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Eggs and Shrubs
1-16-11, 1:51am
A few years ago a British artist, whose name escapes me, produced an exhibition of photographs of about a hundred different people's faces at the moment they achieved orgasm. Very post-modern.

Fast forward a few years and the same effect seems to have been achieved on this young man by the purchase of an i phone.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jan/16/iphone-android-apple-mobile-phone

Is shopping the new sex?

loosechickens
1-16-11, 10:36am
One of the things I think that irritate me most is that "orgasmic delight" in ads, when the person achieves the goal of possession of the desired object. It's like the ads for vacations where the families are acting like they are all on speed, running into the ocean, jumping from activity to activity, no kids whining, "but I don't WANT to do that", etc..........

I really think that shopping DOES replace sex for a lot of people........not nearly so satisfying, though ;-)

JaneV2.0
1-16-11, 8:39pm
It's the business of advertising to elicit a strong, positive emotional response to its product. True to life vacation footage would doom the travel industry, pretty much.

Gina
1-16-11, 8:59pm
I don't shop very often, but when I do and find something I love - and actually buy it- I really feel good. I can understand someone being drawn in by advertising that aspect of shopping, and even becoming addicted to that pleasurable feeling.

Fortunately I have restraint, and prefer having my free time to 'things'.

But if I had lots and lots of money........ http://www.simplelivingforum.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=171&d=1294631413

JaneV2.0
1-16-11, 9:21pm
I'm repeating myself, but every time someone talks about buying experiences instead of "stuff," I revisit how I'm still regretting a trip to Mexico city I took in 1981 and every penny I spent on it. On the other hand, I have plenty of "stuff" that still brings me pleasure. (insert "whatever" smiley here)

redfox
1-17-11, 7:12am
I'm repeating myself, but every time someone talks about buying experiences instead of "stuff," I revisit how I'm still regretting a trip to Mexico city I took in 1981 and every penny I spent on it. On the other hand, I have plenty of "stuff" that still brings me pleasure. (insert "whatever" smiley here)

Jane, how sad that your trip was not what you wanted... and that here, 30 years later, you're still regretting it. It must have been some awful time!

Stella
1-17-11, 8:53am
Jane, how sad that your trip was not what you wanted... and that here, 30 years later, you're still regretting it. It must have been some awful time!

No kidding. Short of the truly catastrophic (loss of life, kidnapping, time spent in a Mexican prison, violent crime) I can't think of anything about a vacation that could be worth regretting 30 years later. It must have been bad.

Gina
1-17-11, 9:10am
(Jane, I'd suggest writing (longhand on paper) everything you can remember about that trip, sealing it in an envelope, and then burning it in order to help flush it from your mind.)

As to experiences vs stuff, that's a personal decision. I like 'em both. Some possessions bring me great joy, as do some memories of experiences. For me a good mix of the two is important. Meaningful possessions are the gift that keeps giving, while memories can fade. :)

JaneV2.0
1-17-11, 9:29am
Actually, it wasn't a horrifying, traumatic thing. SO and I bickered the whole time, the Museo was closing when we got there, the zoo was full of badly neglected animals, the air was unbreathable, the pyramid was crawling with gimcrack hawkers that would literally follow you up the steps (Is that a used diaper? My God, it is...) I suppose this makes me sound like the typical Ugly American tourist, but I did come prepared with some knowledge of local history and the ability to speak Spanish. The kind and welcoming people we met and talked with didn't really make up for the rest (including the inevitable bout of turista and two interminable--no pun intended--days spend in airports...). The whole time I was there all I could think of was how much I spent for ten days in one of the lower circles of hell. The highlight of the trip for me was sitting in my hotel room, looking out at the world-class smog and reading the Spanish-language version of I Survived Hitler's Ovens. I suspect I'm not much of a traveler...

And really, I only think about it occasionally--even if always with regret. SO and I are still laughing about it, so I guess that's something.

klc14
1-19-11, 4:14pm
I believe I read somewhere that a recent study found it was the purchase of the item that made you feel good, and then any joy derived from use or ownership of the item was extra. This would explain "retail therapy." As well as why some of us wind up with clothes in the closet we have never worn, with the tags still on. . . .

Fawn
1-20-11, 7:55pm
Actually, it wasn't a horrifying, traumatic thing. SO and I bickered the whole time, the Museo was closing when we got there, the zoo was full of badly neglected animals, the air was unbreathable, the pyramid was crawling with gimcrack hawkers that would literally follow you up the steps (Is that a used diaper? My God, it is...) I suppose this makes me sound like the typical Ugly American tourist, but I did come prepared with some knowledge of local history and the ability to speak Spanish. The kind and welcoming people we met and talked with didn't really make up for the rest (including the inevitable bout of turista and two interminable--no pun intended--days spend in airports...). The whole time I was there all I could think of was how much I spent for ten days in one of the lower circles of hell. The highlight of the trip for me was sitting in my hotel room, looking out at the world-class smog and reading the Spanish-language version of I Survived Hitler's Ovens. I suspect I'm not much of a traveler...

