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Last May, Oliver Jovanovic, a Columbia University doctoral candidate, was sentenced to 15 years to life for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman he had met and corresponded with on the Internet.
The verdict came as a shock to courtroom observers who, unlike the jury, had access to the uncensored, and highly titillating, e-mail exchanges between Jovanovic and his accuser, 57 pages of exchanges that took place both before and after the alleged torture incident that marked their only off-line date.
A Freudian analyst's dream, they are the electronic talk therapy patients. They are also part personal ad interviewers and interviewees, part seducers and part religious.confesees.
Unlike conventional therapy patients, these cyberchat addicts don't need to waste hours of time and thousands of dollars trying to overcome their "resistance." Pressured to produce a shocking, witty, outrageous or perverse persona lest they become cyberwallflowers, they regress on line instantaneously and seemingly universally.
Typing away on their computer keyboards, sending and receiving messages on their screens, they are in a place beyond meditation.
Untethered from the usual social restraints, Internet chat-room devotees of all genders, ages, races and sexual proclivities or hang-ups give free rein to their disinhibited ids, getting in touch with their inner deviants.
This week, I invited sex tech consultant Lux Alpatrum to explain the culture around digital sex, and how technology is influencing intimacy. on i Tunes, listen on Sound Cloud, or subscribe via RSS. You can also find the entire collection of What's Tech?
Please choose a bipolar chat room that is private, safe and free!
This includes a message board that is open to all ages, and which also has a “Teen Talk” forum. Chat rooms, interactive websites, blogging and public networking forums like Facebook have inadvertently invited strangers into many bedrooms.