August 28, 2004

Crossing the line

In cyberspace there are no lines to cross. With just a link, I can drop you here, here, or even here! See how easy that is?

This is one of the main aspects of cyberspace I enjoy. Cyberspace allows pure freedom to explore the mundane, the profane, and everything in between. But what happens when the virtual world steps into the real one? According to CNN Money Magazine, in October we're all going to find out. In October, Playboy will feature a number of computer game heroines in erotic poses, and in some cases, nude. I assume this will be an actual article, probably something along the lines of their occasional "sex in cinema" articles and special issues, but since my info comes from Dom's rant at Megatokyo, it doesn't even qualify as secondhand information and as such, is more or less worthless.

Cybersex is becoming more and more of a mainstream issue. This seems to surprise a lot of people, and even horrifies a few. The other day I was watching a program on Discovery Channel and at one point there was an interview with a woman who divorced her second husband for having an internet affair, despite the fact that he never once met the woman he was corresponding with in real life!

Bah, humbug!

This whole debate is, in my mind, as silly as two kids fighting over a TV channel. I am 43 years old and I still enjoy sex. I hope I will keep enjoying it until the day they plant me six feet under. And yes, sometimes I even masturbate, don't you? My kids both understand the do and don'ts of sex, at least to the extent of my ability to teach them. Sex is as much a fact of life as anything else. Some folks prefer same-gender sexual relations, some folks prefer cross-gender sexual relations, and some folks only experience sex through masturbation and fantasy. Personally, I don't see why folks in any one of these groups are so prone to getting angry at the folks in the other two. Gay-bashing, homophobia, heterophobia, or even pornophobia (is that a word? It is now! (^_^)) are all so much hogwash from where I'm sitting.

I can walk into any game store in Japan and find a section with thousands of adult titles. In America I would have to scrounge around in some back alley and in all likelihood the only adult titles I could find would be pirated copies the local shopkeeper burned off on his home computer. In Japan the legitimization of the adult industry means that the people doing the work to create the product are also the ones who profit from it. In American the illegitimacy of the adult industry also means that despite the success of Playboy, Penthouse, and others, much of the industry is victimized not by the producers, but by the theives who copy things at home and then sell them in backrooms, redlight districts, or online. In Thailand, South Korea, and even in Nevada, prostitutes work in real bedrooms (albeit, sparsely decorated ones) with real beds, get regular health checks, and the use of condoms is strictly enforced. In the "civilized" world where prostitution is illegal, prostitutes work in back alleys, cheap hotels, or the backseats of private cars, sexually transmitted diseases are rampant, the women often wind up beaten or killed by their clients, and the use of condoms is sporadic at best.

I don't care how puritanical your personal god might be. Look at the real world where real men and real women are doing everything in their power to survive another day and you tell me which approach to sexuality is the most humane, the most loving, the most compassionate, and above all else, the most rational.

Teach your kids what they need to know. Disney is great, and I love it immensely, but Disney should not be the only thing they see.