The internet revolution has ensured that online dating has now become both widespread and commonplace. Online users can buy into the consumerist illusion that they can choose a man or woman in the same way that they would shop for groceries - this is the new hypermarket of desire. Women in particular can enjoy a new sexual assertiveness. Where once they might have looked for an emotional attachment, they are now demanding simply the right to have a good time.
However, love cannot be reduced to such simple terms. The apparently risk-free world of online dating is at odds with love in real life, which has its own demands and expectations. You cannot introduce another person into your life and expect everything to remain the same. Human beings have a way of turning your life upside down.
In this compelling book, Jean-Claude Kaufmann navigates this new emotional world and explores the tensions between sex and love, instant gratification and enduring commitment.
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"Kaufmann suggests that we have to reverse out of the cul de sac of sex for sex's sake and recombine it with love once more to make our experiences less chilly but also less clouded by romantic illusions."
"Demonstrates the inherent problems that many women still face when it comes to navigating romantic and sexual relationships, whether or not the internet is involved."
Times Higher Education
"Kaufmann takes us through the problems that both men and women face in navigating the murky waters of cyberdating … For Kaufmann, although love online increasingly looks like a hypermarket, it doesn’t really offer all the ease and convenience promised. We remain only too trapped by our own passions and humiliations when we try to build relationships with the real people on the other side of an internet exchange."
"Confronts the biggest development in the world of love and sex over the past two decade: the internet … Kaufmann's study mostly shows how the internet, far from transforming our love lives, simply compounds existing contradictions."
"The internet - a new world unlike any we knew. Here nothing is final and irrevocable, everything can be tried and experimented with and there is always a second chance. But if this is blessing, it is surely a mixed one. What is gained and what lost? And, most importantly, how does love - that blissful state we so passionately desire - fare when suspended between online comforts and the rugged reality of the offline world? Jean-Claude Kaufmann offers us, the perplexed and the confused, a truly priceless service. He locates, spells out and carefully calculates the gains and losses revealed at the critical encounter of the two worlds, at the moment of truth: that first face-to-face date which follows online dating. This illuminating and enlightening study is a report from a battle which no one planned yet few, if any of us, can avoid."
Zygmunt Bauman, University of Leeds