Love, Sex, and Infographics

    With text messaging, social networks, and compatibility algorithms complicating the already intimidating (and sometimes downright frightening) world of love and sex, you may be feeling like you need a little guidance. Infographics to the rescue! Here are some useful and enlightening love and sex visualizations for 21st century romantics.

    Should I Text Him?

    You met at a party or went on a date, exchanged numbers… and nothing. Or you have a secret crush who doesn’t know you exist. In all cases, texting feels like an easy and safe way to make contact. But is it really a good idea? Text messaging makes the bold overture simpler, but adds layers of unknowns (Did he get my sarcasm?) and the stress of ill-conceived split-second responses (I can’t believe I just wrote that!) Use this helpful decision tree as a guide (but don’t necessarily take it seriously!). And always remember: friends don’t let friends drunk-text.

    How Facebook Affects You and Your Relationships

    A social network flirtation with a co-worker is going well. You cleverly emphasize your subtle subtext with a daring emoticon… then you realize your mom “liked” it. Facebook is a great way to find old friends, and old flames, but is it really helping people build successful relationships? And how does it influence your self-confidence and self-esteem (both important factors when it comes to love and sex)?

    Gamers Get Girls

    Matchmaking websites with compatibility algorithms are connecting thousands of hopeful singles. Online gaming sites with awesome graphics are connecting thousands of level 45 battle mages. While the dating sites boast focused singles seeking mates, the gaming sites have a whole lot more users (World of Warcraft has about 12 million users to eHarmony’s 1 million) who all have one very important thing in common: the game. If you’re skeptical, chew on this startling statistic: 74.7% of WoW players are dating someone else who plays.

    Strangest Sex Laws

    We’ve all heard about them – bizarre draconian laws that hearken back to a time when sex was feared and reviled. In most cases, the sex laws from the good old days are no longer enforced. They exist simply as vestiges of a quainter, simpler era. But in some cases, in some places, these laws still stand. Prepare to be amazed, disgusted, and shocked. You may even blush.

    Should I Go Out With This Guy?

    For many hopeful women, deciding whether or not to go on an actual date with an online acquaintance is an exercise in both terror and titillation: the excitement of the unknown; the possibility that he’s a serial-killer; the hope for a love connection; the obsession over every zit; and the late-night, red-eyed review of your own Photoshopped profile picture (you didn’t even look like that in college). Don’t fret, simply consult this helpful decision tree for the single girl.

    Online Stalking: How to Google Your Way Out of Love

    If there’s one thing Google is good for, it’s learning a whole lot about people you barely know. The Internet’s “paper” trail can be great, if your love interest is an accomplished academic with a history of fancy publications and no embarrassing social network accounts. Or, it can be terrible, if your love interest is active on LiveJournal, writes fan fiction, and considers herself Team Edward.

    The STD Heat Map

    Any discussion of love and sex in 2013 should include some mention of safety. After all, this isn’t 1971. Consider this overview of the state of STDs in America as a sex-ed style reminder about responsibility, lest any of you get carried away. Be careful out there, especially if you’re in Hawaii.

    The Wedding Planning Checklist

    So you met a girl on World of Warcraft, Google stalked her, text messaged, Facebooked, dated, and you’re ready for the next step. Congratulations! When’s the wedding? Weddings sound charming and quaint. They evoke images of flitting butterflies, soft rose petals, and the light tinkle of champagne flutes. In real life, weddings are some of the most stressful events imaginable. When it comes time to plan yours, the learning curve can be steep and the mistakes cliff precipitous. There are at least a million wedding websites that offer recommendations and checklists, apps and registries. The sheer volume of tips, tricks, and ultimate guides is enough to turn a frenetic planner apoplectic. Avoid the dark side of the big bad wedding obsessed Internet and stick with a simple and straight-forward checklist infographic, like the one below.

    Anni Murray is a writer, editor, multimedia artist, amateur mycologist, and biology student. She is currently working on Prism, a speculative science fiction story cycle. All opinions expressed in this article are her own. Follow her on Twitter.

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