(As told to Team Bono)
Married Indians using online chatrooms
Ever wondered what your spouse is up to behind their laptop screen? What you may consider endless hours of hard work or movie marathons, may actually be cybersex. Married Indians are taking sex from the bedroom to the chatroom. Plenty of online adult chat rooms have mushroomed, some even specifically targeting married folks looking for some time out. The reasons could be diverse – a quick sexterlude or something deeper. The Internet has become the place to escape bedroom boredom.
No strings – or wires!
What makes the Internet so exciting? According to a study conducted by the University of Florida, it is Anonymous Sexual Interactionism – you get to live your deepest fantasies, without your identity being known. For most, that’s basically as no strings attached as it gets! Once the honeymoon period is over, sex can become monotonous for many. Cybersex seems a quick and easy fix, without the guilt of a real-life affair.
Cybersex seems a quick and easy fix, without the guilt of a real-life affair.
The writer went undercover in some of these chat rooms to try and understand why women and men were turning to them.
“It’s convenient, simple and free,” said one user, going by the username hornymilfalways on that forum. Further prodding revealed a distinct real life – she is a mother of 3, working from home, with a husband travelling for work even on weekends. “It really started as a way to escape boredom, and just something I was curious about – is cybersex even fun? But then I found some amazing men who titillated me with conversation and sex talk. I have only had sex via chat though because there I can be whoever I want to be.”
Related reading: Sexting: pros and cons
Cheating or harmless fun?
Not everyone is restricted to only sexting. One such adventurous gentleman, going by the name dickforaclick969 invited this writer for a Web session. That was too much revelation for research, but he mentioned many camera encounters. “You needn’t show your face, just the body will do. In fact, I like the face being left to the imagination!” he wrote. Some questions later, he added, “Of course there is a conversation, I find knowing something about the woman makes the encounter feel more real, and women really dig if you share something about yourself. These women are married but just looking for some short relief – someone to hear them and care about their orgasm.” And how many years has he been married? “Happily married for 13 years, and believe it or not, online sex has only strengthened my marriage.”
Most of those using these chatrooms didn’t consider their encounters as extramarital. There is no actual physical touching. But the same University of Florida paper considered these to be cheating because Internet sex breaks the emotional and sexual exclusivity of marriage; it is done in secrecy, thus showing a sense of guilt even from the person doing it; and can have very definite real-life repercussions and breach of trust. If the spouse knows and is okay with their partner’s online liaisons, then perhaps it needn’t be construed as infidelity.
The other side
For most the writer chatted with, this aspect of their lives was definitely hidden from their real-life partners. One justified it as “like watching porn. I don’t tell my wife every time I jerk off to some naked woman. So why tell this? This is not harming her or our relationship in any way.” For women, such online chat rooms provide a safe space to channel their sexuality. “No way can I be so sexually in charge with my husband,” reveals hornymilfalways, “He comes from the school of thought where a missionary is the only position and a woman’s role is really lying there till he comes. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a very affectionate husband and father, just a lousy lover. My online trysts give me the space to enjoy my sexuality without hurting him or my family.”
“My online trysts give me the space to enjoy my sexuality without hurting him or my family.”
But would the spouse of those going to such chatrooms agree? For many, such intimacy is a breach of trust. Marriage is more than just the physical act of sex and seen from that perspective, cyber romance could be just as problematic for your relationship. According to a paper published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, online infidelity can have a negative impact on the marriage and even cause depression or other mental health issues in the offended spouse.
Maybe there’s a deeper problem
Apart from the effects of such liaisons on the marriage, there is a deeper issue of serious marital concerns causing people to turn to online sex. Most of the chatroom users this writer spoke to revealed something missing in their marriage – good sex life, someone to talk to, quality time with spouse. There were also those who claimed to have perfect marriages but were there just looking for some added fun because they could. But a larger number clearly showed that turning to sexual partners online reflected significant marital concerns, which needed counselling and not a quick net fix.
The Indian law on adultery (Section 497 IPC) is limited to physical sexual intercourse. With more people looking to the Internet for sex beyond marriage, the society and state’s response will be interesting in the years to come. Whether such easy access to sex beyond marriage will make marriages stronger with sexually content partners, or lead to more divorces, is something time will tell.