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Is Computer Sex Adultery?

JonKatz posted more than 13 years ago | from the -smooch!-more-useful-than-chocolate- dept.

The Internet 360

Online Seductions could be the perfect Valentine's Day gift, a sane guide to the relatively new world of online romance. A few years ago, Net romances made the evening news, usually accompanied by considerable hysteria about porn and predators. Thanks to the Net, strangers are falling in love all the time; cyber-romances so common some shrinks -- like the author of this book -- devote much of their practices to dealing with the fallout from them. How can you tell if it's the real thing? What are some danger signs? This paperback is cheaper than flowers, maybe more fun.

Falling in love with strangers on the Net poses a whole set of special problems, says Dr. Esther Gwinnell, author of Online Seductions. Her book takes a shockingly businesslike and useful look at cyber-romance, the unheralded killer app of the World Wide Web.

When technology and romance mix, the result is explosive, many of the participants in need of a good shrink. Usually, the subject is treated phobically -- predators, stalkers, porno-peddlers, even cyber sexual assaults. But as more Americans go online, it follows that more are finding their ways into chat rooms, IM's and video-confs and trying to seduce each other, digitally and literally.

Gwinnel, an Oregon therapist, and other shrinks, report growing numbers of marriages in trouble because one or even both spouses are having online affairs. In her practice many patients are encountering some kind of problems with Net relationships.

For instance, they tend to falling in love with someone they meet online while other relationships flounder.

Or they fall in love with people who don't return their affection. Or think they're in love, but they're not sure.

Sometimes, of course, things get really ugly. An online romance turns into a frightening or pathological relationship. Or somebody has a pseud or doesn't tell you it's a same-sex relationship. Or that they're much younger or much older than you are. Or life outside the Net gradually shrivels and shrinks for the lovestruck.

People drawn to long distance romance used to fall in love via the post office or on the telephone. The Net obviously permits strangers to find one another more easily, get to know one another better and faster, and in a variety of ways, from chat rooms to IRC to video encounters.

A number of people in Gwinnel's practice have met online, fallen in love and been happy together for ages. It isn't rare any longer. Others get disappointed by flamers, fakers, and stalkers, or by role-players who aren't looking for real relationships. Seduction online lends itself both to experimentation and misunderstandings, and to the complications anonymity can breed.

Gwinnell gives advice on how to protect yourself online: how to spot trouble, to figure out when you've gone too far or when someone is going too far with you.

Where she scores highly with me is that Gwinnell brings a sensible, even historical approach to the topic of seduction. The Net may be new, she writes, but the issues she writes about are not. People have been meeting and falling in love in odd and unconventional ways ever since people have been falling in love.

Online relationships are still considered odd, despite their exploding numbers. Sex, as educators, parents and pols talk about it, is such a scary taboo that little useful information has emerged about how people meet online and conduct their seductions and affairs.

Gwinnell warns to be careful about taking too much advice from online therapists, and even though some of her patients suffer from Net addiction and obsession, she believes that for the majority of people the benefits of seeking romance on the Net outweigh the dangers. "And for those who are seeking a romantic companion, the Internet offers many opportunities to make emotional connections outside of those that hitherto have been available," she writes.

She also asks some interesting questions: is computer sex "adultery?" (Yup. Being unfaithful hurts relationships, no matter where it's done).

This perspective is quite different from the stream of alarms about perverts, predators and porn online.

Falling in love with strangers isn't talked about in proper society much. But it may soon be one of the primary means by which people seeking romance meet for the first time.


You can purchase this book at Fatbrain.

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Re:Some advice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#432763)

I'm sorry. Of course you are right (google?), but I was in a mad hurry to post something ontopic before this article would pityfully die from acute crap-flooding.

I purposedly posted AC to prove that I'm not karma-whoring (and again here to avoid the backlash).

Regardless: ALl you lonely geeks getting into online relationships with strangers: Read the initial post! It's sound advice and it may save your sanity.

Re:Adultery and the Turing Test (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#432764)

Consider this..What if a married man has "cybersex" on an IRC channel. Unbeknownst to him, his "partner" is his WIFE, who is at another physical location,or even another computer in another room in the house. Is that adultery, since they both think they are having "cybersex" with other people...even though they are staying faithful to themselves?

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#432765)

i think that is bestiality not adultery.. paraphrase: whosoever looks upon a goat is guilty of bestiality... :) the underlying principal is the same: the real life practice of adultery or bestiality is an expression of an inward unfaithfulness or perversion (which are bigger problems than the practices).

Yup. and legally too. (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#432775)

I divorced my Ex-wife based on this. The court recognized it, as well as the church. Sorry, cyber sex is cheating on your significant other. Those that believe that it is not is just trying to quiet their own concience.

Some advice (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#432777)

Back in late 1995, when I first began my online adventures, there wasn't the proliferation of online dating sites like there is now. At that time, people pretty much relied on newsgroups and a few web sites devoted exclusively to providing seekers of love a means to find it.

Our advice applies to meeting someone through any of our numerous opportunities (personals, discussion lists, chat, etc.) as well as anywhere else on the Web. If you are worried about safety issues while looking for romance online, consider these tips to ease your mind:

Tip #1: Keep Your Personal Information Private

Unless you know who you're dealing with, do not provide your personal information such as full name, address and phone number. This will ensure your physical safety. Most people are harmless and genuine about seeking a partner in love, but the Web is full of individuals with ill intentions. This is not to say that these individuals migrate to our site, but common sense in any arrangement must be applied. This same advice would hold true for meeting someone through the newspaper personals and other options.

Tip #2: Carefully Choose Your Online Name

If you are female and you intend to spend your time online in various chat rooms or signing up for various free e-mail accounts and you don't want to invite sexual inuendo or the virtual equivalent of a whistle and an uninvited sexual reference, then choose a gender neutral name. Of course, if your intention is to invite advances from men, then choose a feminine name, but be prepared for an onslaught of advances. This tip doesn't apply to women only, though, as the Web is full of very assertive women who will target nicks of the male variety. By choosing a gender-neutral identity online, you afford yourself the option of revealing your gender identity (or more) when you're comfortable in doing so.

