What You Should Know About Virtual Sex
Due to a tragic story out of Canada, chatter about sexting is on the rise again. I want to point out that this is not new. A couple years back there was a rash of sexting-related suicides in the United States, which actually prompted this study. So either people live in a box, or they just don’t care. I am going to actually go with a blend of the two.
People care, but they live in this boxed thinking that either says, “No one I know is doing that” or “That bad stuff will never happen to me.”
But I also understand another box, the box of people who honestly and sincerely have no idea what is going on. They know something is happening but don’t know what it means and don’t know what to look for. Here’s some things that might help.
The World of Virtual Sex
Sexting is one of the newest manifestations of virtual sex. Virtual sex as used here refers to non-physical sexual encounters with another person. Virtual sex differs from pornography in that it actually involves interaction with other human beings. Pornography is observation. Virtual sex differs from sex in that it involves no physical contact with the person other than through electronic (virtual) means.
When I struggled, in the late 90′s early 2000′s, cell phones were as big as a shoe and for emergencies only. The internet seemed relatively new, and digital cameras were a nuance. In those days, virtual sex was either through phone sex or cyber sex (‘cybering’). Today, it has many faces, not the least of which is sexting.
Phone sex is pretty much what it sounds like. Person A calls Person B on the phone and they talk each other through sex acts. There are actual phone numbers dedicated to this service.
Cyber Sex (‘Cybering’)
Cyber sex takes place in ‘cyber space’ (aka the internet). It can be carried out in chat rooms, Facebook messages, instant messages, e-mail, twitter, myspace messages, forums, video games, and pretty much anywhere else online. The danger of cybering is that, unlike phone sex and pornography viewing, cyber sex is not easily traceable. E-mails, chats, and messages can all be deleted and most filtering softwares do not catch it.
This is also completely free as long as you have internet. No cell phone needed and parental software has a hard time tracking down cyber sex because it takes place inside other entities online.
For instance, if your daughter is involved in sexual chat on Facebook, all your computer is going to know is that she went to Facebook. No history clearing needed on her part, no nothing, really.
This, in my opinion, is one of the most dangerous forms of virtual sex as it has the tendency to attract pedophiles and very dangerous types due to its anonymity.
The good news is that, because this is a society problem, there are remedy’s for it in society. We tend to have an issue with our children being taken advantage of, so a quick search for parental guidance software that monitors chats should turn up some tools for you. I have not tried any of them, so I cannot offer support for any of them, but they are out there. (If you know of one, leave a message in the comments!)
MORPG Sex “3d Sex”
MORPG stands for (multiplayer online role playing games). MORPGs are fairly popular. MORPG sex games are also known as 3D sex. Person A logs on to the game with a special username and has her own character (known as an avatar). In a sex MORPG, this avatar is able to travel around and have sex with other avatars. In this way, MORPG sex games mix virtual sex with pornography in that the sex is actually acted out on screen. In a way it is a create-your-own pornography. Not all MORPGs are sex games, for the record.
Sexting is a combination of the words ‘sex’ and ‘texting.’ It is, essentially, the use of your phone to send pictures or explicit images (or videos) to another person. The dangers of sexting differ slightly from the dangers of cybering because sexting involves (hopefully) someone familiar to the person. Cybering can take place between complete strangers whereas sexting takes place between two people who know each other, usually a boyfriend and girlfriend. That is also one of the downfalls of sexting. Because the two likely share a similar circle of friends, the fallout can be detrimental.
It can happen to anyone
I don’t know how often I have to explain this to mothers and youth leaders. Yes, your people can struggle with this. Yes, your daughters, your choir girls, your star students can fall into this trap. They, like any other person, can fall into this sin, just like any other sin. Please, be aware.
Know that this is a danger and be ready to protect where needed, fight where needed, and pour out grace where needed.