Virtually Divorced

Sounds fair enough to me. What woman would want to know that her husband was attracted more to a pixelated avatar representation (Lara Croft aside) than her…

Now, I’m not jumping to his defense, but there’s also a line of semantics that seems to have been crossed here too. After all, how can self stimulation in front of a computer screen be described as sex? Presumably, at the base level he was simply masturbating. For it to be defined as sex, surely there has to be actual physical contact between the partners? I guess the word “pretending” in the original news item provides the clue. Come on guys, no matter how hard you try, cybersex ain’t real sex.

Or, am I being terribly old fashioned?


2 thoughts on “Virtually Divorced”

  1. Cybersex might not be sexual intercourse, but it is as a sexual activity as oral sex or fondling. Or, at the very, very least, intense flirting.

    If it weren’t a sexual activity, it wouldn’t arouse.

    So, let’s get back to flirting. Flirting is basically insinuating the possibility of direct physical contact… What kind of contact depends on the expectations of the involved, which is related to the place where it happens, the age of the involved, etc.

    So, let’s get back to virtual sex. First, of course, it’s a form of voyerism. For most people, it might be left at that.

    When one seeks, though, virtual sex WITH another human being, then it strongly relates to flirting. You may not have any intention at all of doing anything, like a person flirting might not have any intention of going beyond flirting, but there IS the suggestion of the possibility of physical contact with the other person involved.

    So, is it grounds for divorce? It sure is. It might not be more betrayal than flirting, but if a flirting person marries a person uncomfortable with that behavior, then that marriage is bound to be an unhappy one.

  2. Oh, certainly it’s sexual activity, and, of course that doesn’t have to be “intercourse”. Bill Clinton’s infamous attempt to claim that receiving fellatio was somehow not having sex with “that woman” seemed hilarious to Brit ears, although I understand that certain sections of our global society don’t such activity in quite the same way.

    As to flirting, yeah, if cybersex is essentially online flirting (with the likelihood of masturbation) then I’d expect many people would deem that unacceptable behaviour in their partners, definitely. But, I don’t think a lawyer would make an adultery charge slapped on divorce proceedings stick on that basis, at least not under English law.

    They certainly couldn’t if it were real-life flirting, a French kiss, or even heavy petting. Oral sex, intercourse, and probably mutual masturbation definitely would. I think different sectors in society draw different lines between different practices.

    But a knee trembler in the store cupboard does what it says on the tin, whereas pretending to have sex via the internet does not…

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