[FOUNTAIN]Low-tech infidelity preventionHarry, a wiretapping expert, receives a request one day to bug Mark and Ann, who are having an affair. He mobilizes high technology and succeeds in his mission, but he senses that his client, Ann’s husband, would like to kill the couple and he tries to stop it. But it turns out to be the client who is actually murdered. Harry falls into the conspiracy that the adulterous couple has formed to try to get the client’s money. A threatening call comes to Harry, who would reveal the truth: “Be careful. You are always being watched.”
That is the plot summary of the 1974 movie “The Conversation” by the great director Francis Ford Coppola. In the movie, which depicts the process of being observed through high-tech methods, various devices, such as a bugging pen, fax and tape recorder, are introduced.
There is always a party who is having an affair and another party who tries to watch and prevent it. It is the same in the animal world. The infidelity-prevention method of the male black widow spider is grotesque. He makes the female unable to have a “relationship” again by breaking off and leaving his sexual organs inside her body. The male thorny-headed worm, after mating, plugs the vagina of the female with his secretions.
In South Korea, where three out of 20 married people have an affair, according to the Korea Institute for Sexology, the infidelity surveillance industry has enjoyed a boom for a long time. These days, various high technology devices have been developed with which to pursue someone who is having an affair: a test kit that diagnoses infidelity through evidence left on clothing, a bug planted in the suspected spouse’s car that allows conversations to be heard at a distance, and a system that can trace cell phone calls by satellite and determine the location.
News reports have noted that in America new types of “cyber infidelity” surveillance technology have been appearing in rapid succession. Products that can trace the contents of a spouse’s e-mail or online chats are pouring onto the market.
But one does not necessarily need to mobilize costly high technology devices to prevent infidelity. Research by a Western anthropologist on indigenous societies has mentioned a simple, very effective method: “The more time a couple spends together, the less infidelity takes place.” Tonight, get one foot closer to your spouse in bed. It is the best prescription for infidelity.
by Lee Kyu-youn
The writer is a deputy city news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.