Follow me into your real-life bedroom: you’ve packed the dishwasher after working half-day, picking up your two kids, overseeing homework, preparing dinner, and watching your husband collapse in front of the television.
He is a traditionalist – or should we be frank and call him a relic from the dinosaur era in which men undermined women and believed they were entitled to privileges, including sexual privileges?
This man believes in division of labour: she does kids and house, he does money-earning. No renegotiation of this contract has happened since the day you married ten years ago.
You exhale your first breath alone as you lay your head on your pillow. And his hand creeps to your nipple. Up to now, not one word has been exchanged.
You grit your teeth, your vaginal muscles contract, your voice silences after many years of protest.
The sulking is not worth it. He wants a ‘full experience’. He goes down on you; you are unsure whether you actually have ever had a partner orgasm.
He’s never asked and neither of you have ever spoken about sexual arousal cues. Once he’s had enough, he gets you to climb on top of him and do the work. You get off after he ejaculates. He falls asleep.
Finally you get time alone, reach for your iPad and vibrator, and seek an online man willing to chat, flirt and masturbate with you.
You are seeking sexual satisfaction that you do not experience in real life. Cybersex is defined as ‘synchronous communication in cyberspace in which typically two individuals engage in discourse about sexual fantasies and is accompanied by masturbation’.
This means you receive sexual gratification while interacting through text messages in real time, and at the same time, with another – or many others – online, masturbating with one hand on your keyboard.
This takes dexterity that determined people seem to acquire with ease!
The definition of cybersex is personal and as diverse as the people who engage in it. It involves anything from the regular, vanilla, heterosexual, man-on-top missionary position (although, currently, woman-on-top sex seems to be favoured, following the media and movies’ example) to kinky sex, whatever that may mean to you.
Because it’s within the realm of cyberspace, it begs for your erotic imagination to be let loose. It’s like pornography, in which fantasies are externalised, but here you have the additional and unique thrill of these fantasies being mutually and consensually constructed by a ‘real’ person in real time.
It allows you to go further than you would in real life.
Sitting at your computer, or lying in bed, your cybersex chat begins. You feel your body respond as Masters and Johnson described in their seminal works on the human sexual response cycle: excitement and anticipation flood your heart and genitals as you log in in anticipation.
Sexual desirebuilds as you see the name of your online lover, or the text messages of a new cyberlover, or images of vulvas, breasts or anuses.
Your breathing increases and your heart rate rises as the cyberchat begins.
As the chat gets sexier you feel your genitals engorge, your penis stiffen, your nipples swell and your vagina lubricate. Ongoing chat, with masturbation, results in orgasm and the same sultry, sleepy satisfaction you feel after a satisfying real-life sexual experience.
Let’s not beat about the bush: this is a sexual activity, despite no physical bodies being present. Yes, this is the new seduction.
It leads to cybersex, the new way of being sexual. Do not undermine it, nor underestimate its power and pull – or its ability to tug at your emotions and get you to believe that you are in love with someone you have never met yet with whom you have just shared a mind-blowing orgasm. It feels like the real deal.
You or your partner may even define it as CI.
Perhaps you have taken your cybersex a step further, wishing to enrich and deepen your online experience. Maybe you have moved into video-based cybersex, using a webcam or Skype. These interactions are easier to hide. It’s the text-based hard evidence that has highest impact on a couple once discovery occurs.
This is considered a real threat to a relationship. It no longer feels so imaginary, magical or playful when your partner reads your cybersex text messages back to you: it suddenly sounds and feels like real ‘cheating’.
New rules for cybersex
– Cybersex is not sex as you know it because sex is universally considered to involve penetration.
– It involves plenty of sexuality, but a more holistic and realistic view of sexuality that includes emotions, morality and values.
– It can feel as intimate as real-life sexuality.
– Viewing pornography, exchanging sexual messages and social interactions with the intention of becoming sexually aroused fall into the ambit of cybersex.
– It is not a mere conversation about sex: it is a real sexual encounter in real time.
– You can use cybersex to spice up your real-life relationship.
– It may give you greater confidence in your own sexuality.
– It may be a way of managing your unsatisfactory or frustrating domestic world. However, it seldom remains static. It can progress in a heartbeat.
– Living in the parallel worlds of online and real life may be risky if you do not realise the limitations of each world.
– It is potentially harmful to your real-life partner.
– It may be harmful to your relationship as it is difficult to compete sexually with the world of this new seduction.
– Its impact is determined by the time spent on it, the wish to actualise it and the degree of intimacy involved. The higher these factors, the higher the risk to your primary relationship.
– Moderation is difficult due to its seductive nature.
– It gets you to touch your real-life partner differently, literally and emotionally.
– If cybersex chatting is happening in secret from your partner, it’s deception and, therefore, infidelity. Your partner feels as if you have violated your vows and, consequently, the trust between you.