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Author Topic: Is Cybersex Cheating?  (Read 11228 times)
mouser
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« on: September 01, 2006, 12:09:33 PM »

This article isn't particularly insightfull, but raises some interesting questions..

Quote
By Regina Lynn| 02:00 AM Sep, 01, 2006
Two weeks ago, I was on stage with four other folks at the Second Life Community Convention, talking about cybersex. The agenda had slipped its schedule and we were running late, so when it came time for questions, we were only able to take two.
...
They trotted out The Question. The Question, which you could put to anyone from Oprah to Howard Stern, that has nothing to do with Second Life and everything to do with show hosts in love with being minor celebrities rather than having something real to say.
The Question is, of course, "Is cybersex cheating?"


See also the regular Wired column on Sex+Technology: http://www.wired.com/culture/sex.html


from http://www.dailyrotation.com/
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zridling
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 05:38:37 PM »

Heck no, it's not cheating, it's modding! Most of the married women I know do consider it cheating and tend to snoop on the husband's computer for any hint of nudity. However, virtual sex (or cybersex) is first and foremost safe sex, assuming you don't meet anyone in person, that is. Porn is mainly a male thing, because it satisfies fantasy needs and is a quick fix. Women generally tend to approach sex through romance, or even the fantasy of romance (if you haven't read a romance novel lately, you'd be surprised how much raw porn occurs in 320-420 pages).

Last note: both my brothers are "not allowed" to have anything sexual on their computers. Their wives think it's a threat to them somehow. If you're not in the chat rooms, or various groups intending to meet someone in person, however, I can't see the problem.
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Josh
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2006, 06:16:46 PM »

If it takes the place of regular sex with a loved one (spouse, g/f b/f, significant other, etc), then yes. I've seen this occur and ruin many marriages where the guy gets involved not only in cybersex, but in pornography and no longer tends to the needs of his significant other.
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2006, 08:19:29 PM »

FWIW I don't see the problem as so much sexual, but the potential loss of intimacy with those we have committed to, ie a loss of love.

Hope I'm not being too serious here.

Jeff
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zridling
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2006, 09:23:14 PM »

When the Holodeck arrives, sex between bio-humans will be over. I figure most people will choose virtual partners. Dibs on Salma Hayek and Lucy Liu!
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JeffK
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2006, 09:24:50 PM »

Thanks for bringing me back to reality, Zaine. Cool
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mouser
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2006, 09:36:09 PM »

i'm afraid i agree with both JeffK about loss of intimacy, and Zaine about holodeck sex.  that's a scary thought.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2006, 11:24:37 PM »

Cybersex is just another form of pornography, and pornography is a disease that destroys families. It's just as addicting, if not more so, than actual substance abuse.
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zridling
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2006, 02:33:02 AM »

I guess you could say that, Deozaan, about many things. I've seen sports do the same thing to families. But it doesn't have to go down that way. Subscribing to a photo website like Perfect 10 and downloading all their content isn't going to destroy a family unless the person is compulsive to start with. The great advantage to cybersex — whatever it is and however it is defined — is its inherent safety. If I engage in its virtual aspect only, I'm not going to get or give any disease, nor am I going to hurt another person. Whether and how it affects a couple's sex life depends on, well, their sex life to start with. Or so it seems.
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Josh
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2006, 09:41:25 AM »

Exactly, if the person participating in Cybersex turns to that more so than to the real thing with his partner, then yes, cybersex can be very harmful. But if its controlled and not let to get in the way of the love life with the partner, then, like pornography, it can be more of a hobby (for lack of a better word). But, like any hobby, if left to become an obsession, it can have some major drawbacks.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2006, 01:38:49 PM »

Yes, it's true you will not be physically hurting yourself or anybody else with cybersex or pornographic images. But there's more to relationships and happy families than just sex.

Virtual sex may have an inherent physical safety, but there are long term consequences for such instant gratifications.

And yes, there are some people who will obsess over things like sports so much that it destroys their relationships. But I hear about that much less often than about addictions ruining people's lives.

I'm sure you've heard many stories of alcohol and drug use ruining families or any sort of relationships. At first the substance abuse starts slow, and the user might think he has it under control. But these are highly addictive substances. There is very little chance that continued use will not lead to severe addiction and destroy any semblance of a good relationship and may also negatively impact several other areas of his life. Pornography (I include cybersex in that category) is also addictive. Just because it doesn't physically harm you immediately doesn't mean it doesn't harm you at all. The effect is largely emotional, mental, and spiritual, whatever you happen to believe about the spiritual aspect of life.

