Kitchener Waterloo Internet Users Group
"A Fun Place to Learn About the Internet"
Thesis: Ignoring Sex on the Net is impossible, so fear and all joking aside let's try to understand what's going on to drive all this activity.
Will the Net change our ideas of sexuality?
Sexuality used to be easy; it was simply a matter a what kind of genitalia you owned. Now on the Net you can play any role, any personality or any gender you choose to present to the world. Any feelings not previously expressible can now be easily and convincingly expressed. And of course, vice versa (on the Net nobody knows youre a Dog - old Net joke).
There is plenty of representations to validate any instinct or desire, including:
- mixed races
pretty much anything and anything goes on the Net
The form of this validation can come in the form of pictures, fiction, journalism, chats with people already involved in those activities, or protesters ( as in Ill believe in anything they dont believe <g>).
What type of conventional information is available?
Straight, authoritative information regarding sex-oriented topics like:
- societal statistics
- relationships (incl. Dr. Ruth-type people dispense behaviour advice)
- normal development ( for that perennial question, am I normal?)
Sources: magazines on the Net, public health vehicles, SIGs.
How will the new access to information change our views?
For years many people's ideas on values have been dictated largely by the views of their community. Now alternate viewpoints on any topic, no matter how taboo, are only a mouse click away.
Some of this advice will be good, some indifferent, some bad, and some downright dangerous. Remember: there is no quality control enforcement on the Net.
Commercial services: what's being offered, by whom and what are the economics behind it?
There are currently 1000's of sites offering a range of services, ie.:
- Download of JPEGs, Movies, Stories - any and all flavours
- Live video feeds of 'exotic dancers' offering live performances
- Interactive CHAT sessions with beautiful women who are presumably
- naked on the other side of the keyboard <g>
- Voyeur sessions like the JenniCam site
- Who runs these sites (do their parents know what they are doing <g>)?
- How do they make their money, especially the supposedly free ones? Click-thrus?
- How many people sign up for this sort of thing, do they belong to more than one service?
- Where is the money coming from? Percentage Men vs Women, Ages, other demographics.
Services are typically charged out at a monthly subscription fee.
- Flat fee
A model site: WWW.FRIENDFINDER.COM
A number of positive aspects to this site:
What can or should parents, educators, religious figures do in the face of this potential threat to their teachings?
- Seems to have hit critical mass - all sectors are well populated with people
- Interest areas are broken up well
- Great esthetics
- Data entry, questions asked very well put together
- Logical relationships and business loops well tied down
- Incentive for the user to experiment cheaply and progress upwards as a client
- Speed is good
- Overall credibility of the site is high
- Bandwidth requirements of this sort of site is low
The Catholic Church comes to mind as one group who has traditionally found it in it's interest to restrict some sorts of information.
Answer: probably not much but to forbid access and try to teach kids how to interpret the information when they inevitably receive it.
Contacts being made
- Dating services
- CHAT rooms
- Multi-user games
- Names off of web-sites
- Marriages and other liasons certainly result from these sorts of contacts. People get a chance to see more of the nature of their contact than they might in casual social contact; especially if these contacts are beyond their usual geographic range. Are the results better? I don't know.
Role of fleshy contacts as opposed to virtual contacts
Real people and relationships with real people can get very messy. Virtual people generally put their best face forward and invest more energy in typed relationships. Also, online you don't learn about your virtual friend's faults as quickly and they are easier to ignore. Is reality important when the impact is only on the emotions and thoughts of the people involved. Would these people ever connect in real life without visual cues. What will happen when vidcams become commonplace aspects of PC's?
Effects on the porn industry
1 out of ever 2 magazines sold in North America is a porn magazine. Even pieces like Cosmo which are very visually orientated could be construed as soft porn. Will all this paper disappear when availability and quality goes up and price effectively drops to zero?
Views by males and females
Do females view their males looking at Net porn as competition? Do males worry about their mates meeting fast talking males in Chat rooms?
Activities by world governments to restrict and tax services
Governments hate being excluded from reaping taxation dollars from any and all economic activities.
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