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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Online Life and Netsex or Cybersex

Online Life and Netsex or Cybersex
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Author(s): Jonathan Marshall (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Eileen M. Trauth (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch148


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Netsex, or cybersex, may be thought of as the mutual textual simulation, or narration, of sexual activity between people online. Branwyn (1993, p. 786) divides Netsex into three different types. First is that in which people “describe and embellish real-world circumstances” such as touching themselves, taking their clothes off, and so on. They may or may not be performing these actions, but probably not if they are typing reasonably steadily. The second type involves “a pure fantasy scenario” in which people jointly create a story with relatively coherent expectations. This can be performed before an audience. The third type involves one party giving instructions to another who supposedly performs them. These techniques involve textual references to sexually charged notions of gender (anatomy, actions, clothing, and so on), which are frequently exaggerated to fit the story. It is now possible to transmit real-time video pictures from a camera attached to a person’s computer, and this may also be used for Netsex. However, people often express ambivalence about this, perhaps because it emphasises the distance between people, is not as mutually intense, or because it increases possible disjunctions. The disruption of expectations of narrative in Netsex is often a source of online humour. A final, often mentioned, but currently fictional form of Netsex is virtual teledildonics, in which a complete sensory field is simulated via electronics.

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