And really, I only think about it occasionally--even if always with regret. SO and I are still laughing about it, so I guess that's something.

Oh, my bio family took several vacations like this. One to Mexico City, one involved 54 hours straight in the car w/ 3 teenagers and a dog w/ gas. My brothers and I still refer to the later as "The Vacation from Hell." It has defined our sense of family (and not necessarily in a good way....) I, myself, only travel w/children when it is unavoidable.

Spartana
1-21-11, 11:45am
I'm repeating myself, but every time someone talks about buying experiences instead of "stuff," I revisit how I'm still regretting a trip to Mexico city I took in 1981 and every penny I spent on it. On the other hand, I have plenty of "stuff" that still brings me pleasure. (insert "whatever" smiley here)

Ah yes, but if you had stuff you bought that you didn't like you'd be having to clean and store it and maintain it for 30 years instead of just being done with it like a bad experience. Much more painful :-)!! I don't like stuff (for above said reasons) so I like experiences much better. I figure if it was a good experience then I can do it again. If it was a bad experience (and assuming I survived) I can enjoy the fact that I never, ever, in a million years have to do that stupid thing again! Easier for me to deal with a bad experience (whatever the cost) than a bad purchase.

Spartana
1-21-11, 11:50am
and a dog w/ gas

:-)!! Been there, done that once too often! Plus had many long road trips with gas bag dog as well as the "Incredible Barfing Dog" and the "Horrific Hairball Hawking Cat From Hell" all at the same time. Can you say "Never again?" I knew you could!

RosieTR
1-21-11, 6:26pm
Buying stuff does give you pleasure. In many people, it may actually trigger the same neurotransmitters and hormones that orgasm does (such as oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine) albeit usually in lower doses. If you are purchasing something you truly want, comfortably have the money for it, and it serves the function in your life it was intended for then it's actually a good thing. Whether an iPhone is capable of this is another question, however.

As far as travel goes, my vacations are like some commercials, just more like Subaru ads than like Disney ones. This may be because we don't have kids and truly enjoy the wilderness (as opposed to some people who think they or their kids should experience the wilderness but they don't have the skills or gear to be comfortable or sometimes even safe). The Disney ads work, though-my parents took us to Disneyland when I was about 12. To this day I wonder why they blew the cash on that: they hate amusement park rides and all of us were old enough to know that Mickey wasn't magical, he was just some intern in a suit.

iris lily
1-21-11, 7:48pm
I'm repeating myself, but every time someone talks about buying experiences instead of "stuff," I revisit how I'm still regretting a trip to Mexico city I took in 1981 and every penny I spent on it. On the other hand, I have plenty of "stuff" that still brings me pleasure. (insert "whatever" smiley here)

Well Jane, you went to MEXICO.Choose a better place next time.:~)

Of all the out-of-the-country trips I took, the one to Mexico was the most forgetable. What's that island that begins with the letter "C"? Yeah, we were there. snore.

Re shopping: you can't believe the pleasure I'm getting from this gorgeous antique walnut sideboard I bought last month. Gosh it is pretty. I mean PRETTY! It spoke to me when I walked past it in the shop and it's still speaking to me at home. That's what I love about antique shopping: the unexpected--usually instant--passion that developes for a piece. It must move you! That's part of the joy of buying. I can describe a few pieces over the years that I loved and did not buy. I don't necessarily regret it because hey, my house would fill up quickly, it's not big, but I still love them and think of them fondly.

Gina
1-21-11, 9:52pm
If you are going to go to Mexico, Cancun would not be the best destination. Might as well go to Miami beach. I've been to Mexico 5-6 times and found it very interesting. The people are wonderful and there is much to see. Unforgetable trips - in the good sense.
If you are uptight about perfect sanitation however, it might not be the best place to go. :|(

lhamo
1-21-11, 11:45pm
I made some purchases in the last few months that have really brought me a lot of joy/pleasure:

1) My gorgeous not-Le-Crueset-but-great-at-only-1/5-the-price enamel roasting pan. It is a beautiful deep cherry red, and glows as it sits on the stove. I have used it several times a week since i bought it, and it is probably one of the best value-for-money purchases I have ever made. Can't wait to do the no-knead bread in it. Soon, very soon....

2) My kindle with the apple-green leather cover (with built in light). Loving it. Use it every day.

