Bits and Bytes

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I put this together a while back when my friend Nate (who, by the way, has inspired me to rename my bathtub *The Alligator Lounge*, and to whom I am subsequently dedicating this video by Lana Del Ray) and I were mutually musing about online relationships.  In light of recent events in my personal life where online relationships are concerned, I decided to publish the comments I’d originally culled for him (as well as a few additional ideas) from former conversations that have taken place on my own blog…

Whether this post serves as a culmination of previous discussions or a catalyst for new threads of thought is entirely up to you, dear readers.

You are standing in the center of the compass.  Choose a direction.  Where do we go from here?

Reader Responses Re:  Online Relationships

I think the sapiosexuals amongst us (hello :]) would say that internet interaction and intimacy can be just at least as fulfilling as in-person interaction, perhaps, on some level, moreso. Emails and IMs and text messages have transformed that age-old communication–the love letter, into something that appeals to the instant gratification generation, but it doesn’t make it any less intimate or special. I think that I could have an open and meaningful relationship or friendship with someone without ever meeting, as long as we are each honest and communicative (if there is a chance of meeting some day, ‘cos if there isn’t, the honesty doesn’t necessarily matter, I suppose?).  ~ Fatal

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Bitland intimacy is possible since things like email, IM, etc., can initiate a closeness even if only thoughts are exchanged.  And while sexual innuendo can be spread across the bandwidth – as well as expressions of passion, desire, and even love, there are some folks who might say that this isn’t being intimate even though sexual things are being shared – but it is; it’s just not exactly sex even though such communication can lend itself to acts of autoeroticism.

I’ve been ‘electronically’ intimate with quite a few people and with the exception of not being physically in their presence, well, it’s been pleasantly intimate and has often set the table for that moment of physical intimacy…..With the power of words, one can experience the whole gamut of emotions…..some folks are more comfortable when it comes to revealing things that lend itself to intimacy when they’re not sitting next to someone…..without that pressure of someone looking deeply into your eyes…..some folks do find it possible to exude intimacy behind the safety of their monitor.  ~ KDaddy

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A woman I know sends me emails that have routinely brought me to orgasm (and though I did unconsciously touch myself and take things over the top, I was astounded at how I was already at the verge of my climax, just in need of a very tiny push).  That orgasmic response is a result of our mutual effort to please and entice each other, combined with a deep knowledge and interest in each other, that leads to a feeling of connectedness and desire.

We’ve never made physical contact and yet I do consider her one of my (favorite) sex partners.  Which is very strange because I don’t get into phone sex or cam sex or anything like that, it just doesn’t move me.  So I’m not sure how a woman’s words could go right through my imagination and fantasies, straight to my orgasmanator.  Go figure.  ~ Kanienke

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I have bounced around in the online world enough to have experienced a few ‘cam’ dates. Even though I find mutual masturbation greatly arousing, I think that it’s a dry and abstract event across the digital miles, with a stranger rubbing herself and going oh oh oh. I mean, at first I sought it out as much as many guys do, but I eventually found it to be one of the few sex acts that left me feeling kind of dirty and guilty rather than pleasantly self-satisfied…..After cam sex there’s only the awkward leaving the room to clean up, the embarrassed signing off, nothing really to say. Maybe I’m just not good at it? ~ Tom

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Re:  Compersion in Online Relationships ~ I think it can be magnified and more intense, and in those cases even more emotional. Because of the nature of the compersion being remote, if it’s actually compersion it can take into account the realities of that distance. At least, that’s how I try to look at it – I’m happy for someone being happy; it doesn’t reflect negatively on me that I am not the one able to provide that happiness and the realities of the situation actually *enhance* that for me.  ~ Dave

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How age (and the inherent physical perceptions thereof) impacts online interactions was a discussion that took on a life of its own here, courtesy of Jayne.