Tip #3: Have Your Wits About You When Meeting in Real Life

If and when you decide to meet your online friend, don't go alone. Bring a group of friends along with you and schedule your meeting during the day and in a public place. The person you are meeting, if they are worthwhile, will agree to your request to meet in the safest possible surroundings.

Tip #4: Trust Your Instincts

Too many of us don't trust our instincts and betray them, often to our own detriment. Our instincts are always trying to tell us something. Learn to trust your instincts. If something about your online encounters feels uncomfortable, you can almost bet that an in-person encounter will feel the same. With this in mind, don't lead someone on in e-mail. If you get an immediate sense that they are not your type, let them know politely by giving them the digital equivalent of "let's just be friends." If you lead someone on and their emotions get the best of them, there will be trouble. If they persist even after you have proclaimed disinterest, ignore them. This includes their repeated e-mails. If this doesn't work, retain their messages and forward them to their online service provider. It is rare that situations ever get to this point, but if they do, retaining such information will assist you should you ever have to take further action.

Tip #5: Be Weary of Totally Free Personals Services

Sure, there are an abundance of free personals services across the Web. Many of the larger Web directories offer such services. When a service is entirely free, be cautious of the quality of the individuals with whom you correspond. Free services are easy targets for devious or insincere types because of that fact: they're free. More often than not, individuals who opt for a pay service are usually seeking quality, not only in the service itself, but in the other people who also participate.

As with any online activity, the best advice for online dating is pretty simple: exercise common sense. Think of the Web in terms of a large city. If you were a tourist in California, you wouldn't give your name, address, phone number and credit card number to just anyone on the street. Right?

Compulsory JonKatz proof-reading flame (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#432785)

Come on Jon, how do you miss such glaring errors?

"For instance, they tend to falling in love with someone they meet online while other relationships flounder.

Or they fall in love with people who don't return their affection. Or think they're in love, but they're not sure.

Sometimes, of course, things get really ugly. An online romance turns into a frightening or pathological relationship. Or somebody has a pseud or doesn't tell you it's a same-sex relationship"

Morals and Point of View check (1)

VChris (3817) | more than 13 years ago | (#432789)

It is all relative. I see three major categories of online-relations:

1. Two unattached people meet online.

2. Two people meet, one or both of them is in a dead relationship and are currently getting out.

3. Two people meet, and one or both of them are in a serious real-life relationship that they don't intend to leave.

My Morals:
One and two do not constitue adultery as long as there is commitment. If there isn't a commitment, then it's no different than a one night stand. Three is just out and out adultery.

The One Thing that bugs me about this article is that it automatically equates romance with sex. Romance does not mean an automatic roll in the hay. It is these people that can not see the difference between the two (hugging, touching and kissing vs. sex) that I think should not be in relationships - everyone should learn this before getting into a relationship.... yes, there is a direct link, romance should lead to sex, sex should lead to romance, starting a vicious circle BUT both parties should consent to every step along the way.

Biblical adultery (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 13 years ago | (#432793)

As I understand it, adultery traditionally was sexual relations (which could be just lustful feelings) of a man towards another man's wife. So a married man could have his way with an unmarried woman, or a woman (married or not) could have sex with a man, and neither would be committing adultery.

Re:I was thinking the same thing (1)

Rotten (8785) | more than 13 years ago | (#432799)

Have you noted that most microsoft enabled mail viruses appeal to love and sex in order to make the user open it?

Re:Yes. Yes it is. (3)

HyPeR_aCtIvE (10878) | more than 13 years ago | (#432810)

But just curious, where do you draw the line? If you consider pure 'computer sex' to be adultery (not talking about a computer relationship, just talking to someone while masterbating) ...

What about a computer program that 'talks to you'?

Or calling a late night 1-977-xxx-xxxx number?

Or looking at pornographic material?

I think most typical people's responses would be that neither of the last 3 are 'adultery', so then why does option 1 count?

Re:I was thinking the same thing (2)

cswiii (11061) | more than 13 years ago | (#432811)

while fondling around with Anna Kournikova virus

So what does that have to do with your computer?

...Oh you mean that Outlook thing.;-)

A stupid reply... (2)

Pope Slackman (13727) | more than 13 years ago | (#432813)

F-U F-Me [fufme.com]

Thanks, Slashdot, for making V-Day a little more inane than it already is.

--K

Would that be a... (2)

Pope Slackman (13727) | more than 13 years ago | (#432814)

Sex Bot [slashdot.org] by chance? ;D

--K

Re:Some advice (3)

Kimble (17437) | more than 13 years ago | (#432821)

Why do people refuse to give credit these days? The parent post was written by Deborah Brown, and can be found here: http://www.personalads4free.com/romance.htm (All of the tips do make sense, of course.)
--

Re:Does Natalie Portman count? (1)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 13 years ago | (#432822)

The deficiency in Natalie Portman and hot grits posts has been giving me a considerable amount of concern, but no longer.

It depends on intent I suppose. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 13 years ago | (#432824)

I know, not a very sharp line.

Watching porn is "ok" because you're not really going to get it on with the silicone chicks (or dudes). If you use it to get ideas, etc then it's cool. If you watch it because your relationship is going downhill and you're bored with your partner, that's bad. You should leave the relationship.

Phonesex is like porn, but it's interactive. More of the "relationship is bad, probably should break it off".

It's not a rule-based thing for me I'm afraid. More like a judgement call.

Yes. Yes it is. (2)

FatSean (18753) | more than 13 years ago | (#432825)

Just because you don't literaly slip Mr. Happy into another person doesn't mean you aren't being unfaithful to your signifigant other.

