The sexy side of the internet: an examination of sexual activities and materials in Cyberspace

Monica T. Whitty, William A. Fisher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

“Every technological innovation creates deviant as well as respectable possibilities” (Edgley & Kiser, 1981, p. 59). Edgley and Kiser (1981) were referring to “Polaroid sex,” that is, instant photography methods used to create homemade pornography. A quarter of a century later, this statement may equally be applied to the Internet. Ever since the beginnings of the World Wide Web, people have engaged in online sexual activities. These activities include, but are not limited to, cybersex, hot chatting, locating others to have sex with offline, seeking information or advice about sexual health, romance and relationships, downloading pornography, and purchasing erotic materials. In this chapter, we explore the many types of available online sexual activities and the types of people who engage in these activities. We also examine the pros and cons of the sexy side of the Internet. On the one hand, we argue that the Internet can be used to explore one's sexuality, but on the other, some people become too obsessed with engaging in online sexual activities. Importantly, the Internet can also be used to educate both adolescents and adults about sexual issues. Finally, this chapter turns to examine the future of online sexual activities. The Beginnings of Internet Sex People have been engaging in Internet sexual activities since its inception. Although at first individuals were limited to textual exchanges, many found no difficulties with talking “dirty” online and reconstructing the body online.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychological Aspects of Cyberspace
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research, Applications
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages185-208
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780511813740
ISBN (Print)9780521873017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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