SEX AND THE BLACKBERRY
by Marc H. Rudov
September 18, 2008
Nobody was less shocked than I to learn that 87% of workplace professionals bring PDAs into their bedrooms and that 35% of them would choose these devices over their spouses. This is the finding of Sheraton Hotels & Resorts in a survey of 6500 execs from Australia, China, Germany, the UK, and the US.
Why are so many people literally in love with their BlackBerrys? Dysfunctional relationships and bedroom boredom abound, and people are choosing inanimate objects for companionship. Essentially, men and women loathe talking directly and frankly to each other and, consequently, become sexually entangled for the strangest reasons and in the wrong ways.
If you don’t believe me, just sit in the back row of a divorce court one day. Listen to the parade of parties, allegedly once in love, excoriate each other. This all-too-common downward spiral occurs when spouses cohabit without ever experiencing emotional intimacy, from avoiding more issues than they discuss.
When boys are raised never to ask women their ages, ask them to pay, or tell them off-color jokes, they are, in essence, taught avoidance. Correspondingly, girls are trained never to challenge men directly, never to pay, and to be demure and indirect. So, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone when, as adults, men and women possess no ability to establish trust or open communication with each other.
It’s no wonder, then, that the BlackBerry — a communications device totally dedicated to its owner, who can program and switch it on or off at will — is more appealing to an uncommunicative person than another human being he cannot predict or control.
Ask your friends why they became involved with their significant others; you will hear some bizarre answers such as, “I don’t really know; it just kind of happened.” Or, “We met online and started seeing each other and never questioned it.” Hookups often are pursued because of convenience: “She was ‘there’ when I was looking.” How about, “He was so aggressive in asking me out, I couldn’t say no.”
Can you articulate clearly and in great detail why you are with your paramour or spouse? I’ll bet you can’t; I say this because of e-mails from disillusioned readers, calls from radio audiences, and clients of my relationship coaching. Most men and women never give much thought to what brought them together. So, the first problem with relationships is why they formed.
Next, let’s examine how these lovebirds got together. Despite all the talk about equality and powerful women, especially with the rise of Sarah Palin, men and women, in most situations, prefer old-fashioned courting, where the man pursues, wines & dines, and “lands” the woman — the first stage of the Estrogen Express.
There is no rational reason, no financial excuse, and no sexual justification for the man to be the “designated pursuer” of the woman. Worse, everything about this unbalanced, inequitable scenario leads eventually to anger, resentment, and emotional distance on both sides.
No man ever will respect a woman he had to chase and purchase, and no woman ever will respect a man who emasculated himself to endure such nonsense — even though she was happy to benefit from it. Yet, this mating dance is precisely how most relationships are formed, and that is the problem.
Given that 50% of marriages end in divorce, that women bring 70% of those divorces, that at least half of all men and women cheat on their spouses, and that 35% of participants in Sheraton’s survey choose their PDAs over their spouses, let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the relationship mill is broken.
Psychotherapists would urge spouses to put away their BlackBerrys and talk to each other, face to face. Unfortunately, these mental-health professionals are missing the point: PDA-addicted people don’t like their spouses and never will, and they are unskilled in the dialog of human intimacy — the chief reason they chose their undesirable spouses. Their preferred companions have LCD screens and lithium batteries.
The NoNonsense Bottom Line
In an age where women have the freedom to pursue whatever educational, professional, and personal endeavors they wish, men must insist on full equality — both benefits and costs — in relationships with them, or nothing at all.
If a man feels unilaterally required to make his woman happy through dating, the engagement, and her wedding day, he will find himself subordinated and unhappy in marriage. Then, he will cling to his trustworthy BlackBerry for companionship — and, unfortunately, for communicating with his divorce lawyer. Instead, by simply rejecting chivalry and all female entitlements, he can spare himself this pain.
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If your life boils down to a choice between sex and the BlackBerry, pick the latter: it’s all you’re equipped to handle.