Aug 1 2013 | 10 Comments
DOES INTERNET SEX COUNT AS AN AFFAIR?
It was just fifteen years ago that Bill Clinton announced oral sex did not count as real sex. Today, not one to be upstaged by these low level poseur cheating Mayors and former Governors an old tape of a phone call emerged where Monica is luring Bill the old fashion way, with her voice and promises of pleasure.
No out of focus photos of her boobs or genitalia snapped on the run with an iPhone. No endless back and forth of steamy online chatter or snippets of sexting – Bill and Monica cheated in the real way; they got together and did the nasty in the closet and under a desk.
When I read this this morning it got me thinking, though I have pondered it before, most of us have, what does online flirting and innuendo and outright sexual banter mean if the people are not together? If they don’t really know each other is it just a game of sexy make-believe or are you cheating on your spouse or significant other? Are you causing pain and breaking vows?
Is it an affair or isn’t it?
If a BJ doesn’t count how big a deal is a Tweet or two or two hundred?
They are a much bigger deal then many might think. Though I don’t actually know what most people think.
In preparation for this post I asked a therapist what really counted as infidelity and he said anytime someone makes another person cum, that’s sex.
So if you have given or received pleasure on a phone, a Skype or a keyboard, you have cheated. In case you were wondering where you stood on the fidelity scale.
And thanks to the Internet this form of of cheating has become rampant. They are actually called “online affairs”
A group of people who might have continued on in Camp Monogamous are now riveted, titillated and lured into sexual situations online, that are made way too easy and can be justified away with “It’s just an email. I didn’t do anything”. “I never even met them.”
An article that appeared in the American Psychological Association had this to say.
“It’s not that you’re communicating with someone but that there is a sexual or emotional nature. With the internet we’re moving away from just physical ideas about infidelity and acknowledging emotional infidelity.”
Staying with the topic of former Presidents does this mean that Jimmy Carter’s “lusting in his heart “ might have had a more dramatic storyline if he had had access to hornyhomemakers.com?
The computer makes it too easy. Access is often the trigger for a trip down straying lane. It’s one of the reasons the boss running off with the secretary is such a staple in American folklore. But it’s not folklore. The office being one of the only places people used to spend most of their time outside of the home led to many an affair. I know from what I speak, my father ran off with his secretary when I was four years old.
I know several people who have gotten the drunken BJ from the paralegal at the office Christmas Party. Back in the olden days, ten years ago, the office was the main place you had to find someone for extracurricular activities.
Of course one can meet someone at a party or on a plane, but then there has to be follow through. Someone has to make a phone call, that usually means sneaking out of the house or using that fossil – the public telephone to cover your tracks. Then you had to meet up somewhere you wouldn’t be seen, book a hotel. Not only was it complicated and time consuming, it was expensive.
But now all sorts of fun can be had right in your purse or pocket or on your desk. In his act, Louis C.K. says “Every couple in America is clutching a cell phone they don’t want their mate to see.”
What begins as the casual occasional email is soon endless daily communication. It feels like the rest of life online. Nothing illicit about it at all. And because it’s online you can be anyone you want to be. The husband who feels misunderstood and labeled emotionally lazy by his wife can turn himself into a macho, poetic soul. His hidden self suddenly has not only a voice but hears open and willing to hear it. The slightly nerdy, publically disgraced former Congressman can be Carlos Danger. And the not looking so great any more, sexually blocked wife can instantly be her teenage, flirty self, the self she thought was long gone.
In fact there is a whole subculture of the subculture that is devoted to former flames who meet up on Facebook and pick up where they left off in the tenth grade
Since most people I know who have had affairs of any kind say “It makes me feel like I’m fifteen again.” This makes perfect sense.
And then of course many don’t stay online. Often times the easy back and forths that started with a few come hither emails eventually lead to booked hotel rooms. In fact the same article states that -
“Almost two-thirds of the participants in one study reported they had met and had sex with their Internet partners.”
No more excuses – the shit hits the proverbial fan.
Several studies suggest that even when there is no in-person contact, online affairs can be just as devastating as the real world-variety, triggering feelings of insecurity, anger and jealousy.
Which pretty much means one thing if it walks like a duck…don’t start emailing with it.