3) My knee-link down coat. Has allowed me to ride the bus in the morning even at -12C temps (my bus is the first route of the morning and has no heat, and has been sitting in the cold overnight. Getting on it is literally like stepping into a freezer). I've saved enough in taxi fares to almost pay for the coat just in the first month of wearning it. It will probably last me 10 years.

All three of these things were purchases I contemplated for a long time before making them. For me I think that is really important. I get the most pleasure out of wise purchases that are a good investment of my life energy.

lhamo

redfox
1-21-11, 11:56pm
Ok Jane, I've got the book for you... it is one of the funniest, and I mean rolling on the floor crying/laughing funniest that I have ever read... it's been around for some time, so you should be able to get it used or out of the library. I LOVE this book. Would love to know what you think of it.

I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of the Great Writers

iris lily
1-22-11, 8:13am
yup,this was the ONE trip that we didn't plan, just sort of stumbled into because it was so cheap. Those Cancun package specials are everywhere. It was our "honeymoon" and was really just a short winter jaunt. It was probably cheaper than Miami beach. Even then we insisted on avoiding the big hotels on the beach and we stayed in a small family hotel in town that was a little bit interesting.

Mexico is a big place and I am certain it has interesting places that I would like if I took the time to identify them. It's just that hundreds of places in Europe/Asia interest me and so Mexico would be a last choice.

loosechickens
1-22-11, 10:16am
Ah.....I'm another one who must chime in about the charms of Mexico.......(although, just as in the U.S., you've got to get out of the heavily tourist areas to really appreciate it.)

The one thing about terrible trips.....it's the things that were miserable to LIVE through that make absolutely the best stories...... And sometimes, the story value of such things as "having food poisoning in a whorehouse in Patzcuaro" ALMOST makes it worth having lived through it.

We've had some, shall we say, "interesting" travels right here in the U.S. that would have rivaled any foreign country for misery, so places like Mexico surely don't have a lock on bad experiences.

JaneV2.0
1-22-11, 10:57am
Random thoughts:

I've had fun in Tijuana, sitting on a curb eating tamales de elote from a street vendor, and visiting open markets and cantinas. I'm not obsessed with sanitation issues at all, and I probably would have enjoyed a vacation in, say, Guadalajara. Lying around in the sun with an umbrella drink has never been my idea of a good time.

I'd love to spend time in Europe, but I dread, dread, DREAD the "getting there" part. Endless waiting, porno screens, sardine-can airplane seating, white-knuckle flying, customs...Ugh. Hmmm. Do they still have ocean liners?

I like my stuff, but I still have paring to do, and I know possessions can be a burden and a general PITA. On the other hand, I'm a hunter-gatherer at heart, and they'll get my favorite things when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers.

I grew up surrounded by antiques, so I developed an early appreciation for them. My older female relatives used to score all kinds of treasures at garage sales and thrift stores--my mother once came home with a five dollar shoe box full of prisms and random parts that turned out to be a pair of big sparkly Heise candle holders. Somehow though, the antique loving/collecting gene passed me by...

We did Disneyland stoned; that might be the best way. :laff: Although Space Mountain nearly did me in...

Redfox, my library (unaccountably) doesn't have that title, but I've ordered another one in the series. I had a relative who just adored traveling, and every trip she took seemed more fraught with peril and misery than the last (from lost luggage to robbery to bodily harm...). I was mystified as to why she kept at it; I suspect for the endless supply of anecdotes. As I posited earlier, I don't think traveling for its own sake is my thing. Fortunately, there's the Travel Channel--Heresy, I know...

redfox
1-22-11, 12:34pm
OMG - Disneyland stoned - I must meet you in person some day!

Gina
1-22-11, 1:38pm
I'm not obsessed with sanitation issues at all,
Neither am I, but I must admit the large 'restroom' in a main public bus station in Mexico City is burned into my memory banks..... To this day I've never seen anything as bad. Shudder....

Disneyland? I thought that was fun even as a sober young adult. :laff:

JaneV2.0
1-22-11, 2:08pm
Poor Mexico City is getting flambe'ed :(. I'm glad I missed that bus station...When we were there, the air smelled like a toxic combination of raw petroleum and raw sewage. TV commercials alternated between family planning/birth control and alcohol treatment centers. The majority of the country's population was concentrated in and around the city (probably due to a breakdown of an agrarian way of life), so the infrastructure was burdened to the breaking point. Things may be better now. I hope so. There is a wealth of history there, and some wonderful people, but I wouldn't recommend it as a vacation spot.

sweetana3
1-22-11, 4:13pm
The worst restroom I ever visited was in San Francisco. It was also the most dangerous city I ever visited.

