gather ’round, kids, it’s story time
Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration by Audacia Ray
Seal Press, 2007
You know how they say that the first test – and drive – of new technology is porn? Well, we folks who have been around on the ‘net for a while know a lot about all the various aspects of sex on the internet, and there is a lot to tell.
Dacia’s relatively new to the online sex world, by her own admission; in her introduction she gives a brief history of her own path to blogging and the ‘net, which began in late 2003 and took off in 2004. This is not to overlook, however, that she has become a major player in the sex blogger circles, especially here in New York City. And having been on the periphary of those circles for a few years now, myself, I know the kind of pull and influence and impact she has had.
It makes sense, then, that as a social scientist interested in sex and technology and the internet, Dacia would come to writing and researching a book like Naked on the Internet. In it, she chronicles all sorts of online sexual explorations and avenues, gives a history of where the internet has come from (BBSes, telnet boards – remember those?), and even some hints at where it’s going (cyberdildonics come to mind).
For me, the most interesting content were the chapters on online dating and also the sex blogging, partly because that is where I am the most connected, and also because (it seems) that is where Dacia has the most knowledge and presence as well. Other parts of the book were much more of an observed subculture then organized and reproduced for the sake of recording the various aspects of sex online.
This book is unique and singular – since online sexuality is, though extremely common, still quite taboo, there have not been a lot of studies or records kept of what is happening, how people are using this new medium, yet. I have no doubt that it will continue to be explored and we will keep gaining new insight and cultural significance from the online sex world, and that it will have – and already has had – a significant impact on a whole era’s sexual growth and, ahem, sexploration.
Don’t forget to visit Waking Vixen, or check out Dacia’s other recent accomplishment, the film The Bi Apple.
ps … I was interviewed for this book a few months back, and a couple of my quotes are in there, oh, somewhere.