Coming Out Cybersexy

The delicate art of telling people that you're an online hussy

The day I sit down, look my mother in the eye, and tell her I like having sex with strangers on the internet is the day I choke myself with a giant glittery dildo. The day my mother Googles me, on the other hand, and uncovers my shameless rants about sleeping with various virtual playmates for the sake of decadent “research” . . . Well, that day came long ago. Plus, apparently I have no gag reflex. So here I am.

The point is this: no matter how sex positive or proud you are, coming out as a cybersex enthusiast to your family and friends can be downright hard. Despite the opening of a few select minds, when most people hear “sex on the internet,” they still think of perverts, pedophiles and other nasty creatures that go bump in the chat-room night. So whether you decide of your own free will to “come out”—or whether a chat window left open does the outing for you—you should be armed with some tactics less drastic than sex toy asphyxiation for explaining your online sex life to the people in your real one.

Your mother: In that horrible moment of truth when your mom calls you up wanting to know who BigCock4U is and why he’s sent so many e-mails to the account you logged into from her computer, remember two things: 1) You should be able to be honest about your sexuality with someone so important to you and 2) She’s your mother, so she’s required by law to love you no matter how stupid the name of your online lover. My mother for one deals with my “work” by using it as a conversation starter (“Do you know what my wacky daughter does for fun?”) Of course, if you panic, you can always claim those emails are Spam—which both baffles and horrifies mothers over 50.

image via 3wishes.com

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Heroine Sheik
Bonnie Ruberg's blog about sex, tech, gender, and videogames

Your best friend: Sure, she’s looking at you like you’ve been replaced by some desperate, sex-crazed alien, but you know about that time last week she went home with a tattooed plumber only to pass out in his lap before she could get her pants off (sorry dear, but it’s true). So really, who’s to judge? After explaining that cybersex can be a fun part of a healthy sex life, drop some hints about your own juicy exploits. Soon you may find you have a partner in crime.

Your new party acquaintance: Sometimes, despite all rules of karmic fairness, someone you’ve just met gets wind of your habits. Maybe another friend mentions your proclivity for cybersex. Maybe you accidentally reference a hot chat room threesome. Maybe your mother, like mine, thinks it’s a hilarious topic to bring up among strangers. Whatever the case, play it cool. Hold your head high and resist the urge to slink into the corner of blushing denial. My rehearsed speech: “I know it sounds strange, but it’s safe and really liberating. You’d be surprised how many people do it but don’t talk about it because people judge them.” Of course, that’s when you look at your new friends with a stare that says, “Thankfully, you’re not like that, right?”

Your date: Upon revealing that they like to caress strangers in the dark corners of the internet, women can often convince their new beaus that they’re expressing their wild--and therefore highly appealing--sexual sides. Men, unless they’re sharing a romantic milkshake with a particularly progressive lady, will probably have to play cybersex off as a minor indulgence. Don’t worry, boys, no one’s actually telling you to give it up for a girlfriend. With some playful experimentation, I’ve found even the most tech-scared dates can be coaxed into typing out a few sexy lines once back home. They won’t even know they’re having couples’ cybersex, the adorable fools.

Your employer: Since most bosses aren’t keen on philandering on company time, let’s hope you haven’t been caught having cybersex in the office—unless of course your job is to write a column on the topic, in which case it’s so totally work, right? For those employed by a less libidinous nine-to-five, coming out to your boss can be delicate. Will the person who signs your paychecks respect your “part of a healthy sex life” rant, or fire you and phone To Catch a Predator? As long as you haven’t been caught red handed, I recommend smiling and changing the subject. Neither confirm nor deny. Cybersex pride is important, but so is having a job.

Your grandmother: How did she find out anyway? Try my tactic: sugar coat, sugar coat, sugar coat—then distract her with the wonders of technology. “Oh, grandma, everyone my age is doing it. It’s just a way to meet nice boys (or insert other gendered noun here) before settling down. Besides, it’s all on the internet, so it’s barely even real.” Remember, in her day, cybersex was done by Morse code.

Your mother-in-law: Possibly the most awkward person to come out to in the history of everyone everywhere, mother-in-laws will look at you with that double air of disappointment and disapproval that says quite clearly, “You do what while married to my child?” Apparently my own mother-in-law-to-be is herself quite adept at Google searches—which means there’s little left to her imagination when it comes to her future daughter-in-law. In my experience, it’s best to let your significant other explain, then the “legally required to love” clause kicks in. In the meantime, whether you avoid the subject or stand tall, slip in a little something extra for her next Mother’s Day. Everyone has their price.

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