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‘Retro-sexing': Les Online Dangereuses

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

EDITORIAL : My very first post on Facebook was: “My (now ex-)wife thinks I’m on this thing to meet chicks.” I wasn’t, but it seems lots of other people are, given all the retrosexing going on out there. Yes, it’s been given a name, this practice of hooking up with a high school classmate or three, reigniting an old flame, or snagging the one that got away, by using a social networking site.

Catalina Perez thinks Facebook should simply have a link called “Be My Lover,” to save “retrosexuals” the time and trouble. The idea came to her, she said, after she got a message from an ex-boyfriend she hadn’t seen in 15 years.

“Dang! The guy looks hot as the day I first met him,” she said. However, “he’s married to the woman who helped him cheat on me! The bastard was with me and sleeping with her and even got her pregnant.”

With their numbers of “friends” climbing, some social networkers get curious. Instead of waiting for a class reunion, they mine the past online, seeking familiar comfort. (Some even take sick pleasure in finding someone who rejected them and later turned into Amy Winehouse or Dom DeLuise, but that’s a different story.)

When it comes to rewinding, all those Harrys and Sallys out there should take heed: This isn’t a movie.

That’s not to say there isn’t an upside, presuming neither of you is married:

If you’re scouring FB for a FB (I trust you know the difference), your risk of difficulty and potential for stickiness both drop. Emotion doesn’t factor in — plus, you already have some idea of what the other looks like in a birthday suit. Consider it recycling.

Just be sure it’s someone who didn’t hurt you. Otherwise, you might as well pay a shrink and open that spring-box of pointed arrows for a useful purpose — instead of screwing up your self-esteem and creating a messy obstacle to finding true love.

Think about it. How many friends do you have who made it stick the second time around the block? (My sister and her husband Rob did, but they’re a special case. The stars couldn’t have been more perfectly aligned.)

Just so there are no misunderstandings: I’m talking to people who are completely and entirely available. Anyone who’s married and looking to shoot down a midlife crisis with a Saturday night special best turn someplace else for advice. No good can come to anyone on either side from deliberately messing with a stable relationship.

“I’ve seen and ‘counted’ too many separations & divorces on account of FB,” said Maidelys Lopez Dominguez, comparing the practice to wildfire. “Sad thing [are] the kids left behind.”

Wise woman.

For those not currently in monogamous relationships who want few sexual partners in their lives, re-sexing keeps you in the game on your terms. Just remember that with age comes a certain amount of amnesia. I mean, what really helped Facebook take off was users’ ability to reconnect with their past, when times weren’t so stressful, and feel young and vigorous again.

Unfortunately, a few people run into exes like Catalina’s.

So choose carefully, online cruiser, lest you show up hotter n’ a pistol one night and end up losing firepower once you get a close look at the onetime model turned couch potato.

If you’re out there starting fresh, finding “newbies” worth your energy can turn into work real fast, especially if you’re the type who has trouble making new connections. Or if you’re just plain lazy.

Just be sure you know what you’re getting into that moment you start typing names into Google or Facebook or anywhere else. The last thing you want is to become a “regretrosexual,” when you might have been better off ordering takeout and reading CLIFFVIEWPILOT .

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