isn't designed with the same kind of sophistication as the search functions on the dedicated dating sites. And once the search kicks up some candidates, they must next be contacted.

The advantage of an actual dating site is that users are expecting to hear from people who want to date them. On a general site like MySpace, that's not necessarily the case. As a result, the initial overture has to be a bit more enticing than the low-effort, click-on-a button "wink" found on Nerve or Match.com. Fortunately, because of its roots as an indie-music site, folks may have more in common, and this must improve the chances of successful seduction.

The importance of a clever overture cannot be overstated. But fishing for action in a well-stocked pond sure helps. In the Vanity Fair article, Jackson says that he knows "guys who are not even as good-looking as me who get laid like crazy because of MySpace." Now, if that isn't an endorsement, what is?