Cybersex On the InternetCYBERSEX ON THE INTERNET

Close your eyes...

Lips move slowly down your body, lightly brushing your skin forming tiny goosebumps. You quiver slightly in anticipation of what's to come. A tongue slides forward from the lips, moving slowly downward, leaving a trail of light moisture, causing an involuntary shiver as the warmth of the moisture cools in the night air....

Your lover leads you to the place of your making, the fantasy bed, the fantasy sheets.. The fantasy plays out in your mind, precisely the way you want it. It is almost more pleasure than you can stand, but not quite. The passion between you and your lover is unbridled and unmatched, your breathing light and rapid as you, behind closed eyes, embrace the fantasy completely.

This is how it has always been. Perhaps it is the voice on the phone that starts the process. Perhaps it is merely the light brush of sheets on a warm summer night, or a gentle touch. Whatever it is that has traditionally started the process, there seems to be no explanation for the phenomenon of CyberSex. By definition, CyberSex is the act of having sex or making love, between two or more people, in a chatroom or in e-mails, without ever hearing the voice of the other. Viewing words typed on a screen, the participants in cybersex declare that they have engaged in some of the most satisfying sex they have ever experienced - and I wonder how that can be?

I suppose it is the ability to act as they have only imagined they could act, in their fantasies, and are now presented with the unique opportunity to act out their fantasy with another. To be the uninhibited exhibitionist, the sadist, the masochist, the dominator or dominatrix. The possibilities are endless.

For most people who participate in CyberSex, it is perceived as harmless. A temporary rush of excitement for behaving so naughtily, discussing acts they have only ever imagined in their fantasies, with a total stranger, behind the total anonymity and safety of their computer. But is it so anonymous? In fact - it is not.

For example, there are programs freely downloadable on the internet that allows one user to complete a scan of all users in a chatroom, to determine their approximate geographic location by IP (Internet Provider) address. Given the fact that most people don't lie about their georgraphic location much, they can match the approximate address they get from their program, to the location you've given to them. If you've lied, that makes it harder for them to pin you down. If no IP addresses match your given location, they are at a loss and must then utilize a process of elimination.

Enter programs such as Back Orafice or Hijack (not the photo program). Programs like this, similar to laplink, allow the would-be stalker to use your IP address to trace your computer's unique identification number. Every computer has one. They use a simple Trace program that comes resident in your DOS (Disk Operating System). Once they have your computer's ID number, they can use your computer as if you were using it yourself.

Keep personal information about yourself on your computer? If you've ever sent out a letter that had your address and phone number, even on a word processing program, they "could" access it. Now of course, I'm talking the relatively sophisticated user who would want to access this information.

Most people, in general, are like everybody else engaged in CyberSex. They have jobs, they are relatively normal, have families and have some type of social life away from their computer. They would be mortified to think that anyone else would want to track them down and are quite content to remain anonymous, enjoying private liasons with others who, like them, have found a means to live out fantasies with others. The perfect medium to satisfy their desires and curiosities without ever being identified. But there are those who want more.

Cyber Stalkers exist to find more than the casual one-nighter. They, by their own explanations of the effect, fall in love. Anyone who has ever studied stalkers knows that Stalkers aren't the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. The quality of their "love" is twisted, and they will, quite literally, stop at nothing to initiate real life contact with the object of their affection. They seem perfectly nice, quite normal, until they're scorned. Then your life becomes a living hell. They can get your address, phone number, anything they want. You find your real life and your cyberlife are no longer separate as you receive offensive snail mail and annoying phone calls. The tragedy is that until a cyberstalker develops into a real life nightmare, the police won't do much for you. Try telling them that your e-mailbox is flooded with threats. Try telling them that you're terrified of someone you've never met. Uh huh..

It's incumbent upon you to protect yourself. There exists a tendency to simply give too much information about yourself over the net - to absolute strangers. Why? I have yet to figure that one out. You needn't tell anyone you engage in private fantasy-sharing with anything at all. Not the area where you live, not your name, nothing. But if you've ever told anyone else, and say a cyberstalker gets friendly with them, they could get it. They don't need to get into your computer to get the info - even a friend's will do.

There are several protection programs and personal firewalls available - and they're reasonably priced. Not a bad investment if you ask me. The point to all of this is, CyberSex is as new a phenomenon as people meeting through matching sites and falling in love in real life. It happens, and as computers come down in price and internet access becomes more readily available, it will happen more frequently. People shouldn't have to have had horrible experiences to find their way to this site, they should be able to utilize basic common sense. If you wouldn't give a total stranger in real life any information about you - why would you give it to a total stranger online? It's MORE DANGEROUS than real life! Your computer contains information about you!

Finally, there is a new danger to those who practice harmless CyberSex on the net. Internet Adultery. Are you laughing yet? If you haven't read This Associated Press Article yet - you should. If you send sexually explicit or descriptive e-mail to anyone else, or delete transcripts of your chats with others, be aware. Delete doesn't quite mean gone forever. There are no shortage of utility programs that can recover this information with ease. And if you live in a state that isn't a no-fault state, this information can be used against you in a divorce proceeding. The proof is in This Link. Don't take CyberSex to be the harmless, casual, fun exploration you perceive it to be. Most of the actions that occur on the internet have yet to be defined - this one area, though, has.

Be careful, use common sense, practice discretion - confide only in real life friends unless you have no choice - and even then, try not to give out too much information about yourself.


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