Some commentators are getting their knickers in a twist because they feel they are now unable to twist their lover's knickers around their fingers.
The world is, apparently, experiencing major changes in extramarital sexual behavior. And the reason for these changes is the development of superior technological gadgetry over the last few years.
According to Nick Harding of London's Independent newspaper, the United Kingdom's divorce rate is going down, and one of the reasons, he posits, is that it is far too easy for your spouse to catch you cheating, if not in flagrante delicto, then certainly communicanto.
Or, for those of you whose Latin is restricted to Russell Crowe in Gladiator, a snoopy spouse can find out where you've been and what you've been doing not by asking you or even catching you out in person, but by taking a voyeur's voyage around your gizmos.
Mr. Harding tells the tragic story of an Iraq vet who came home and discovered his wife's heinous affair by looking atperformance records on their Nintendo Wii console.
It recorded the long nights of virtual bowling by the Iraq vet's wife with someone out there, bowling that appears to have escalated to a slightly less virtual and virtuous rolling. In the hay, as it were.
But technology isn't merely wrecking the joy of extramarital sex in the ways that many readers might have already experienced--the text message that gets read by the wrong person, the e-mail that gets surreptitiously scanned and interpreted. Or even misinterpreted.
Just a cursory googling brought me to a site that will happily sell you something called a GPS Snitch, which is "small and has advanced features in real time," for a mere $399.
Essentially, the GPS Snitch enables you to follow your spouse's car wherever he or she may go. Or roam. But if you're really suspicious, you could try wandering over to Brickhouse Security's very thorough site.
Brickhouse Security is keen to sell you a semen detection kit. (Sale price: $49.95.) I would underline the fact that this masterful technology works on garments of all materials, colors, and genders.
While I don't intend to spoil all your enjoyment of this most sobering science, I really must quote just one short paragraph from the Brickhouse site: "On Sunday morning, he left the house and told you he was going to play golf. Then, when he came home and took a shower, you grabbed his underwear and did the test. If you detected semen, what is he going to say? 'I was masturbating on the golf course.'"
Mr. Harding appears keen to suggest that younger people, who are more tech-savvy, are the ones who are keeping clear of infidelities, especially long-term ones. He quotes a psychologist called Andrew Marshall: "Keeping an affair going has become almost impossible. I would regularly counsel couples where an affair had lasted more than three years. Today, he or she will first get proof and confront. The result is that the length of affairs has dropped dramatically. Looking at all the evidence, it seems that the end of the secret affair is in sight."
Word has slipped out in only the last 24 hours that the propensity to have an affair, at least for men, may be genetically determined. But being a people sort of person, I am very keen to discover whether readers have been, well, caught. If not in the act, then at least very shortly afterward.
I am also interested to hear whether the ubiquity of your technological footprint really is making it more difficult for you to cheat on your spouses. Or whether, in fact, the younger ones among you have decided that, perhaps, marriage at a young age simply isn't such a good idea.
I have heard it said that many long-term relationships are currently being held together by economic imperatives rather than the atomic thrust of love. But I am a romantic at heart, and I want to be convinced that the true exciting beauty of the illicit affair is not quite dead.