By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Woe is the researcher who passes out in the midst of a kinky spanking in a Second Life dungeon.
Monday, August 4, 9:00 a.m.
Online acquaintances leave offline bruises I have to explain to the OBGYN. I fell down some stairs?
Thursday, August 7, 4:42 p.m.
After cheating two-timing husbands out of $2.75, I feel guiltier than they do about cheating in the first place. Thanks for confusing me, AshleyMadison.com!
A girl can get into a lot of trouble on the internetespecially a girl who writes about cybersex for a living. I have to spend a lot of time fornicating online, some for research, some for pleasure. So every Wednesday, I document the good, the bad, the awkward, and the hilarious for the Voice's sisterly San Francisco publication. The column, which comes out each Wednesday, follows up an earlier piece I wrote on cybersex bloggingthe fine art of divulging details of my online sex life to the internet. Here're some highlights from the first four weeks of not-so-secret debauchery.
Friday, July 18, 4:45 p.m.I'm getting spanked in Second Life, but Id rather be sleeping. As of the other day, Ive started a new bout of Second Life research for a piece Im writing on BDSM in the virtual world. It sounded like fun, until I remembered the hours of undercover researchi.e. wandering Second Life searching for kinky sexmy avatar and I would be forced to endure. Its not that I dont enjoy Second Life sex. But when doing research like this its not about what I want, its about observing what other people want. That means moaning along, however absurdly.
By the time I'd found a partner on the night in question (snagged from the crowd at club Bound and Determined) it was 11:00 PST. In my pajamas, curled up on my squishy, real-life bed, I was honestly a lot more interested in sleep than in the male avatar who decided I needed a spanking. First he had me undress. Then he unceremoniously tied me to a bed. I waded through the long pauses in his text, which implied he was actually enjoying watching the animations of our avatars clumsily grinding together. Eventually he put me over his knee and began smacking my avatars ass. The pose ball he was using, however, was poorly programmed, so he appeared to be smacking the air around me. Hot.
By that point it was midnight, I had an hour of cybersex transcript to work with, and my love of bed outweighed my interest in getting somebody off. So I feigned connection issues and disappeared. Its not a nice thing to do, I know, but even a cybersex researcher has got to get her beauty rest.
Monday, August 4, 9:00 p.m.
Remember how I thought I might be losing my faith in online dating, and specifically in hipster love site OkCupid? Well, my faith has definitely been restoring. After a weekend of offline fun with the internet boy I mentioned last week, my extremely bruised inner thighs are evidence of that. Amusingly enough, Ive been to both a communal spa and the OBGYN since having my legs bitten raw in fits of passion. I warned the doctor it looked like Id been in a car accident before I removed the little paper sheet covering my black and blue marks. She muttered something about consensual, I said definitely, and she tried not to look disapproving. As for the spa, Im hoping my bruises paled in comparison to the shock of the cold dunking poolwhich is a horror no naked person should have to enduretherefore rendering them invisible. The truth is though, Im proud of my marks, even if wearing a skirt over the next week or two will mean preparing to tell strangers, I fell down some stairs.Thursday, August 7, 4:42 p.m.
I feel guilty I'm making cheaters, liars, and two-timers pay $2.75 to contact me. There's something wrong here.
This week I've been doing research into Ashley Madison, the social networking site for people who want to cheat on their spouses. Of course, in order to write the piece, I needed to know what the site itself was like, and that meant signing up for an account. Within minutes, I had a stream of instant messages from men in the Bay Area. There was nothing so blunt as, "I'm married. You're married. Let's have sex," but plenty of "Do you come here often?" Not being interested in having an affairfor that matter, not even being marriedI didn't think anything of ignoring their messages, letting them flirt awkwardly to themselves. That is, until I remembered that Ashley Madison works on a pay model. Users buy "credits"100 for $55and have to dole them out whenever they want to chat up a new person. Each contact costs five credits. That means I cost each of those men $2.75.Honestly, I feel really bad about that. Bad enough I considered blowing my humble research cover by posting a line in my profile that read "I'm a money sink-hole!" Still, there's something really weird about my priorities on. While I can't say I 100% support Ashley Madison, my issues with them are based on the fact that they dont encourage openness. In the overall though, the sacred institution of marriage isn't something I'm too worried about. The sacred institution of not wasting money, however, I feel pretty darn strong on. Loose morals, tight budget. Maybe that's why I prefer cybersex to real-life dating. Just as many people get off and no one has to pay for drinks.
Previously in Click Me: Who Needs Monogamy When There's the Internet?
Click Me runs weekly on villagevoice.com. Got a question about cybersex? Write to your friendly cyberhood sexpert Bonnie Ruberg to ask advice or to share stories about sex and the internet: bonnie [at] heroine-sheik [dot] com.