OMG, That Woman I Had Cybersex with Is Really a Man!

Dancing at Dream Girls: an escort club in Second Life that specifically doesn't test the gender of its workers

“Hi, I’m Anna. I love to fuck. You should come play with my sweet bagina.”

On the internet, gender is a strange thing. You can be whoever you want—which pretty much just means you never know who the heck anybody is. Add cybersex to the mix, and things turn even more confusing. Ever get the sneaking feeling that the self-proclaimed twenty-five-year-old blond who’s spent the last five minutes describing her “enormous tits” might not be a girl at all? Or that the sexy, slim brunette who seems profoundly confused by female anatomy—and the spelling of her own body parts—might actually be busy jerking off on the other end of the screen?

If these are the sorts of worries that keep you from logging into IRC, you’re not alone. At least once a week I hear an anxious cyberer lament something along these lines (taken from a recent reader e-mail):


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

“I’ve been cybering for a long time, but I don't really cyber as much as I used to. These days, I like to get to know someone better and have some time to talk to them through webcam and voice chat before we cyber. That’s because I’ve been lied to by too many guys. I want to cyber/cam with women. That can be very tough. Guys are fine, and there's nothing wrong with that. But I’m not bi: I only want women. And there are a lot of guys out there who pretend to be women. So I have gotten selective.

There’s an unspoken question here. Without a webcam or voice chat, how can I tell for sure whether I’m cybering with a man or a woman?

The short answer: you can’t. In chat rooms and virtual worlds, people switch their genders all the time. Statistics show that half of the female characters you meet in online games are actually men. In Second Life the male-to-female ratio is slightly more even, but still. The odds are against you.

Why do people switch genders online? Sometimes it’s for fun. Sometimes it’s to get free stuff (lots of online gamers claim that women characters receive more presents from other players). Sometimes it’s to get off. But the reason doesn’t really matter. The fact is, getting it on with someone who turns out to be different than what you expected is a fact of internet life. I’ve explained before how I once had a long standing thing with a hot, young surfer who turned out to be a pot-bellied father of three. It happens to the best of us.

With that said, if it’s really important to you that the person on the other end of the screen is 100% certified, grade-A choice female, there are a couple of clues (i.e. generalizations) in a chat environment you can look for.

So you’re talking with this “girl.” First, keep an eye on her language. Pay attention to how she speaks, not what she’s saying. (Great relationship advice, right?) Does she use full sentences? Does she pay attention to spelling and grammar? No one’s perfect when they type online, but women are usually a lot more careful. You can also look for feminine hiccups, like smiley faces and “lol”s. Then again, if I were trying to imitate a girl on the internet, I’d probably use a lot of those things, too. Of course, some guys don't even try.

If you can’t tell by her language, sometimes the sex itself gives something away. Does she jump right in? Does she want foreplay and long, sexy descriptions, or are twenty lines of “Oh yeah, I’m fucking you so hard” enough to do her good? Men want instant gratification, women want build-up: it’s a stereotype, but sometimes it’s true. If all else fails, there are always more obvious clues, like her personal profile. Of course, it would take a pretty sloppy cyberer to leave up “male, 34” when she’s presenting “female, 25.” Worst comes to worst, you could always ask her: “Are you also a woman in real life?” Sure, she might be offended. Sure, she might lie. But if she says “no,” at least you haven’t wasted your time.

More important though is to ask yourself: does it really matter? So what if you’re talking to a man, not a woman? For straight men, there’s the fact that you’re, well, straight. But you're not having sex with the person behind the screen, you're having sex with an online persona. When you boil it down, all cybersex is one big mutual fantasy. Some of the best online sex I’ve ever had was with an American GI--a real man’s man--pretending to be a female submissive. It’s about imagination. So if you’re having a good time, you might as well just kick back and enjoy it—even if it means blocking out thoughts of the-penis-that-could-be, thousands of miles away.

Last week: Work Those Pink Panties: Exploring Fetishes Through Cybersex

Click Me runs weekly. Contact cybersex columnist Bonnie Ruberg at bonnie[at]heroine-sheik[dot]com.

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