Sex & Anxiety : Keeping up with the Jones's

We have been very lucky (?) this year. A veritable cavalcade of stories has whirled around us. In quick succession. The private lives of the rich & famous are the particular area of public interest. Clearly, not enough information nor details may sate the public desire. Firstly, a few standard comments on gossip.

Gossip is an odd area of human interaction. It provides a means of social connection between people who may not have anything else to talk about. It offers a degree of character-building. One may elevate one's social rank by having multiple stories of gossip at one's disposal. The rarer, or dirtier, the better. Also, the greater degree of elevation at hand. Gossip is an integral part of the social nature of humans.

In saying this, it is clear that gossip is quite incompatible with many other social urges. For example, the desire to be accepted. One person's gossip may bring a social grouping to crash down. Usually at an individual's expense. The group may safely ostracise the individual. Irrespective of the factual worth of the gossip.

The most interesting gossip is that which cannot be proved. Enter the area of sexual dalliance. Again going back to sociological reasoning : Gossip about sex is the most frequent, perhaps most important, area of gossip. Confining the argument to one group (who freely interact with one another), it has clear methodology. To know that person A is involved with person B is invaluable information in this light. One may see favours being given where otherwise they would not be apparent. Within this group setting, one may undermine these machinations to one's favour. Extremely valuable.

The problem in the 'wider world' relates exactly to this idea. Celebrities fill the role of 'leaders'. We all know of them. With a brief idea of their basic outward motivations. In general, it will be a sports player or actor. People we watch in their professional life. Our social groups are so wide & diverse that the sweet carrot becomes even greater. The greatest dirge of human conversation is having to listen to people talk about people we neither know nor care about. As a method of compensation for this dirge, easily identifiable celebrities are the 'space-fillers'. We can talk about them, and other people will most likely have some degree of care. Simply by knowing who we are talking about. This point cannot be understated.

However, the

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