By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Experts say that the majority of the most heavily trafficked sites on the Weband the ones making loads of cashare those devoted to sex. Pornography does appear to rule the Internet, giddy in its ability to show anything and everything. Its print and video counterparts are subject to obscenity laws and community standards, which hold them back from getting really raunchy. But in the dotcom world, golden showers, enemas, bestiality, and other bizarre sex acts are par for the course. In addition to downloading pictures, reading stories, watching streaming video, and, for big bucks, interacting with a real live girl online, people are meeting each other in cyberspace. Sure, there are AA support groups and chat rooms to sound off on political issues, but most of the people communicating online are not exactly exchanging recipes. I know plenty of people taking full advantage of this carnal free-for-all, but I admit that I was until recently a cybersex virgin.
As you may know by now, I tend to like my bump-and-grind in the flesh. But in the interest of adventure and satisfying my own curiosity, I decided to fire up the modem and see if I could get laid. I don't have America Online, the service with by far the most chat rooms (they call them "communities"), so I had to go to my girlfriend's house for my experiment. I probably would have gone there anyway, since I have an old Mac that runs Netscape 3.0 (how '90s of me!), which crashes at the mere mention of a Java application or anything else worth running while you surf.
At her place while she was at work, I signed on and jumped into the AOL chat rooms. I decided to go anywhere that sounded like a dungeon or s/m space. In one room, I "listened" as several tops bullied willing bottoms, and all I could think was: I'd rather be stuck in traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. A few people sent me instant messages with really bad come-ons, which I ignored. I decided quickly that America Online does not hold the key to my orgasm.
I surfed over to a new Web site that calls itself "the spot for female sexuality." Libida.com offers users erotica, an online sex-toy store, and features on everything from a 600-man porn gang bang to the effects of antidepressants on your sex drive. After answering a few brief questions, you can even calculate the exact time of the month when you are most in the mood. What bizarrely organized computer horndog wrote that program? I also checked out the "How To" section, but the only information available was how to give a great blow job. Not exactly one of my most pressing concerns at the moment. Plus, in the "Advanced Tips," it offered these mind-blowing lessons: "Use your hand around the base of his penis to control how deep he goes into your mouth. You can start a blowjob when your partner's penis is flaccid and stimulate him to erection. Run your hands over his inner thighs as your mouth moves on his shaft. Keep your teeth away from his penis, or very, very lightly rub them against him while sucking." DuhI am a dyke and even I know that. I finally registered to chat, but, sadly, there was no one in any of the rooms of the Libida Lounge.
Dejected, I moved on to nerve.com, which promised me a "community of thoughtful hedonists" in the Nerve Center. I signed up and picked a user name announcing my intentions: buttgirl, of course. After the marketing hedonists probed me for details about my tax bracket and other demographic possibilities, I clicked Enter and the screen announced: "Play ball, buttgirl!" This seemed very promising, and I even felt a little twitch between my legs. I headed to the most crowded chat room, the Bar; when I got there, I immediately caught the attention of Fred, who proclaimed, "She backs that thing up in a single bound!" Now that's a good opening line. Everyone in the Bar was talking about teaI kid you not, different kinds of tea because one of them had a sore throat. Where were all the thoughtful hedonists? Fred seemed like my best and only chance to get some, so I convinced him to follow me into an "empty" room. Then I made my move.
I started by telling him I wanted to have sex, and he seemed quite agreeable. He said he was a guy, but I just pretended he was a butch dyke. We did some back-and-forth flirting. I told him I was a leggy redhead with a tattoo on my inner thigh. He told me he was getting hard. Geez, guys are so easy. He interrupted our dialogue with "Do you want to do this on the phone?" I wanted to say, "Fred, I am trying to have cybersex as an experiment, and I am going to write about it in The Village Voice, so having phone sex with you would defeat the whole purpose. Besides, if you would just play along and fuck me online, I can make you famous!" Instead, I simply responded, "No, Fred, I am happy just where we are." I told him to get on his knees while I undressed for him. Whenever he seemed a little too pushy, I told him that either he was going to be a good boy and shut up, or I was leaving. He agreed and promised he would be good. I can spot a submissive man a mile away, and, apparently, even across the information superhighway. I continued to tease him as quickly as I could type, which isn't as fast as I think.
Then my cell phone rang, and I had to pick it up because I was actually expecting an important call. It turned out to be my girlfriend, who must have intuited that I was having, or trying to have, sex with someone else. And on her computer no less.
"Where are you?"
"At your place."
"What are you doing at my house? I thought you were working on a column."
"Um, I am, honey. Can I call you back?"
Meanwhile, Fred was getting antsy, and asked me two more times, "Are you absolutely sure that you do not want to do this on the phone?"
"I'm sure, Fred, I am sure." I tried to get back on track, but after a few lines, Fred said, "Buttgirl, this isn't really working for me. I am going back to the bar. Bye." But Fred! I am Buttgirl, and I am here to play ball! Unfortunately, no one would play with me. My eyes were glazing over from staring at the computer screen for so long, and I was sick of typing. Alone in my girlfriend's house, I decided to hunt for a vibrator and wait for her to get home from work.
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