Germans and their "Handys"

A recent poll taken by a German magazine shows more people turn off cellphones in theaters than during sex.

By Jack Boulware

Published October 13, 2000 7:16PM (EDT)

It might happen to you. You find yourself in the company of a person to whom you're sexually attracted. You're enjoying yourself immensely, and so is your companion. Amusing anecdotes rush forth from both of your mouths. Personal biographies are delivered with appropriate candor and conciseness. Confessions of previous relationships are not only charming, they seem ancient history. You both realize that clearly the next step is to get naked and hit the sack for some mutual ravaging of the flesh. You strip and throw each other down on the bed, and begin a carnal seduction so intense and masterful that scientists would do well to study your techniques. Suddenly, your goddamn cellular phone rings, right in the middle of everything. Total interruption. Doesn't matter who called. The moment is ruined.

According to a new survey, you're probably German.

The Berlin magazine Focus recently polled more than 600 people and found that more of them turn off their cellphones -- called "Handys" -- at the movie theater than during the act of sex. In the survey, 58 percent shut off their phones at the theater, while only 45 percent showed some discretion and shut off the gadget while amorously engaged.

A similar proportion -- 46 percent -- turned off their Handys when walking into a bar or restaurant, continued the poll, and about 25 percent saw it necessary to turn off the device when eating dinner at home.

As to what this all means in terms of electronic communication, Focus magazine did not specify. But if you want to complete your intercourse without the phone beeping Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries," you'd best shut it off.

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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