Snappy Valentine's! More women sexting than last year

A study by Harlequin--yes, the romantic-book people--says more women are sending naughty texts (shocking) and that 27 percent have sent a nude picture via e-mail or text.

Gosh, look what Harlequin publishes these days. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Sometimes, one is confronted with information so stunning that contemplative navel-gazing will never suffice.

So let me toss this mind-altering grenade and see how it shakes you: women are using technology in a more openly sexual way.

How can I possibly know this? Well, I am leaning heavily (as I must) on the study of women's mores prepared on behalf of Harlequin--yes, those racy people who publish bodice-ripping romances for the everyday commute.

I am grateful to a lady at the Huffington Post for corralling this data and promulgating it electronically.

You will, no doubt, feel light-headed beyond reason when I tell you that 43 percent of women admit to sexting--which seems to be defined here as the use of naughty, suggestive, or positively lascivious language. Yes, a mere minority. This must be false, I can hear you mumble. But, wait.

Of these, 65 percent say they will do it only when things get serious. Naturally, Snooki might have a slightly different definition of serious from, say, Meryl Streep. So one must cast one's own interpretative skills upon this information. The numbers, however, are higher than in previous years.

But there's one even more stunningly pulsating item that you'll want to discuss with your own lover this weekend. 27 percent of women confessed they'd sent a nude self-pictorial via text or e-mail. Oddly, I had to go to Fox News in order to discover this joyful analysis of the report.

Given some lovers' tendency toward asinine unscrupulousness, who would be surprised if, one day, there was a Web site featuring so many of these images?

The report offered loving words from Harlequin's Michelle Renaud, who said: "Today, women consider themselves more independent and powerful than ever before--yet we've found that many of the traditional beliefs about romance, dating, and relationships still persist."

I know Anthony Weiner may have thought of himself as independent and powerful, before he offered an inside peek into his appeal, using electronic means.

Still, I imagine that Harlequin novels have become a little more liberally sprinkled with overt phraseology--since the days when your mother's heart might have pitter-pattered at the idea that Heathcliff would clutch her to his bosom.

Sadly, this report revealed that modern-day Heathcliffs are an extinct breed. For 75 percent of women thought their dating life duller than a New Jersey lake in February.

In all relationships, though, what one person might find excitingly risque, another might find mere mildew.

The real problem that technology brings is not the sender's fun-filled, powerful, independent streak in writing or sending something of a pulsating nature, but what the recipient might, one day, do with it.

 

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