Discussion: The Joy of Cybersex or a recipe for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

by Alphaville Herald on 18/02/04 at 11:24 am

I was just rereading the following classic description of cybersex by Julian Dibbell:

“Netsex, tinysex, virtual sex — however you name it, in real-life reality it’s nothing more than a 900-line encounter stripped of even the vestigial physicality of the voice. And yet, as many a wide-eyed newbie can tell you, it’s possibly the headiest experience the very heady world of MUDs has to offer. Amid flurries of even the most cursorily described caresses, sighs, or penetrations, the glands do engage, and often as throbbingly as they would in a real-life assignation — sometimes even more so, given the combined power of anonymity and textual suggestiveness to unshackle deep-seated fantasies. And if the virtual setting and the interplayer vibe are right, who knows? The heart may engage as well, stirring up passions as strong as many that bind lovers who observe the formality of trysting in the flesh.”

Here are some questions to discuss: (1) is “cybering” really all that, or is it just typing with one hand? (2) Do the sexy avatars and props in TSO help or was cybersex better in the days of MUDs? (3) Just how widespread is the practice on TSO? (4) Is adult/minor cybersex something to worry about or just a distraction?

5 Responses to “Discussion: The Joy of Cybersex or a recipe for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?”


    Feb 18th, 2004

    “(1)is “cybering” really all that, or is it just typing with one hand?”

    His description seems overblown to me, but it depends on the person … i think some people make more of this than others, and some people enjoy it more than others, etc.

    “(2) Do the sexy avatars and props in TSO help or was cybersex better in the days of MUDs?”

    Don’t know the answer, but the post-patch avatars and the props seem to encourage it in a way — but again, it depends on the user and what they wish to do with it, it seems to me.

    “(3) Just how widespread is the practice on TSO?”

    Depends on where you are and what you are interested in doing. My guess is that there are many players who seldom, perhaps never, engage in it, while there are some others who do so on a regular, perhaps even a daily, basis … but that is just a guess, there’s no real way of knowing the answer to this.

    “(4) Is adult/minor cybersex something to worry about or just a distraction?”

    Yes it is something to worry about in my opinion, and frankly I am surprised that some of those who are critical of the BDSM lots in AV and elsewhere are do not get more bent out of shape about this. The BDSM lots at least try to police themselves into being limited to 18+. By contrast, there are many, many “romance” houses in AV and elsewhere who do no such thing and my guess is that this is where much of the so-called “cybering” takes place (or maybe I’m just thinking the wrong things about that couple in the love tub who are being very publicly quiet ~smile~).


  2. Lady Julianna

    Feb 18th, 2004

    Well said Kelli, and I agree with you completely. We work hard to try to keep the kids out of our lot, harder than other non-BDSM romance houses. Most don’t make any effort.

    I am sure that some slip through the cracks, but I think they are few and far between. There are some good kids who play this game and I have known some before who were excellent people and I enjoyed knowing them.

    Most are honest about their age when asked, and I gently tell them, “Sorry hon, but you are too young to be here. Adult lot.” I put them on ban, give them a second to leave on their own (and some do), and if they don’t then I kick them. I have had some ask me, “Why don’t you like kids?” I tell them, “I do like kids, and that is why I don’t think you should be here.” I don’t engage in further argument than that.

    Others lie, but their behaviour gives them away, or their profiles. When I see something like this “EzEe PLeZiE, Favourite music “Rap, hip hop” and other juvenile or adolescent things, I pretty much know I am dealing with a youngster. Or they will ask, “Do you have a bf?” Another give away. I ask, “Quick, what year were you born in?” If they hesitate, I know they lied for sure. I tell them, “That was not a trick question. That was something you should have known off the top of your head.” If the sim passes that test, and we still have our doubts, we boot and ban anyway. We would rather err on the safe side.

    One youngster did slip through, confessed, and we hounded the Dom who knowingly took an underaged girl as sub out of the game, not just the city, and reported him to Maxis. A way was found to contact the girl’s real life foster mother and let her know what she was doing in the game.

    Should parents worry? Yes. In our community we have taken pains to be careful of this and to protect kids, but most do not.

    What we do is not wrong, not between consenting adults, and nor do I view it as seamy or dirty.

    How real is real? I think that a man’s brain is the sexiest part of his body. His words can send chills down my spine. The best cyber lovers are those who can use words well. The same can be said for the best Dom/mes. We cyber more than sex, but domination scenes as well.

    There are two kinds of cybersex. One is rude and crude, where people are told to do things in real life and describe it. Yuck. Oh, and let us not forget webcams. :P No thanks.