In the eye of the beholder (2)

AstroJetson (21336) | more than 13 years ago | (#432828)

If you or your SO think it's adultery then it is. It's that simple. Some couples don't think it's a betrayal of marriage vows to occaisionally sleep with another person, some think it's ok as long as the other person approves it, some think it's not ok to even look at another with lust in one's eyes. There is a whole spectrum of beliefs. So in any individual case, it is up to those individuals.

If you want to appoint some outside agency (the Catholic Church as an example) to make that decision for you, then you must find out what their stance is on the issue. If you were Catholic then I'm pretty sure they would consider it a sin. As George Carlin said: "Wanna is a sin all by itself!" Just thinking about having sex with someone else is a sin.

In the end, however, it is you and your partner who must decide whether it's wrong or not.

My experience (2)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 13 years ago | (#432832)

When you spend a majority of your free time on MU*s like I do, you tend to meet all sorts of people. Almost a year ago, I met someone who lived well over 1,500 miles from me, but we seemed to get along so well.

Online chats turned to (expensive) phone conversations, and I eventually flew over to visit her for a weekend. We had a great time, but unfortunately there was just no way either of us could move. It was a good thing, but not phenomenal, and not worth an incredible amount of trouble.

On the other hand, I've met people who have moved or are planning to do so for people they've met online. Some of them are insanely happy. Some of them didn't work out. And I've even known someone who found herself someone with severe mental instability that could've been dangerous.

In the end, it's not all that different from real life meetings. You just get a wider selection, and don't see them face to face. That can cause problems with two women I know who've been starting a relationship, since one of them had masqueraded online as a man for her own protection. But it seems to be working out.

At least when you meet someone online, you know that in the long run they'll understand your need for DSL or cable modem. ;)

Once upon a time... (5)

dmorin (25609) | more than 13 years ago | (#432835)

This is hardly new. The first love of my life I met online, back in the days of Compuserve's CB simulator, around about 1986 or so. I also spent a long, long time hanging out on the alt.romance group where the discussion is naturally quite popular.

People seem to think that the rules are different, that somehow the people they meet over the net are magically different from those they'd meet in real life. A woman meets a guy who admits to being married, but adds "Oh, I'm going to divorce her" and naturally the woman believes. These days, forget it -- ask for a picture and get a picture of a different person.

Once upon a time having long distance romances was ok -- you spent all your time talking and learning about the other person. These days people think they can use the net like a springboard into a new pool of eligible singles from around the world. The first conversation usually involves "Where are you from and how much do you weigh?" I mean, let's be frank -- people are still as much about the shallow and material things as they've ever been. At least the kids have it right -- they just blatantly running around asking "age sex location check?" (In my day it used to be just 'morf', for male-or-female, but I guess age and location are important now).

Once upon a time, when cyberspace was young and underpopulated, you had a very good chance that the person you were talking to was a kindred spirit. They'd probably come to the net (or other online world) for similar reasons that you had, work, school, whatever. And in those days you connected brain to brain, soul to soul, and you learned really fast who you were attracted to. We talked about religion, or philosophy, or math or movies or books. Maybe, eventually, out of curiosity, you'd ask where the other person was from. Maybe, eventually, out of curiosity, you'd think about meeting. That's all gone now. I know a young lady who trolled the net looking for a date for my wedding, and was prepared to bring someone from the opposite coast until he made it clear that if he shelled out for a plane ticket he was looking to get some. She was offended, but what did she expect? Is she blind? She'd talked to him for a week.

The net has turned into the singles bar that we all hated. What's the big complaint about the bar scene? That it's a meat market, all about looks and shallow people? So the first thing we do when we get on the net is ask for a picture and go to amihotornot.com? We've done it to ourselves. I know so many people now that are looking for love on the net. For years I've been telling them the same thing -- "Stop looking. Find a topic you are interested in. Find a forum or mailing list where they talk about that. Start talking. Before you know it you'll find someone you're attracted to, and guess what, they've got something in common with you." It works. I met many, many nice young ladies while hanging out in alt.romance (several of whom are still very dear friends, but my favorite was the one who emailed me "WHERE ARE YOU AND ARE YOU SINGLE???" :)). But nobody wants my advice. They want to get laid. And right now.

My online love adventure (5)

Obiwan Kenobi (32807) | more than 13 years ago | (#432847)

Yup, I got bit by the love-bug way back in 1997. I met this great girl on IRC, we chatted for hours, and agreed to meet the next day in the same channel.

This went on for a good 6-8 months. We became the pseudo-boy/girlfriend even though we were fifteen hundred miles from one another.

Over time, you realize how close and dependant you get to certain people, especially in online relationships. And since you don't have to go through the butterflies or nervousness that comes with meeting people in real life, the anonymous exotic world of IRC (among other utilities) gets you past the horrid beginnings and right into the good stuff--getting to know the person for who they really are.

Sometimes, it backfires. Mine didn't...much.

We met that September (of 97). She flew to see me. We had a great time the week she was here, but...when it was time for her to go home, it simply tore my heart out--I'm sure those who've been through this sort of thing know what I mean. So, after she went home, a month went by and the phone bill skyrocketed from our constant calls and the plain ole missing of one another.

After many calls and discussions, me and her finally agreed to end it.

Of course, she didn't tell me at the time she was gay.

Nope, didn't mention it at all.

Damnit.

Adultery and the Turing Test (3)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#432851)

Consider this: A married man has "cybersex" on an IRC channel. Unbeknownst to him, his "partner" is actually a sophisticated bot written in Perl. Is that adultery, since there is no "other woman?"

as grandpa simpson once said ... (1)

jamesbrown1000 (39200) | more than 13 years ago | (#432856)

"i'm in love!"

"no, wait -- it's a stroke!"

