Early in college i had an ongoing argument with my at-the-time only male friend, whose name i will decline to share because i’m still hoping for an appointment when he becomes president, or interplanetary tyrant, or whatever he’s going to turn into in a decade or two.
The argument was about which was a better, more valuable life experience: having great sex or a attending a great concert.
Obviously a lot of work goes into both events, and their quality can vary wildly.
My friend would argue that sex is a participatory, tactile experience; part of amazing sex is under your control. Amazing sex was uniquely personal played upon the dynamic between two people, possibly lovers or friends, but maybe just strangers.
He completely acknowledged that concerts could be amazing – better, even, than some sex – but that the best concert would never hold up against the best sex.
I would argue that a concert involves a connection not only between the performer and the audience member, but amongst all of the members of the audience to the music. I acknowledged that not all concerts were good, and that the concert-going experience is largely out of the control of the listener.
However, an amazing concert was much greater in scope than a single sexual experience – it was an alignment of thousands of details into a perfectly realized artistic expression that could be could be recalled (and recorded) by many – sometimes thousands – of other spectators.
With a few years of retrospect i see that our creation of a concerts/sex dichotomy was an artificial one. It’s rare to have to choose between the two, and over the course of a life they both have to compete with other sorts of memories to be counted as a “best ever” life experience.
However, i still think i won the argument by default because amazing life experiences beg to be shared, retold, and and transformed into personal mythology, and most concerts filll that role better than most sex.
Also, bands are much more open to reading praise for their performance on the internet than former lovers.