The following question has perplexed me since the day I saw the movie Castaway:

What if Wilson was a woman?

I’m not as concerned about the volleyball as much as I am the idea of Tom Hanks character not actually being alone on that island.  I feel as though we’ve passed the threshold of SPOILER ALERTs on Castaway but for those who don’t recall, Tom had a good thing going with Helen Hunt back on the mainland before he got lost at sea for several years.  When he found his way back to society imagine his surprise to discover Ms. Hunt had moved on and married some new rooster that had moved into his hen house. 

If you’re Tom Hanks in that situation your reaction to that news has to be along the lines of, what the f*ck right?  Had the situations been reversed and Helen Hunt been stranded on an island only to come home to a husband who’d found a new sweetie it would have been an entirely different movie.  In Helen’s defense Tom Hanks had been legally declared dead since he’d been missing so long but still…

This whole thing got me thinking about the other side of the story though.  What if when the FedEx plane went down, there was a female pilot or co-pilot who had survived as well?

If you’re stranded on a deserted island with a member of the opposite sex, what is the statute of limitations on breaking the barriers of intimacy?

The first day that the two of you wash up on shore, getting frisky is most likely a physical impossibility I would think.  There’s so much to figure out and a new reality to deal with that feeling randy probably isn’t in the range of emotions available to you.  There’s an outside chance that the shear exuberance of survival leads to extracurricular celebration, but having never actually been in the situation I’d assume that’s a pretty rare occurrence.  What about at the end of the first week however?  The first month?  The first year?  Once you’ve settled in and established your roles and this new extreme environment has become the “norm”?  After a shared experience of success such as starting your first fire, catching your first fish, the first night after building a more permanent shelter?  You’re telling me there’d be no impetus to take a romp in the palm fronds at some point no matter the commitments you’ve left back home? 

I wrote a piece about the Discovery Channel’s program Naked & Afraid which tries to take this issue head on.  Because it’s basic cable there’s obviously quite a bit of censorship at play, but you don’t think these two random people paired in the wild, attired in only their birthday suits have yet to experience a “moment” to date on their production team’s cameras?  As a somewhat seasoned viewer at this point (I spend a lot of time watching random TV in hotel rooms) I can tell you that the whole experience appears to be quite the emotional rollercoaster with highs and lows through each new day.  At the very least there have to be some awkward mornings where the first member of their team to get up is neither of the contestants themselves per se (if you catch my drift(wood)).

I don’t know that there’s a right answer here.  Well, technically there probably is and it’s to be faithful until your dying day to the loved ones who are probably mourning your loss, but at some point one would assume that human nature would take over.  The question is when would it be ok to give in to that primal urge?  I personally never would, but I’m interested in what the consensus answer would be for any physical indiscretions to be deemed “understandable” upon a return to society.  My vote would be three months as if you make it that long, and there appears to be no hope of being found, that would probably be the tipping point where one could “legally” start looking for new soil in which to spread their proverbial seed.  But that’s just me, what are your thoughts on the matter?