Does Natalie Portman count? (1)

pq (42856) | more than 13 years ago | (#432858)

I don't know about obsessing over Natalie Portman, but pouring hot grits down your pants definitely counts as adultery (as in, "kids, don't do this at home...")

Computer sex is only adultery... (3)

Firinne (43280) | more than 13 years ago | (#432859)

...if your spouse or S.O. is unaware of it, or does not approve. If they are both aware and approving, then there is no cheating involved, just as in real life relationships.

Meet them (4)

drivers (45076) | more than 13 years ago | (#432860)

I think the important thing, if you are thinking about falling in love and having a relationship, is to meet them in person, and get the relationship off-line as soon as possible. As long as it's on-line it's too easy to idealize the relationship. I mean really, if you think typing to another person online is a meaningful relationship, that alone is not really true.

Online, the other person appears to us how they think we want them to (and vice versa). The Desert of the Real can be quite desolate in comparison.

(of course the usual cautions about meeting strangers applies, even if you think you know all about them.)

Re:Computer sex is not only adultery. (2)

Inigima (47437) | more than 13 years ago | (#432861)

It is a threat to bandwidth and system stability(much like Napster and Gnutella are). If I were in charge of a large LAN (over 1000 clients connected), then I would develop a blacklist of smut websites for the router to block out.

Sex has no place in the workplace. Period.


Erm... near as I can tell, the issue of sex in the workplace was never brought up. Most porn/sex-type stuff, I believe I can state with some certainty, is done at home. Workplace issues are irrelevant; you're attacking an issue outside the scope of the article.

inigima

questions: is computer sex "adultery?" (5)

anticypher (48312) | more than 13 years ago | (#432862)

Shouldn't this be a slashdot poll?

I just asked this very question of my wife, my mistress, and my current girlfriend. Its two votes no, one yes. But now they want to check my history file and drop a sniffer on my local segment. Thank god for IPSec tunnels :-)

the AC
Add my no vote to your tally

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (3)

Betcour (50623) | more than 13 years ago | (#432870)

I like 28 : "we know what you think, who you are, and you are all guilty and shall worship me if you want any hope of saving your miserable life" (booming voice)

No one would ever accept that from anyone, but of course if it is written in a very old book it has to be accepted as the ultime truth...

as usual, an atheist misses the point (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 13 years ago | (#432876)

it can also be interpreted as, "If you think about long enough, it will influence your actions and cause you grief."

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (2)

zappe (65931) | more than 13 years ago | (#432880)

I do have to say, it's pretty scary that anyone even asked this question, without the answer being glaringly obvious... :-(

THE "Killer App" (1)

Number6.2 (71553) | more than 13 years ago | (#432882)

No. It would be THE FRIGGING KILLER APP of the Web if you could do it convincingly!

Chatrooms.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 13 years ago | (#432884)

Where men are men, and women are also men.

Fundamental Advice... (1)

gadders (73754) | more than 13 years ago | (#432885)

Good advice, but I'd like to add my 2p...

Tip #1 : Keep Your Personal information Private)

When you finally hump and dump the chick you meet online, the last thing you want is her emailing and phoning you all day long. Or your girlfriend/wife finding out. But you should still stay in touch, just in case you fancy a repeat performance some time. Just say your PC crashed and you lost all your passwords etc etc if she asks why you haven't been in touch.

Tip #2: Carefully Choose Your Online Name

Don't call yourself "Big Ten Incher" unless you are. Otherwise, prepare yourself for the looks of disappointment when you get your kit off.

Tip #3: Have Your Wits About You When Meeting in Real Life

Fuck yes. Get there late, so that you can spot her before she spots you. That way, if she has a face like a smacked arse, it's not too late to abort the mission. This may be hard for some of you to accept, but I have reason to believe that some of the women you meet online may lie about how attractive they really are. Otherwise why would they be trying to score via the net?

Tip #4: Trust Your Instincts

If something about your online encounters feels uncomfortable, you can almost bet that an in-person encounter will feel the same. The best thing to do is to let them down gently with a polite "Fuck off, I'd rather stick my cock in a blender." Before doing this, make sure that you have followed Tips 1 & 2 to the letter. This system of abusing people that can't find out who you are has been working on Usenet for years.

Tip #5: Be Weary of Totally Free Personals Services

And be wary of them as well. If you follow my tips, you have so much action your dick will be worn down to a stump. Also, when a service is entirely free, be cautious of the quality of the individuals with whom you correspond - you want a women that can afford to pay for dinner when you go out, not some tight bitch that can't even pay for an ad. In addition, free services are easy targets for devious or insincere types because of that fact: they're free. So go for somewhere a bit more selective, otherwise you could end up with some gullible tart and end up stirring the porridge of a couple of hundred other blokes.

Re:Some advice (4)

gadders (73754) | more than 13 years ago | (#432888)

Good advice, but I'd like to add my 2p...

Tip #1 : Keep Your Personal information Private)

When you finally hump and dump the chick you meet online, the last thing you want is her emailing and phoning you all day long. Or your girlfriend/wife finding out. But you should still stay in touch, just in case you fancy a repeat performance some time. Just say your PC crashed and you lost all your passwords etc etc if she asks why you haven't been in touch.

Tip #2: Carefully Choose Your Online Name

Don't call yourself "Big Ten Incher" unless you are. Otherwise, prepare yourself for the looks of disappointment when you get your kit off.

Tip #3: Have Your Wits About You When Meeting in Real Life

Fuck yes. Get there late, so that you can spot her before she spots you. That way, if she has a face like a smacked arse, it's not too late to abort the mission. This may be hard for some of you to accept, but I have reason to believe that some of the women you meet online may lie about how attractive they really are. Otherwise why would they be trying to score via the net?

Tip #4: Trust Your Instincts

If something about your online encounters feels uncomfortable, you can almost bet that an in-person encounter will feel the same. The best thing to do is to let them down gently with a polite "Fuck off, I'd rather stick my cock in a blender." Before doing this, make sure that you have followed Tips 1 & 2 to the letter. This system of abusing people that can't find out who you are has been working on Usenet for years.