And as anybody should know who has taken a psychology class or just paid attention in life, your emotions can affect your physical health. Studies show that people who are happily married live on average 10 years longer than people who are single. People get sick when they are depressed. A great example would probably be the guy who wrote Peter Pan, James Barrie. When he was a young boy his older brother died and his mother was so distraught that she just stayed in her bed all day every day after that. When James would walk into the room, his mom would call him by his brother's name and when she found out it wasn't really him she would be very disappointed and cry. So he started wearing his brother's clothes and pretended he was his brother. Eventually James started getting too old and big to fit in the clothes and pull off being his brother, so he grew up and wrote about a land where children never aged. What does this have to do with physical health? Nothing, yet. He was a sickly person his whole life and when he died and was taken to the coroner to prepare for burial, they found out that his his body never fully matured. His growth was stunted; he was very short, only five feet tall. His reproductive organs were still like a child's, and his testicles hadn't even "dropped."

More info about him at Wikipedia that has some hints on this.

Coming full circle, pornography is highly addictive and there is an extremely high chance that it will destroy a person emotionally. I don't know about anyone here, but I would much rather be physically harmed than emotionally or mentally. My body is not who I am; my thoughts and emotions are. If my thoughts and emotions get screwed up, what sort of a physical life would I be able to live? Surely you know (of) people who have severe emotional and/or mental problems and how they struggle to have an ordinary life.

The thing about addictions is that almost everyone thinks they have it under control until they try to quit or their life falls apart. Personally, I try stay away from addictive substances. I want to be in control of my life. I don't want anything controlling me. What I find strange is that in a time and society where the majority of the world seems to say do what you want because it's your life and you are free, I see a lot of people chained to their addictions. That's not freedom to me.
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mrainey
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2006, 01:56:08 PM »

Quote
If it takes the place of regular sex with a loved one (spouse, g/f b/f, significant other, etc), then yes. I've seen this occur and ruin many marriages where the guy gets involved not only in cybersex, but in pornography and no longer tends to the needs of his significant other.


Could you say the same thing about masturbation?
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nudone
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2006, 02:30:59 PM »

Zaine's got the right idea. i can't wait for holodecks - but before all that i can't wait for an attractive looking robot to be made (gynoid), and a mass produced one at that so i can actually afford to buy it. yeah, i am serious.
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Josh
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2006, 03:17:14 PM »

Quote
If it takes the place of regular sex with a loved one (spouse, g/f b/f, significant other, etc), then yes. I've seen this occur and ruin many marriages where the guy gets involved not only in cybersex, but in pornography and no longer tends to the needs of his significant other.


Could you say the same thing about masturbation?


Sure you could. Although its a healthy and natural thing, if taken to extremes, it can be just as damaging to a relationship. If it takes the place of intimacy and sex in the relationship, its just as harmful.
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2006, 04:11:52 PM »

If you want to see a "cyber" approach to helping people with pornography have a look at www.xxxchurch.com.  WARNING: RELIGION ALERT, but also a modern design website.

Jeff
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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2006, 05:14:31 AM »

Ok I have to put my two cent in here.
My girlfriend of 18 months does not care if I cyber with anyone, nor does she care if I look at porn.
She knows I collect bookmarks on many different topics.

How do I feel?
I think if I am chatting with a woman. And it turns to a sexual nature.
And it is more than a adult talk about sexual nature of adults.

Then yes I feel I am cheating!. And my current girlfriend knows how I feel about this. Though her views are different than my own.

She thinks it is ok as long as you do not go and meet anyone. If you do, then your crossing the line.
I ask and "If" I can not please you what are you suppose to do suppress those feelings?.
She said no you can masterbate.
-Someone said something about the Holodeck."???

My ex-girlfriend Judy use to have these little talks with other men.
I trusted her (watch where you put your trust you know-live and learn) She would talk too men, then go meet them!.

I came upon a website called chat cheaters
http://www.chatcheaters.com/
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« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2006, 08:37:18 AM »

I started reading this thread with very clear views on the topic but realised after reading Zaine's first post that we have a huge problem here: how does one define cybersex? I can't have an opinion if I don't know WTF we're talking about!

