Readers of fiction (romance more so than science fiction, suspense, or domestic) were better at picking up emotion in the eyes of others.
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We start to see ourselves as more like our rivals.
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The positive aspects of online dating are clear: the Internet makes it easier for single people to meet other single people with whom they might be compatible, raising the bar for what they consider a good relationship. But what if online dating makes it too easy to meet someone new? What if it raises the bar for a good relationship too high? What if the prospect of finding an ever-more-compatible mate with the click of a mouse means a future of relationship instability, in which we keep chasing the elusive rabbit around the dating track?
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ALSO READ: Alexis Madrigal’s response to this piece.
What is the sexual milieu, the sexual world-surface onto which Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels have crash-landed so spectacularly? As always, we are very, very confused. Should we be swinging, opening up our marriages, going three or four in a bed like the writhing nonconformists on Showtime’s reality show Polyamory? They seem to have the same problems with jealousy, lust, and so on as we poor monogamous bastards do. Or should we ironically and expertly self-gratify, like the anonymous sex diarists in New York magazine? “6:18 p.m. Kids just got picked up by ex-husband. Commence me time, meaning: buzzing myself into oblivion with my bullet vibrator, followed by yoga and mindless tweeting.” The sex enjoyed by, endured by, the young women on HBO’s Girls is abrupt and disorienting, like bumping into a lamppost.
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