Tip #5: Be Weary of Totally Free Personals Services

And be wary of them as well. If you follow my tips, you have so much action your dick will be worn down to a stump. Also, when a service is entirely free, be cautious of the quality of the individuals with whom you correspond - you want a women that can afford to pay for dinner when you go out, not some tight bitch that can't even pay for an ad. In addition, free services are easy targets for devious or insincere types because of that fact: they're free. So go for somewhere a bit more selective, otherwise you could end up with some gullible tart and end up stirring the porridge of a couple of hundred other blokes.

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (2)

NTSwerver (92128) | more than 13 years ago | (#432904)

28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

What happens if your object of lust is a goat ? Is that *still* adultery ?

----------------------------

Re:Yes (1)

Molina the Bofh (99621) | more than 13 years ago | (#432911)

>Computer "sex" is lust, and therefore is adultrey, which goes aginst the LORD thy God

According to this logic, computers go against the LORD thy God, and are evil things projected by pagans.

Hmmmmm... That makes sense. This explains that little red devil on my BSD box.

WTF? (1)

GodHead (101109) | more than 13 years ago | (#432914)

First a review of the worthless movie "Saving Silverman" and now this piece of Cosmo fluff?
Please tell me slashdot is not falling to MSN standards?

<ontopic>
Jon you can't have an absolute answer to a question of morality. You might as well have asked "Is Islam better than Christanity?" It would almost seem that this post is designed to provoke people into flaming each other == "Yes it is you morally-challenged SLUT!" "No it's not, you closed-minded fascist!"
</ontopic>

G.H.

Just because I'm better than you doesn't make me right.

Finally, something useful from the Bible (1)

Nezumi-chan (110160) | more than 13 years ago | (#432925)

Matthew, Chapter 5:

28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Cool!

Sounds like an excellent time-saver.

Is it sweeps week? (2)

andy@petdance.com (114827) | more than 13 years ago | (#432941)

Christ on a crutch, you'd think Slashdot has turned into the local TV news.

"The Internet may be luring your mate. What are the warning signs, and how can you tell if your partner is faithful? Watch 'Cybercheating', tonight at 10:00"

ObContent: The only way that cheating can be defined is by the people involved. Certainly not by a book, or JonKatz.

--

I met my SO online... (1)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | more than 13 years ago | (#432946)

My fiance and I met in a local chat room almost two years ago, we'll be married in June. The one thing that made it work for us more than anything else is that we met in person shortly after we met online. We didn't spend a lot of time doing the late night chats and email correspondence. So shortly after we met online we dispatched with the whole online courting thing and went straight for the gusto.

Re:Computer sex is not only adultery. (4)

Anonymous._.Coward (119202) | more than 13 years ago | (#432947)

Sex has no place in the workplace. Period.

Except maybe over the photocopier...

I was thinking the same thing (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 13 years ago | (#432951)

while fondling around with Anna Kournikova virus

Is computer sex adultery? (4)

aozilla (133143) | more than 13 years ago | (#432955)

No, but neither is a foot massage.

Re:Computer sex is not only adultery. (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 13 years ago | (#432956)

what the fuck are you smoking. The article isnt about porn dumbass.

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (2)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 13 years ago | (#432958)

the definition of adultery is to be discussed and determined by those that are in the relationship. Thats the way real people work.

Falling in Love Online (1)

Azerphale (137733) | more than 13 years ago | (#432962)

I think one of the major facets of internet relationships that differs from a face-to-face (ftf) relationship is the fact that feelings are often more shared openly and bonds form more quickly. Perhaps this stems from the lack of insecurity due to the absence of physical bodies or that our imaginations can take text and give it any number of connotations based on what we feel about the person behind the message's origination.
For example, some people se a story posted by Katz and immediately tune out. Others see posts by slashdot legends and automatically allow their opinions to be molded by the topic.
Anyway, happy heart day to all. Give your favorite programmer a hug and some Mt. Dew.

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (2)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 13 years ago | (#432965)

28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart

So how about if it's a guy?
Woman --looketh on--> Guy
or Guy --looketh on--> Guy

Why specifically a woman?

Re:Yes. Yes it is. (3)

mbishop (144065) | more than 13 years ago | (#432972)

That's true, but in my book it is possible to be unfaithful to someone without having sex with someone else. Being unfaithful has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with the other partner feeling betrayed. If what you do feels like a betrayal to your partner, pay attention to their feelings. Talk about it.

General rule: (2)

CrazyJoel (146417) | more than 13 years ago | (#432975)

If you don't think you can tell your spouse without breaking his/her heart, that there is cheating.

In any relationship, there are always things that you're going to have to keep to yourself if you want to stay in it.

Yes, I believe it is. (1)

woody_jay (149371) | more than 13 years ago | (#432980)

I think what one needs to do when posing themselves with this question, is ask the one they are inovled with. More often than not, I believe your significant other would have a problem with you having "cyber-sex" or whatever they call it these days. If they don't have a problem with it, then you had better wonder if they are beginning to look elsewhere.
I know my wife would believe that I am cheating on her if I was to have virtual sex, and I would think the same. I know that nothing physically is happening, but I don't want my wife thinking about another man.
Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Re:Yes. Yes it is. (1)

Lizard_King (149713) | more than 13 years ago | (#432983)

question for you: Do you feel that viewing/watching pr0n is an unfaithful act to a significant other? what about going to strip clubs? what about thinking about someone else during lovemaking with your significant other?

where do you draw the line?

I Don't Want No Cybersex (1)

JimPooley (150814) | more than 13 years ago | (#432984)

In the words of the legendary Mojo Nixon,

"This redneck will take a raincheck
On that cybersex.
It's just new fangled chicken chokin'
For that Generation X.
I need me a real live woman
Who's sittin' on top and damn near comin,
I reject Cybersex"

Is it adultery? Only if wanking counts as adultery.