Answers.com defines it this way: "Sexual activity or arousal through communication by computer."

Now, what we need to add to this, IMHO, is a distinction between looking at pictures and streaming video - which have taken the place of our fathers' print and 8mm collections - and interacting with other people for arousal. Crap, I've just realised that there is the whole world of webcam voyeurism (for me uncharted territory) needs to considered, too.

I guess for me it comes down to this: if there is an emotional connection made with another living organism then I think that cybersex strays dangerously close to what I would consider cheating.

As Deozaan and Josh point out, though, whether we consider cybersex cheating or not is only one of a host of issues relating to erotica, relationships, and personal well-being. It's really a far, far more complex issue than merely giving a yes or no answer to "is cybersex cheating?".
« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 08:45:30 AM by Darwin » Logged

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2006, 09:52:51 AM »

I was going to make a cheap crack about the effectiveness of peripherals - but I won't.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2006, 09:54:02 AM »

I've got to ask: What's the issue? Cybersex or Cheating?

The issue for me would be "Cheating". If I give something that I've promised to give to my partner to someone else, then that is cheating. I don't care what it is: Cybersex, time, money, affection, me...

- Perry
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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2006, 01:49:49 PM »

Perry managed to say in four sentences what I failed to say in 5 paragraphs. As I said, it seemed a straight forward question until I started trying to answer it...
« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 05:52:05 PM by Darwin » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2006, 02:49:55 PM »

Yeah, i think Perry summed up my views pretty well too.  This means of course that the answer to the question will depend on the understanding you have with your significant other.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2006, 06:52:56 AM »

This is a little OT, but it is parallel...

Some years ago I spent a couple of years in Papua New Guinea. There are two interesting facts from PNG that relate (somewhat) to this thread:

1. Polygamy is legal in PNG
2. Female prisons are filled with women who have either murdered the "other" wife or the husband of the "other" wife.

Some things were never meant to be shared, no matter what the understanding concerning the arrangement. I guess that's where a written marriage contract (if there is such a thing) would fail completely: in a deep relationship there is no limit to the level of sacrifice or sharing that you are called to.
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app103
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« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2006, 01:32:39 PM »

I have been fighting with myself as to whether I wanted to add my 2 cents to this debate. I surely didn't want my post to be the first female point of view, because I felt it could possibly be misunderstood if I was the first female to respond.

I could write volumes on this subject, and maybe someday I might, but for now I will hand you this idea:

Sometimes cybersex isn't what you think. There are times when it's more art than anything else.

Would it be cheating if 2 artists got together and painted a picture of a couple engaged in a sex act? Of course not.

So if 2 creative people got together and co-authored an impromptu spontaneous work of erotic fantasy fiction through the use of chat, and did it for the sake of it being an artistic work of fiction, expressing their creativity without the thought of it being anything more than that, would it be cheating? (Yes, there are people that actually do this...usually in a public chatroom with an audience.)

They are no more cheating than an actor or actress is, during a steamy, love scene in an R rated movie. Or if a romance novel was written by 2 writers.

In a case like this, the parts they play are just that...performers...and authors...nothing more.

Things are not always what they would first appear to be. Each case is very individual and the answer unique to the situation.

Bottom line: Is cybersex cheating? Maybe. Maybe not.   two cents
« Last Edit: September 07, 2006, 02:22:45 PM by app103 » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2006, 01:49:09 PM »

app, that was the most interesting response there's been.  Thmbsup
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2006, 12:55:01 AM »

Actually not knowing what CyberSex was I just looked it up on WikiPedia.

There are other issues/problems I didn't quite understand:
Quote
cybersex satisfies sexual desires
I didn't understand how that was possible.
Quote
Cybersex allows "real-life" partners who are physically separated to continue to be sexually intimate.
Certainly: this is a digital version of the time honoured "love letter".
Quote
It can enable participants to act out fantasies in which they would not engage in real life
Wikipedia had this as an advantage, but I'd imagine that if you are participating in something (at whatever level) that normally you have qualms about, that that is NOT a healthy exercise??

I'll grant you app that if two people consented to cybersex in the sense that it was (or would be) just a creative and fictional exercise, then by definition they would not be participating with their whole selves. Then it's like acting. But I wonder how often it is actually like this?

- Perry
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