Forget about metrosexuals. That’s soooo 2000. The new trend for men is adultescence, that long transitionary period between adolescence and adulthood, rife with signs of both. It’s the older single male, who would rather spend time on his XBox or Wii, smoking reefer with his buddies, or planning a weekend in Vegas. It’s happening while women that age are settling down or busy pursuing a career. Those aren’t the women who want to start dating overgrown frat boys, who still live at home and attend Star Wars revivals in full Jedi Knight regalia.
And yet, these men are still men, with all the same basic needs and urges—if only to share stories of their conquests with their buddies. Pretty soon, there will be an app for them. They can sign up to get a “Cloud Girlfriend,” a virtual partner who fulfills their every fantasy and doesn’t cost a penny. It’s a Facebook friend with benefits, and it’s not real.
According to the Cloud Girlfriend website, finding a cloud girlfriend is as easy as four simple steps, and Step 2 takes no effort at all: “Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend. Step 2: We bring her into existence. Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl.”
The irony is wonderful. Zuckerberg and friends originally conceived of Facebook as a way to meet real live, flesh and blood girls, with a personality, a sense of humor, and all the other things college guys look for in a mate. But Facebook may be evolving into a site where people can play with virtual girls instead, and avoid all the annoying little problems that come with having a girlfriend with a pulse.
Will it take off? Not likely, but not for the obvious reason that sex with a virtual girlfriend demands a more hands-on approach. It seems to violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, which require that accounts belong to real people (after all, virtual people are less likely to click on ads).
Still, it could bring plenty of young men with money to blow onto the site, driving up revenues in other ways. Virtual girlfriends is already a popular phenomenon in Japan, where an entire town caters to the, uh, interesting peccadilloes of men with virtual girlfriends. Mangasexuality has come of age there.
And of course, the cloud girlfriend must be free. Otherwise it is virtual prostitution.