Being "Internet Sexual" Is The New Black ... Does This Describe You?

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A Sexuality Term Bridging The Gap Between IRL And Internet
Sex

And you thought people being attracted to inanimate objects was weird.

If you were one of the many people who cocked your head to the side, squinted suspiciously, and wondered "WTF" when you heard about sapiosexuals, then you're in luck. To add to your confusion is a new sexuality term that is just as likely to make you question the world; or, at the very least, wonder when you got so old.

The term? Internet sexual. What is it? Exactly what it sounds like.

When Medium's Emily Witt went searching for information for a book, she was tossed into the world of Chaturbate. Launched in 2011, the webcam site allows anyone who dares log on and watch live streaming broadcasts of people doing just about anything.

You don't need to set up a login or pay any money (unless you want to tip the performers), and for hours on end (if you have the time) you can watch a woman baking cookies in the nude, guys playing video games naked, transsexuals doing their thing in what apparently is a brothel, or, as I discovered just five minutes ago, a 20-something couple tickling each other.

Basically, pretty much anything goes.

Along the side the of the broadcast there's a chat room that looks the way I image chat rooms in the 1990's looked, and the "chatters" can engage with the performer, as well as give them tips. It's a bizarre world, and one in which one might wonder, aside from the money, why someone would want to perform for strangers, especially for such long amounts of time.

Simply, they're probably just Internet sexual.

The Internet and social media has spawned an entirely new sexual persuasion, one that is completely based around the technological advances of the last couple decades. It's in the safety of their room, on the other side of a webcam, that many people — at least the ones Witt interviewed — are finding their sexuality, overcoming their hang-ups, and even conquering their introversion.

One woman said she was in a "sexual lull" her entire life, until a friend told her about Chaturbate. She went from hating sex to owning her sexuality, and controlling the sexual situation in which she willing, with full consent, put herself.

She loves what she does and how it makes her feel, and you can't really argue that she's doing anything wrong or weird, because that's what works for her.

But while we can look at that example and say, "She must be an Internet sexual," the reality is, maybe we're all Internet sexual.

As Witt writes, "Some people limit their internet sexuality to the private sphere of sexting or video chats with long-distance lovers. Others choose to meet their virtual partners in a semi-anonymous public forum.

When mediated bodies can inhabit the same temporal dimension, the distinct purposes of porn, sex work, casual sex, internet dating, and social networking start to blur. Right now, I see being sexual on the Internet as a bold and risky form of performance. I anticipate that in the future it will just be thought of as sex."

Before the summer is out, it's very likely that a new term, defining yet another sexual persuasion, will be introduced to our vocabulary. It will, just as sapiosexual and Internet sexual did before it, make many of us scoff and roll our eyes.

But if we allow ourselves to be put into one very specific box when it comes to our sexuality, then we're sort of missing the boat. Having hundreds of terms to help define us isn't a bad thing. And whether you like it or not, you're probably bits and pieces of different sexual persuasions, too.

People aren't just one thing, and if you take a gander at Chaturbate you'll realize ― OMG ― people can be a lot of things. 

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