Still, says Machulis, teledildonics are “changing long-distance relationships for the better,” allowing couples to “finally be physical over the wire.” And, he argues, we “haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg” in the field of virtual sex toys.Allowing separated couples to stay in touch, almost literally, is only one of the many positive aspects that virtual-sex advocates see in the refinement of — and increasingly widespread access to — cyber-sex technologies.
“Having sex with the same person can become routine, boring,” she says. But if you’re married and keeping it a secret, it’s a problem.” Regina Lynn defines the issue this way: “Does your partner know, and does your partner consent?Lying is cheating.” “Everyone’s always interested in where the line [with cheating] lies,” says Cory Silverberg. I don’t know where the real user was located, but our virtual meeting space within Second Life was called “The Netherlands.” Or maybe “she” was really a he, controlling a female avatar. If it’s not clear already, “virtual sex” can be a little complicated. But there was a real person on a computer somewhere in the world making her avatar have sex with my avatar by clicking a pink ball on the ground.“An interest in what constitutes infidelity isn’t new. In virtual life, everyone wants to push those boundaries a little bit.” Which brings me back to my wife.
I click over to virtuallyjenna.com, “the official videogame of Jenna Jameson,” where paying users can have their way with a digital embodiment of the porn star.
“You could walk a couple through a facilitated session,” she says, “while they are in the privacy of their own bedroom.” Cory Silverberg, a sexual health educator and founding member of Come As You Are, an education-based sex store in Toronto, says, “What’s good about cybersex is that it allows people to conceive of new possibilities,” whether that means a disabled person gaining greater access to the sexual sphere or someone “fulfilling their fetish fantasies beyond anything that we could have imagined.” The keys to healthy virtual sex, he says, include consent of all partners, a “sense of good will” (not going out and “trolling and stalking online”), and a respect for boundaries — “making sure that you’re not exposing more real information about yourself than you’re really comfortable with.” Like any technology, though, virtual sex comes with its risks.
Kimberly Young, Ph D, who is the founder and director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pennsylvania, agrees that virtual worlds can allow individuals to explore new types of sexual behavior.
She was an avatar in Second Life, the online, 3D, digital world developed by San Francisco company Linden Labs.
There are many ways to share sex with people in virtual spaces, and you still have to communicate to the other person what you like and don’t like. That’s part of what turns people on.” From adult video games to instant messaging and chat rooms to web cams to online interactive worlds to Internet-enabled sex toys, the means for enjoying erotic experience via a remote connection seem to be multiplying faster than you can say “teledildonics.” For the uninitiated, teledildonics (or cyberdildonics) refers to sex toys that can be controlled with a computer.
“Just install the software,” says Sinulate’s web site, “plug in your Interactive Fleshlight, and pick a partner!