Just as I was thinking that psychology types writing books about cybersex was so early 90's, too. Oh dear.

Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems

I propose a new rule: (5)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 13 years ago | (#432987)

The rule being, If it gives you wood, and you keep doing it, then it's cheating.

If you're a woman and it gives you wood, Then I'd suggest double checking your gender.

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (1)

yfarren (159985) | more than 13 years ago | (#432989)

what if she doesnt have a pic?

Don't Do IT! (1)

temp0 (170834) | more than 13 years ago | (#432992)

Adultery or not, don't have sex with your computer!
Trust me I know. Computer sex is BAD NEWS!
It was valentines day a few years back, I was feeling a bit lonely. My computer always kept me company. Well, I tried to >mount my floppy drive and it hasn't work right since then. Plus, I was chaffed.

Re:It depends on intent I suppose. (1)

chisox (174306) | more than 13 years ago | (#432993)

Speaking of phone sex, how about this interesting use of a Nokia 8850 [theregister.co.uk] ?

OUCH! (1)

zombieking (177383) | more than 13 years ago | (#432995)

I would think that that would have to really hurt. Ever open up a computer? Of course you have. With all those sharp parts in there, it might not be cheating on your significant other, but it would sure cause a trip to the emergency room!

Haha...

Re:Is computer sex adultery? (3)

zombieking (177383) | more than 13 years ago | (#432998)

Yeah, but a foot massage is touching a woman in a farmiliar manner. Marsalis knew it, Mia knew it and Tony should have F'ing known better...

Re:Is computer sex adultery? (1)

tang (179356) | more than 13 years ago | (#433001)

1. computer : one that computes; specifically : a programmable electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data

(I'm leaving out the definitions that don't apply)
2. sex 3 a : sexually motivated phenomena or behavior b : SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

From the definition of "sex" we get "sexual intercourse" which we see is defined as:

1. sexual intercourse 1 : heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis : COITUS
2 : intercourse involving genital contact between individuals other than penetration of the vagina by the penis
(I'm going to skip the definition of COITUS,since I think the definition of sexual intercourse is good enough for our purposes.)
So...now we just combine them
So, it involves genital contact either with or without penetration of a programmable electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data.

Notice: I used http://www.ispep.cx/dictionary.php to look up all definitions. Check it out, Its pretty nice..runs linux, and very handy when you need definitions(like this instance).

Re:And we usher in... (1)

chompz (180011) | more than 13 years ago | (#433002)

Yes they did, but the businesses which run the servers they talked to were located in Calipornia. The companies which pimp out the girls online are perfectly legal, because no body is doing anything illegal (selling sex) in thier building. In fact, you can bet that many of the pron sites you go to have cyber-prostitution involved in them in some way.

Hey, Jon? (1)

LNO (180595) | more than 13 years ago | (#433006)

My husband doesn't understand me at all.. he's always off writing about anti-Geek conspiracies in the Corporate Republic. Will you .. will you make me feel like a woman again?

It's not adultery if we don't want it to be ...

Or, if that's too contrived..

hi jon a/s/l r u h0t hehehehehehe

Re:What about 900 numbers? (1)

jaydub99 (188487) | more than 13 years ago | (#433009)

That definition seems a little antiquated. A woman must be willing but a man does not? And by that definition (sexual intercourse), Prez Clinton did NOT commit adultery...riiiight

And is that yet another weak analogy I see? There is nothing illegal about phone sex, nor is there anything illegal about cybersex, even if you pay for it. The analogy is "is phone sex considered adultery?" Imagine your significant other talking dirty on the phone with a stranger. I would consider both to be adultery in my relationship, because there is a high level of emotional intimacy with a third party.

Re:Yes. Yes it is. (1)

tdandh (191232) | more than 13 years ago | (#433012)

I think the line should be drawn where there is a real person on the other end with whom you just might have a real relationship.

I don't think it will be a very straight line, though.

Re:Adultery and the Turing Test (1)

jonnystiph (192687) | more than 13 years ago | (#433013)

Wow sex with a PERL bot! the mind reels...I would say I am almost excited about that.

that happened to me once... (3)

jonnystiph (192687) | more than 13 years ago | (#433014)

I thought I was in love, and it turned out to be just a bad case of heart burn.

Re:Is it sweeps week? (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#433016)

Sure! At least /. doesn't have a Sex [plastic.com] section like Plastic...

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 13 years ago | (#433024)

The Bible is a standard for those who would accept it. If you don't accept it, what other standards are used to interpret social norms?

One's culture (and their immediate society) will attempt to define a standard but it is a loose definition that is often changed over time, with various social movements or interpreted many ways depending on what one's own view. Herein lies the problem with trying to answer the question of whether or not "computer sex" is considered adultery. The Bible says yes. Would "swingers" say "no"?

Whether any type of social conduct is acceptable or not is left to individuals, couples, or society depending on how many people a particular situation impacts. However, there are no standards so everything is left to interpretation.

BTW, not that it really matters, but my personal view is in accord with what the Bible says about adultery.

so love is the same everywhere... (1)

wd123 (209211) | more than 13 years ago | (#433026)

While reading the initial portion of this, it occured to me that love online is a lot like love in real life. It has its pitfalls, its triumphs and tragedies. The more said about the foibles of online love the more I thought about regular, every day, "real life" love. The more the internet merges with our lives like telephones and televisions, the more common it will be to find a partner online.

The circumstances may have changed, instead of selecting partners in many cases based on physical appearance, partners in many cases are being selected on the basis of intelligence. While physical appearance and age still play a part in online relationships, they are less significant. It may in fact be just one more domino falling as our evolution continues to shift focus from physical to mental prowess. Perhaps in one hundred years, the vast majority of relationships will be formed online, and only those who are matched on an intellectual level with their partner (not being equally intelligent, necessarily, but being mentally compatible in a strong way) will end up in relationships. Compare this to even one hundred years ago when dowrys and betrothal were still commonplace.

