“You could walk a couple through a facilitated session,” she says, “while they are in the privacy of their own bedroom.” Cory Silverberg, a sexual health educator and founding member of Come As You Are, an education-based sex store in Toronto, says, “What’s good about cybersex is that it allows people to conceive of new possibilities,” whether that means a disabled person gaining greater access to the sexual sphere or someone “fulfilling their fetish fantasies beyond anything that we could have imagined.” The keys to healthy virtual sex, he says, include consent of all partners, a “sense of good will” (not going out and “trolling and stalking online”), and a respect for boundaries — “making sure that you’re not exposing more real information about yourself than you’re really comfortable with.” Like any technology, though, virtual sex comes with its risks.Kimberly Young, Ph D, who is the founder and director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pennsylvania, agrees that virtual worlds can allow individuals to explore new types of sexual behavior. I don’t know where the real user was located, but our virtual meeting space within Second Life was called “The Netherlands.” Or maybe “she” was really a he, controlling a female avatar. If it’s not clear already, “virtual sex” can be a little complicated. But there was a real person on a computer somewhere in the world making her avatar have sex with my avatar by clicking a pink ball on the ground.Still, says Machulis, teledildonics are “changing long-distance relationships for the better,” allowing couples to “finally be physical over the wire.” And, he argues, we “haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg” in the field of virtual sex toys.Allowing separated couples to stay in touch, almost literally, is only one of the many positive aspects that virtual-sex advocates see in the refinement of — and increasingly widespread access to — cyber-sex technologies.I was having sex with a Dutch girl when my wife walked in. “I don’t like the phrase ‘virtual sex,’” Lynn says, “because it trivializes the experience.
Some Japanese men are wooing girlfriends who don’t exist.The “Sinulator,” for example, produced by Sinulate Entertainment in Sunnyvale, California, is a wireless vibrator that connects to any computer with an Internet hookup and a Windows operating system.The Sinulator’s counterpart is the “Interactive Fleshlight,” a penis sleeve for men that transmits in-and-out action into vibrations for the Sinulator on the other end.“Would you consider this cheating if I were playing this game? “But we can talk about it more over dinner.” And with that we’re back in the “real” world, leaving a vast population in the virtual universe to chat and caress their way into the night.” I ask, pointing to the trailer on the home page, where Jameson’s digital image appears to be competing in some kind of timed, multi-partner sex decathlon.
“Having sex with the same person can become routine, boring,” she says. But if you’re married and keeping it a secret, it’s a problem.” Regina Lynn defines the issue this way: “Does your partner know, and does your partner consent?