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Sex and the Cyber City

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By Corey Washington

Exactly how difficult is breaking up?

Depending on who you ask - a man or a woman - the answer varies, but the reasons are usually all the same. Lying, cheating, finances and amicable differences typically top the list for those who fall out of love as their relationships turn sour.

The world of dating is changing ... and the evidence is clear. Women (and even men) now hold different standards for relationships - much different from those who prefer the "old school" approach. The factors behind this evolution are, in part, propelled by the images and themes presented in mass media.

Today's post-Sex and the City society has women arming themselves with 6-figure salaries and vibrators, calling it empowerment; providing herself with the necessities that allow her to do without her fellow man.

But today's man is no Neanderthal. While collecting panties for our virtual scoreboards is still the standard, Ludacris probably said it best with "We want a lady in the streets, but a freak in the bed." Basically, a woman who can handle versatility (in more ways than one) is a valuable asset.

With all of this in mind, it's an obstacle to get men and women to meet head-to-head and compromise in relationships. Too often its hard to have the candid conversations that keep women from nagging and the steamy conversations that make a guy not want another woman.

Consider the advantages of online dating.

As I've mentioned before, many African-Americans are looking towards the internet to find fulfillment, no matter how long it may last.

For last year, a Nielsen-Netratings survey concluded that of the 10 million African-Americans using the Internet, about 75 percent visit BlackPlanet.com, a web site that provides resources for the African-American community, and foremost, a national dating service.

Some of the benefits of online dating are, of course, being able to have open conversations without embarrassment and easily being able to shake off any guilt if you're hitting up multiple subjects.

If you're not at the start-up point and are contemplating how exactly to crush the relationship that's been haunting you, then you may want to opt for AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) as the way to drop the bomb. Yes, I am sure there is nothing a Black woman loves more than telling her soon-to-be, former loved one “you gots to go" when she's fed up.

And fellas, when your woman isn't being as "good" to you as she used to, telling her "I'm now with your best friend" comes with an irreplaceable feeling that only comes around once every Christmas, even if it isn't true.

But mixing love and the Internet comes with some down sides that you can't (and shouldn't) forget.

For women, its not knowing if his wallet is really that fat. On top of that, the computer he's e-mailing you from could be in his mother's house, not the plush Bachelor's pad you were counting on.

Guys, "she" may say she looks like Halle Berry, but in truth, Barry White could be a better description.

Aside from all the superficial issues listed here (which I don't normally engage in), there are some serious ones. No matter how many photos you exchange, you don't know who or what you are dealing with when you take a chance with online dating. And while you have a better chance of getting into a car accident than being abducted or stalked online, its still better to act with caution.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I guess the last question is, who's up for some online lovin'?
For feedback, send your e-mails to tekreporter@yahoo.com or log onto www.coreywashington.com.

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