All said and done, it should be interesting to watch the continual progression of mankind into a world where information is more precious than gold, and life revolves around it. Romance is just one more channel in which this is happening now.
-wd
--
chip norkus(rl); white_dragon('net'); wd@routing.org
mercenary albino programmer for hire

Re:Yes. Yes it is. (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#433027)

I don't know if it's adultry or not, but you've gotta be pretty desperate to have sex with a computer! I mean, that's just plain gross!

Hum... (1)

local($punk) (211303) | more than 13 years ago | (#433028)

It's funny how people get so involved in every conversation here at Slashdot, even when it's based on a moronic subject like this one.
I think I saw this being discussed on 20/20 once.
--------------

Re:Biblical adultery (1)

vinnythenose (214595) | more than 13 years ago | (#433030)

They would however be fornicating which isn't looked to kindly upon in a biblical sense either.

Some G-Rated On-Line Romance (1)

brlewis (214632) | more than 13 years ago | (#433031)

Ask Your Sweetie [webappcabaret.com]

It lets you make a page with a yes/no question for someone to answer. They get back your prepared response according to the answer. You are e-mailed their answer.

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (1)

abdulwahid (214915) | more than 13 years ago | (#433032)

Yeah, I have to agree with you here...even though it sounds like a Springer 'Final Thought' message.

My wife and I both have strict religious views and we therefore expect each other to live by them. It is not for everyone though. People should be honest with each other about what they expect out of a relationship and where the limits are.

It is difficult when meeting people on-line though as peole can hide their lies easily. Therefore people should be extra cautious when exploring relationships on-line. It can work well though; I first met my wife on-line and we have now been happily married for a few years.

Computer sex is not only adultery. (2)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#433040)

It is a threat to bandwidth and system stability(much like Napster and Gnutella are). If I were in charge of a large LAN (over 1000 clients connected), then I would develop a blacklist of smut websites for the router to block out.

Sex has no place in the workplace. Period.

Yes (1)

R1chard Gere (221889) | more than 13 years ago | (#433041)

According to the LORD lust is a form of adultery.
Computer "sex" is lust, and therefore is adultrey, which goes aginst the LORD thy God.

Another note: Valentine's day is sinful enough without a Katz story on it.
----

And we usher in... (1)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 13 years ago | (#433043)

....the cyber-prostitute.

Legal US servers are located in Nevada.

Actually I think nightline did some sort of special on this.

Of course not... (1)

Overd0g (232552) | more than 13 years ago | (#433051)

given that we recently learned that felatio isn't sexual relations.

Re:oh my the quality of slashdot articles (1)

ReverendGraves (233320) | more than 13 years ago | (#433052)

Because the social impact of technology is often more important than the introduction of the new technology itself. For instance, it might be phenomenally exciting to the scientific and technological communities that new algorithms for compression are written, and that new, stronger crypto is possible, but to the "unwashed masses," what it all comes down to is that they can download larger amounts of crap in shorter times, and their credit cards aren't getting ripped off so frequently. Notice, some time, the prevalence of slashdot sigs that state some variant on the following:
"Too often scientists are concerned with the fact that they can, rather than the question of whethey they should."

Re:OUCH! (2)

billybob2001 (234675) | more than 13 years ago | (#433053)

I'm sorry, Dave - I can't let you do that.

And quit calling them Bay doors!

jon jon jon (1)

rppp01 (236599) | more than 13 years ago | (#433055)

Those links are supposed to take me somewhere outside of slashdot. Come on, take a little time, learn html, perhaps research, and then come back and try again.

mmmmmmmmmm, sweeeeeet sex - Homer

Re:Computer sex is not only adultery. (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 13 years ago | (#433060)

Who's talking about the workplace? I don't rememer the workplace ever being brought up.
----------

The Higher Law (2)

omnirealm (244599) | more than 13 years ago | (#433069)

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28

Absolutely. (2)

traphicone (251726) | more than 13 years ago | (#433071)

Yes, it's fucking adultery. And when it happens to you, you'll know *exactly* how right I am.

Re:Computer sex is not only adultery. (1)

Pete (big-pete) (253496) | more than 13 years ago | (#433073)


Big "if" there...

I think that if you were in charge of a large LAN, you'd have more to worry about than a bit of smut - besides, you think you have the ability to block access where so many people have failed before you, and what about emails? People can find love and romance through that medium just as well as any other.

-- Pete.

What about 900 numbers? (1)

sojiro (255286) | more than 13 years ago | (#433074)

Seems to me that while cybersex might be unfaithful, it doesn't quite match the definition of adultery, "sexual intercourse by a married man with another than his wife, or voluntary sexual intercourse by a married woman with another than her husband." (Websters)If it is adultery, then should we start busting phone sex companies for prostitution?

Well, live and let live... (3)

Leon Trotski (259231) | more than 13 years ago | (#433085)

I've read the opinions of a few people who insist that cyber-sex is pure fantasy. They don't see the interaction as being real since there is no physical contact. Each new "adventure" is usually with a different person, rarely the same person twice. The two do not develop a friendship prior to engaging in the act. It's much akin to a real time "one night stand." Neither party is interested in maintaining contact beyond the time they spent in a private room online. This sounds like harmless entertainment. I suppose this would depend on whether or not the people involved are in committed relationships, and if so, whether or not the significant others know, and/or approve, of the activity. Frequency might also be an issue. If cyber-sex is happening once a month it may be acceptable to a partner, but if happening three or four times a week, may not.