We tend to like less developed (less American) countries. Loved India, Thailand, Egypt, China not so much. Just walking the streets is almost enough for me. We don't go on organized American tours but either go with just ourselves or with European adventure tour groups.

I would not recommend Bangkok as a destination either. We got in and got out fast. Loved Northern Thailand.

kib
1-22-11, 4:14pm
We did Disneyland stoned; that might be the best way. :laff: Although Space Mountain nearly did me in...
... :0!:0!:0! The very first time I ever got stoned from a contact high was ... yes, on Space Mountain at Disney Land. Summer of 78. Was that YOU in front of me??? That was some awesome hash, baby jane. :0!:laff::0!

JaneV2.0
1-22-11, 6:41pm
It's a small world, after all! :cool:

jennipurrr
1-23-11, 1:43pm
I've never been quite sure if I could make it through the whole Disney thing if I have kids one day...but you guys have given me some inspiration, haha.

ApatheticNoMore
1-24-11, 10:55am
My family (grandparents mostly) was always against taking us to Disneyland as kids because of Disney's politics. We never understood it (why can't we go to Disneyland?) Oh yes, to be raised by the politically passionate .... :\

I wouldn't handle it well either if I was a parent, although less for political reasons than just because it's yuck you know. Maybe stoned though :)

ApatheticNoMore
1-25-11, 11:21am
If people get pleasure/joy/relief out of buying stuff, well to a certain extent what of it. They should be having sex instead? Well perhaps :). But see in the actual world not everyone is always in some loving, still interested in their partner, non-abusive relationship, with good mental and physical health and a good mentally and physically healthy partner etc. etc. As an ideal sure.

And people like buying stuff, well what of it? In one book I read, the idea was proposed that novelty itself was experienced as pleasure. Now of course a new form of intense pain isn't usually going to be experienced as pleasure but what they were suggesting is that an new experience that is neutral or positive and maybe even slightly negative, will be experienced as pleasure. The idea that novelty as such is experienced as pleasure, well how about that? Hmm, how true is that? How true is that FOR YOU? Rather true for me I think. And sure there's such pleasure and novelty to be found in buying new stuff.

But stuff is destroying the very life support systems of the planet! True. But that's such a BIG issue. It's not just that we buy stuff for pleasure. Look how much is wasted in things that provide no pleasure like packaging. I mean really, who really gets much pleasure out of packaging? (except for you know popping plastic bubble wrap :)). And yet it's ubiquitous. Waste is embedded in the very structure of things in this society.

JaneV2.0
1-25-11, 5:50pm
I do think the love of novelty plays into it. Also the joy of discovery, and possibly a thwarted creative or artistic drive.

I've also thought that some day our landfills will supply valuable resources.

ApatheticNoMore
1-26-11, 4:04pm
and possibly a thwarted creative or artistic drive.

Oh, I can definitely see certain kinds of spending "hitching a ride" on an artistic drive. Because the whole creative thing (well the whole creative thing as I experience it) is perfectionist. It is: I need to modify the painting, the musical composition, the poem, the whatever, one more time because it's not yet perfect. Trying to match the creation to the inner envisioned perfection is the whole point.

NOW .... get people to apply this artistic drive to say the arrangement of their living room and mahahah. Don't ask me how I know. It's possessed me at times :). There's really is no cure, you eventually need to buy a new chair or whatever silly thing it is, just to get the demon out of your head (only after you have done so do you have any hope of redirecting it). The artistic drive is a bit obsessive compulsive. And harnessed for consumption ....

clear water
1-26-11, 10:47pm
Ah, speaking of clothes in the closet and never worn. I retired two years ago. After going through my closed I see I have enough clothes for about ten years. Stopping work, slowing down and taking stock of things is what has got me off into a better path of simple living. More time for friends , family and volunteering.

redfox
1-27-11, 1:18am
I lived in Guatemala in 1985-6, and I love Latino/a culture, so Mexico is a great destination for me. I haven't been in a long time, and would love to go... also want to see Costa Rica & Belize. Some day.

margerymermaid
1-27-11, 9:24am
That's an interesting premise eggs and shrubs. In a way it makes sense to me cos while one may feel orgasmic while purchasing some much wanted item, and then have buyers remorse later in the same way one can have sex/orgasm remorse such as 'oy vey I wish I hadn't slept with him'....within minutes of having done the deed. So actually it's a pretty good sales comparison..... LOL

Flour Sack Mama
2-24-11, 9:24am
Doesn't crafting, sewing, being creative, also serve this purpose?

JaneV2.0
2-24-11, 11:24am
Doesn't crafting, sewing, being creative, also serve this purpose?

I think so, but you have to enjoy the process as much--or nearly so--as the product. I generally like the designing part and the admiring the end result part a lot more than the crafting part. Shopping skips the tedium.