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As an aside:  The word relationship is open to interpretation.  One thing I’ve noticed in the various discussions about online relationships ~ on my own blog as well as on others’ ~ is that so far nobody has addressed online friendships of the platonic variety.  Or online business relationships.  (Curious, that.)  Nor, within the romantic/sexual sphere, have online D/s & BDSM relationships been addressed much.  Though Serendipity did delve into how technology has impacted her understanding of her husband’s FemDom kinks, as follows:

Technology is what saved my sanity and took the angst out of my husband’s kink nature for me. It gave me access to a whole group of people I didn’t have, but desperately needed…..Being able to have conversations with people who could relate to how my husband felt…..having the conversations with them and being able to speak my mind without fear of doing damage to the person I am invested in… the relationship I am in…..gave me a better view of what makes him tick and helped me understand it wasn’t ME that prevented him from feeling fulfilled in his sexual nature and with some adjustments we could both have what we wanted and needed and it gave us the tools to be able to talk to each other with being defensive.

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Now, YOU!
(Yes, YOU!)

SO.  Online Relationships.  Thoughts?  Questions?  Comments?  Concerns? Curiosities?  Musings?  Observations?

Audience participation is appreciated and encouraged!



GO!  😀

0 thoughts on “Bits and Bytes

  1. ankoku1331

    Alligator Lounge 😀 This is a good summary. I think the reason that friendships has not gotten discussed is because people assume the talk is always about sex or sexuality which frames their responses.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I love that song, and even though it’s on one of my playlists, I’ve never bothered to pay attention to the video itself. I sort of watched it in a stupor one morning and was like, “Holy Alligator Lounge, Batman!”. 😀 Thought you’d appreciate that, Monkey. 😉

      I think you’re right about the reason online non-sexual relationships have yet to be addressed. Though I don’t think I have any, myself. I’ve said this to you before, I know, but: Sex is not a ‘separate’ subject for me; not online, and not in meat space; therefore, in some ways, ALL of my relationships would be considered sexual by some. According to my own interpretations though, there is (1) active engagement where the DOING of sex is concerned, as opposed to (2) the DISCUSSING of sex. And *that* influences how I view my relationships.

      And all of my online friendships ~ sexual or otherwise ~ developed out of camaraderie established via blogs. I wonder how many other bloggers have experienced the same?

      1. ankoku1331

        I understand there being no separation of sex online and in normal space. Unfortunately most people are not like that. There is a constant separation between sex and everything else.

        Blogships are new to me and a part of my friendships offline, but most of my friendships start in normal space where I can get to know someone, see them, and understand them before the veil of online is put into place. Yes, I know I am odd that I like face to face over technology to technology interactions. 🙂

        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          You are not odd, my Monkey friend. (You are not exactly *even* either ~ HA!) I like face-to-face as well. I have come to appreciate the opportunities the internet affords in terms of cross-continent friendships though, and while I hold out hope that I will one day see (in 3D) the people with whom I have formed relationships online, I very much enjoy being able to share cloud space with those people in the mean time. 🙂

          One thing I like about blogging (and subsequently, blogships) is that we delve into experiences and emotions feet first in virtual space, so the face-to-face anxieties about what the other person is thinking ~ via interpretive body language and facial expressions, etc. ~ is somewhat removed. As a result, I have been fortunate to have formed some quick kinships through blogging with people who ‘get’ me in very specific ways. And I’m inclined to agree with Simplicity, in that it’s possible for the “truer you” to shine through. (Cue Cyndi Lauper: I see your truuueee colors, shining through… 😉 )

          As a related side note: I am seriously considering getting Skype (or some such thing) because it would allow for face-time interactions across the distance. Still a facet of online interactions, I suppose. But more “real” in some ways (perhaps?) than just words on a page…? What are your thoughts on that, Monkey?

  2. simplicity

    I love my online friendships. Both sexual and non-sexual. Yes, the internet allows you to be something you’re not but I Ialso think it allows you to be the “truer” you. The one you can’t show to friends or family for fear of being judged harshly.