If I view cyber-sex, taking a religious stance (which is endlessly amusing), and understand the Bible correctly, its states that adultery begins in the heart, without ever having to physically perform the deed. If a married person is exchanging words describing sexual actions they're performing on someone else, even if it's all in the imagination, my guess is they're guilty of adultery. Likewise, if I were unattached and engaging in this behavior with a person who is married, it would be a wrongful act. If both parties are unmarried, I suppose it would fall under the category of fornication. I agree, if looking at cyber-sex from this perspective, it's wrong. These acts hurt, and go against, not only the scripture, but also the covenant of marriage.

Some say that engaging in cyber-sex has helped their relationship. Of this group, I've found that usually both partners are knowingly engaging in cyber-sex, usually in private, but sometimes together, often later sharing bits and pieces of their verbal exchange. They've allowed each other to explore their sexuality online. Sometimes one or the other will learn a new or different sexual technique and bring it to the bedroom, eager to experiment. If two people agree this behavior is acceptable, then who am I to disagree?

notabene: I'm unmarried but have a strong relationship since over 4 years (and yes, it's woman, you goatse pigs)...

Tough One (1)

bloodyhell (265737) | more than 13 years ago | (#433091)

Hard question to answer. It seems pretty obvious to me though. If you're in a commited relationship, you should be focusing on that person. Although, if you're not happy in the relationship and planning to leave anyways, then I guess it's ok. Still though, I found out recently that my girl and been having an online fling with someone, and it still hurt as much as if she had slept with him... When you find out the love of oyur life is doing something like that, it leads you to believe there are serious doubts about yourself and the relationship you're in. The questions..... What am I doing wrong, Do I not satisfy her emotionally, is there soemthing wrong with the relationship, is she really not as attracted to me as she says she is ... etc etc. So, even though like I said before, the physical contact wasn't there, but the mentality was, and if it wasn't online, I'm sure something physical would have happened... so really it's a judgement call. Think about how the other person in the relationship would feel, or rather, how YOU would if you found out....

Who Cares... (1)

1+1trouble (302912) | more than 13 years ago | (#433096)

...about sex *on* the computer? What we really need to be talking about is sex *with* the computer. I mean this new iFEEL mouse is great, but plastic and motors can only go so far...if you know what I mean.

Re:According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#433097)

I agree. Whether or not you take stock in religion or the Bible, exciting feelings that should be reserved for your significant other online is just as bad as doing it IRL.

Re:Computer sex is not only adultery. (1)

perlmunkee (304359) | more than 13 years ago | (#433099)

I would think that most encounters would take place at work. As popular as instant messaging is, I believe most people would try to hide an online relationship from their s.o. by limiting most of the interaction to times when they are not around said s.o.

Hmmm... (1)

ooze (307871) | more than 13 years ago | (#433102)

ShyDaisy: Hi, I'm new here.
MonsterDick: I'd guess so. Female?
BigJerk: WAHOOOOOOOO!
k3wlk1dd: I'm your man.
...
...
...
...
ShyDaisy:
ShyDaisy: You are all so nice.

That really should make you jealous!

Re:I was thinking the same thing (1)

Dick Richards (307933) | more than 13 years ago | (#433103)

Well she was bound to catch a virus of some sort, what with dating all of those hockey players.

Only if your spouse is a ... (1)

karmawhoeaaa2 (309448) | more than 13 years ago | (#433106)

computer!

Thank you goodcompany.com! (1)

babymac (312364) | more than 13 years ago | (#433108)

I met the woman I would marry in March of 1998. She was living in Los Angeles and I was in Nashville, Tennessee. We met via a web site that is now gone called goodcompany.com. Despite the 2000 mile separation, we hit it off beautifully. She moved to Tennessee to be with me and everything is peachy to this day. We were married in December of 1999.

As far as adultery is concerned...I simply wouldn't do it. Cyber or real. If you're emotionally invested in someone else, that's attention you really should be devoting to your spouse.

Of course it is! (3)

sharkticon (312992) | more than 13 years ago | (#433111)

This is another example of how morals have slipped in the current generation of techno-weenies, and how the separation of Church and State in schools has led to a vacuum where once children were taught the proper ways to behave. In case you don't get it, let me spell it out.

Adultery is intent as well as action!!

There, got it? Just because you're only typing at a keyboard, the intent is still there. It's just as immoral to try and fuck someone over the net (if sadder admiteddly) as it is in real life. In both cases, you're guilty of wanting to do something that you should only want to do with your partner!

And it's far more humiliating than just staring at other people is for your partner. I mean, how can people find a few words on a screen more appealing than their partner? It all seems pretty damn tragic to me, but then again, I have a life outside of computing.

And you can't use as a defence the fact that you aren't getting along with your partner. For a start that doesn't excuse immoral behaviour, and besides that if they really are that bad, find another partner! Nobody should be with someone they don't want to be with 100%.

I mean come on, this is a stupid question.

That depends. (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 13 years ago | (#433114)

I'm not sure if chatting counts as cheating (though I'm not one to do so anyway), but I would think that "Computer Sex" by use of the Ibrator [ibrator.com] or FsckU-FsckMe [fufme.com] (appears to be offline currently) constitutes cheating for sure.

Can't think of a witty subject (1)

BIGJIMSLATE (314762) | more than 13 years ago | (#433115)

IMO, if its something that you wouldn't want your significant other thinking/knowing about, then its adultery. If you know that if THEY knew about it, and would feel hurt, disappointed, angry, sad, WHATEVER, then yeah, its "adultery".

According to the Bible (for what it's worth) (4)

jamesarcher (315424) | more than 13 years ago | (#433116)

I quote this not as scripture (I know that many or most people here don't accept it as such), but just as one possible viewpoint and answer to the question:

Matthew, Chapter 5:
27: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Just a thought.

My sister did it all wrong (1)

helo2u (316026) | more than 13 years ago | (#433117)

She met some guy online, fell in love and ran off and married him knowing little more than what he put in his emails.

Big mistake. Funny thing is she is usually so practical and carefull about making changes.

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