Social Media Sexcapades

February 16th, 2010 |


Zachary Adam Cohen is a social media strategist helping brands and businesses in the hospitality sector negotiate the currents of the social media landscape. A former banker now liberated by the tools of social media, Zachary blogs about social media, the art world, and anything else he fancies. He can be found on Twitter @ZacharyCohen and at

Never, ever, tweet after sex. Sleeping with members of the same “twibe” is not a good idea. Don’t make a list called “Tweeters I’d Like to Bang,” and ask people to follow it.

Are these the new rules of social media sexcapades?

Social Media “Beats” Porn

How will we know when social media is really embedded into our everyday lives? When it begins to affect our sex lives. Of course, sex on the internet is nothing new. Since the first days of BBS’s, Prodigy, and those dirty AOL chat rooms, cyber sex has been a cultural reality. Then Craigslist emerged and broke down all the remaining barriers, bringing online sex into the real world. Now, social media is beginning to reshape not only our professional and personal lives, it’s threatening to remake our sex lives as well. It was telling that social media sites recently overtook porn sites as the most visited sites on the web.

Of course, most people are still incredibly uncomfortable with the intersection of their offline and online worlds. In particular, many women I’ve spoken to are squeamish about certain services, especially real time geo-location based apps like Foursquare which broadcast a user’s location, address, and even who that user is with, for all the world to see. (Of course what is lost in this conversation is the fact that Foursquare is a double opt-in service, whereby both you and your “friends” have to agree to be connected. One can also limit which services receive pings.)

Poke Me? Just Blow Me

Now that Facebook has been invaded by Americans of all ages, a poke may just mean a poke, but for some time, a poke was its own unique psycho-sexual initiation. Was it an invitation to simply poke back, or did it carry a more loaded intention? We’re all guilty of Facebook “cruising” – browsing pictures of people we have just met, or old friends, looking for those divine pictures of people on vacation, tanned, drunk and nearly naked, checking if people have lost or gained weight, what guys or girls keep showing up in our friends’ photos, revealing problematic ex’s.

There is a stigma associated with taking online flirtations into the realm of the real. Why though?

For people who spend an inordinate amount of time on Twitter, the people who pop into our stream again and again, with those cute little avatars, can seem like intimate friends. We may not even know them, but we’ve sure seen and heard a lot from them. Have you ever followed someone based purely on looks? Not even once?

Well, I have. And I don’t care who knows it. And what’s more, I think social networks are great places to hunt to find new prospects. There is something unique about the real time and public nature of Twitter that allows for confessional conversation. A natural attraction develops once you’ve been listening to someone pour their heart out publicly on Twitter for awhile, even if you can’t stand that person.

Adding to that is the fact that our followers follow us because they like what we have to offer, whether it’s our interests, our hobbies, our writing, the music we share and, I would argue, most especially, our foibles. I’ve admitted to some pretty outrageous things on Twitter (homo and bi-sexual experiences, a litany of perversions, my predilection for tweeting naked) and yet people still come back for more. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lost plenty of followers due to my purple tweeting, but I’ve gained even more. Some people follow me simply because I make them uncomfortable. The more honest I am, the more endearing I become to those willing to stick around. It’s only a short hop, skip, and a jump into bed from there.

And just like the Facebook poke, Twitter is loaded with its own vocabulary that carries sexual connotations. They don’t jokingly refer to it as Twatting for nothing.

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Zachary Adam Cohen