LINK IT: HERE
Sheryl Turkle introduced us to the concept of Virtual Sex in MUDs in the reading we had due for class on Monday. This whole concept is very interesting and intriguing in my mind. We have spent the past few classes discussing MUDs and the concept in general and some of the pros and cons of using them. We have just recently gotten into some very interesting questions regarding what actually goes on in these MUDs and in particular the concept of Virtual Sex. Turkle elaborates on this concept and defines it as, “consists of two or more players typing descriptions of physical actions, verbal statements, and emotional reactions for their characters.” What we discussed in class to a certain extent is how people that are playing as different genders engage in these activities with genders that in real life would be considered homosexual relationships. I mean you have women playing men, men playing women, people playing animals, and people playing as transsexuals.
All of these people are having sex with one another and most of the time is basing their entire online experiences around these sexual relationships. Turkle gives us an example of Tim and Janet, where Tim was having online sex with a virtual partner without his wife, Janet, knowing about it. Once Janet found out about this, Tim swore he would stop, but Janet is still wondering if his activities have ceased. This leads to the question that we have posted on the forums, discussed in class, and find here in the readings, “Are these sexual experiences in these virtual communities hurting marriages and real life relationships.”
Another example that Turkle gives is with Rudy and his girlfriend. While dating he found out that she was regularly having sex on the internet and it was usually with women. He broke off the relationship after this information was uncovered. A great quote that I think sums up this whole topic we are discussing is from Rudy, “We are not ready for the psychological confusion this technology can bring.” I believe this sums up the idea of virtual sex has done for relationships, marriages, etc. It seems to bring about a sense of confusion to all parties involved