    The other and better kind is more like a shared fantasy. Do not attempt to touch the woman behind the screen, but do tell me what you see your sim and my sim doing. And do try to avoid cliches, and do use beautiful language. The writer has an advantage in the love beds of Alphaville, which I won’t have on my property!. Barking, really, lol.

    Visual aids do help, the use of the afk position to represent kneeling for example. The grim setting of a dungeon.. gray stone and barred cells mandatory. They help to set the stage, but they are only a take-off point. The real scene is one that is crafted between two minds, two fantasies meeting, merging, and creating a new fantasy together. The power of it depends on the imagination and ability to visualize of the two participants.

    This in itself would be interesting to study, the evolution of romance and online relationships. It has happened in a major way in the sims, and we are defining what that is, and yet we have not talked much of things such as “Is it cheating on your real life partner?” I am sure we have all struggled with questions like this though. And part of our real life personalities and mores and taboos enter into the game.

    For me, I am a long term girl. I would not engage casually, nor with strangers. Mikal and I have been together 8 months. And I like class. That is true of my sim as much as it is of the real me.

    My tastes are simple. I like only the very best, and I demand it. Is what we do dirty? No, not the way I do it. *smile*

    This is a very good topic, one that can be well discussed, and something that we have not discussed. There are so many aspects and sides to it.

    I shall do my best to ignore Dyer all and stay on topic here folks. (And I know he will post here.)

    I have often said that TSO is not a game, but a meeting place. It is more than that. It is a virtual meeting place where people live out their fantasies. Be someone else. Or be the self you have been afraid to unleash. Very addictive.

  3. Stella Dives

    Feb 18th, 2004

    No comment. LOL btw Hiya Uri *blows kisses* ;)

  4. Maria LaVeaux

    Feb 18th, 2004

    Cybersex,, yes, it is fun, Playful, even stimulating. I have read in numerous books on Human Sexuality that 75% of an intimate act takes place in the mind. This is to say, Our Thoughts, Our Impressions, and yes, our Fantasies play a critical role in sexual intimacy. The Physical aspect then takes up a smaller proportion along with the sensual (Sight, sound, smell). The greater portion of sex is a Mental Process. In this case, Cybersex can seem very real indeed.
    So,, Why not. There is nothing wrong with consenting adults sharing Fantasies and even getting a little hot south of the Equator.

    I however look at it, as I do in RL as a part of the grander picture of Love. For a while in my earlier days, I engaged in Cybersex rather freely, but like being That active in RL it soon becomes an empty and meaningless experience. In the context of a Loving relationship however, the feelings intensify. I have been in a relationship with my toy now for well over nine months. We have had good times, and bad. My eye still roves occasionally, but not often or for very long. My toy and I love one another. I don’t know what others might say about Cyber Love, but it sure FEELS like the RL variety. More than Sharing a fantasy or two,, my toy and I write to each other, Love letters, Stories, Poetry, We have Long talks, we comfort, and advise each other. After Nine Months, our love has only grown stronger.

    Cybersex,, I Have done it, I Still do it, but the more important feelings for me come from my love for toy, and hers for me.

    I Love you my Precious toy.


    Feb 18th, 2004

    Great responses E/everyone. Finally a discussion about some very pertinent and interesting topics rather than the typical flame thread *laughs*.

    Lady Julianna raises an excellent point of departure about the impact of virtual love, virtual sex on real life situations. And she is very correct to say that our own rl predispositions and mores on this are usuaally what inform our approach to this. I can only share what my approach is … if I have a rl partner, I do not do cybersex or look for cyberlove without first discussing it with my rl partner. I do believe that they are different and not necc inconsistent with each other, but I don’t believe it is something that the rl partner should be unaware of, or learn about the hard way.

    I agree very much with what Mistress Maria has written as well. The relationships here are real. The people involved in them are real. In cases where things move beyond the casual, a real relationship is formed, with real consequences and parameters … the context is online only (for most of us), but that doesn’t make the relationships any less real. The emotions are real, the sharing is real, the intimacy is real … it is simply not physical.

    Of course it depends on how one approaches it. One can be very flippant about how one behaves in the game, pretending that the real people behind the other sims are simply computer AI without feelings, and many of us have seen the consequences of this kind of behvaior, for better or worse. But in a non-flippant approach with someone with whom one simply “clicks” … the relationships here are to me as satisfying as offline relationships, but merely different. It isn’t less *real* because it takes place in this context … it simply means that the different context makes the way that each of the aspects of a really good relationship — intimacy, trust, fun, responsibility, etc. — different here than in offline relationships.


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