    I’ve chatted with a lot of men online and their words to me get me just as hot when they roll across my screen as when whispered in my ear. A lot of my real life friends think it’s weird. But I think if it makes you happy and makes you feel a little less alone in this world, then what’s “wrong” with that. You’re responsible for your own happiness. It’s a big, bad world out there and we all need comfort, stress relief, affirmation wherever and however we can get it. My two cents for what they’re worth.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Valuable input. Thank you.

      I am inclined to agree with the concept of “the truer you”. So often, we have to filter our responses and edit our true thoughts with the people we associate with in 3D; whereas we have the option to self-select our community/ies when interacting online. We can focus on specific topic(s) of interest with others who are doing the same, and we can explore emotions and experiences in depth through a layer of anonymity that acts as a safety net.

      Also, where romantic/sexual relationships are concerned, we don’t have to deal with the day-to-day idiosyncrasies that drive us crazy in meat space. For example: You have no idea, for example, whether the person with whom you are interacting in “cloud space” has even brushed their teeth, let alone whether they replaced the cap on the toothpaste. 😉

  3. kdaddy23

    Okay, platonic relationships – think of pen pals before the Internet came along. These can be interesting in that great intimacy can be achieved… but the two people will never be anything more than close friends – the reasons why vary but the usual reason is they both understand that if any sexual intimacy happens, their friendship can be destroyed.

    I had many online business relationships when I was working and they were more intellectually intimate than anything else but information exchanged often included the names of spouses, children, etc.

    Perhaps no one mentioned these because when we think of relationships, these aren’t the relationships that come into mind when you think of intimacy; if it’s not a romantic interest, then the word “relationship” tends to take on a different meaning to some folks.

    Just saying…

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I sort of have a pen pal type relationship with some of my online friends. We exchange emails fairly regularly, about a variety of topics. Our email exchanges grew out of a rapport that was built on blogs.

      I know of people who have established professional mentorship relationships online, and while the idea does not appeal to me, I can see that it makes sense for some.

      Technology has given us some pretty amazing tools to utilize. The world has certainly gotten a lot smaller.

  4. vixenincognola

    I have to agree that texting and such can and has replaced the “love letters” sort of thinking.
    For Lopez and I, we have become even closer with each other in terms of emotions, intimacy and honesty since he and I have been apart. (He travels with work and has been in different cities since September. We physically see each other every 4-6 weeks.)
    Sexting, Sharing intimate thoughts… We probably share more in a day now than we ever did seeing each other daily.
    So I have to say I appreciate technology in that sense but on the other hand physical contact and sexy time can never ever be replaced- at least for me 🙂

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I like the combination of the two. Sharing emotional and intellectual intimacy via technology as well as physical and sexual intimacy in person can enhance and strengthen a romantic relationship. Non-face interactions can help bridge the gap(s) that geographical distance creates.

      I find myself looking back on my early twenties now…..wondering *if* and *how* my long-distance military relationship would have been different, had the technological communication options that are available *now* been available *then* ~ Would we have stayed together longer? Severed ties sooner? Structured our (s)expectations differently? It’s hard to know. “What if” rarely works outside of theory.

      I *do* miss love letters though. Call me old-fashioned, but there is something about a hand-written letter from a lover that absolutely melts my heart. 🙂

      1. vixenincognola

        The “what ifs” are nice to think about on the what could or would have been but like you said “rarely works outside of theory”.

        I couldn’t agree more about the handwritten letters/notes even if not from a lover, I adore them.

        I try to slip things in the mail for Lopez. He’s more of the type that leaves random notes around my house for me to find when he’s left after a visit. 🙂

  5. Bill

    It wouldn’t let me post! I think it was too long. I get wordy ya know. It should’ve given me the opportunity to shorten it though. I repeat myself a lot so you could probably read old comments and they would probably be as relevant.


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