Telling the Internet My Dirty Little Secrets

First-person tales from a cybersex expert

Friday, July 18, 4:45 p.m.

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.

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

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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 internet—especially 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 blogging—the 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 I’d rather be sleeping.

As of the other day, I’ve started a new bout of Second Life research for a piece I’m writing on BDSM in the virtual world. It sounded like fun, until I remembered the hours of undercover research–i.e. wandering Second Life searching for kinky sex–my avatar and I would be forced to endure. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Second Life sex. But when doing research like this it’s not about what I want, it’s 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 avatar’s 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. It’s 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, I’ve 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 I’d 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, I’m hoping my bruises paled in comparison to the shock of the cold dunking pool—which is a horror no naked person should have to endure—therefore rendering them invisible. The truth is though, I’m 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 affair—for that matter, not even being married—I 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 $55—and 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 don’t 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.

 
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