Thursday, 17 January 2013

Online Dating in My Youth


My first real foray into sexual exploration was through none other than the internet.  This was back when the internet was rather new and there was dial-up.  Home computers had no cameras or picture messaging options so imagination was needed.  I remember setting up my first profile for a chat site in which you had to list your age, height, hair colour and male or female.  Your profile had a little avatar which you could design a bit to suit your personality at that moment.  I was either 14 the first chat site I went on, or I lied and said I was 14 because to this day I still know my original online nickname.

These online sites were at first a way to simply chat with new people as I was a bit reserved at school and did not have a knack for making a bunch of new friends at once.  Once I gained a bit of confidence I discovered that you could chat while playing games, which I spent hours upon hours doing.  Oh yes, I was that girl who flirted while playing cribbage online.  But I also found that there were private chat rooms where things could get a little bit naughty.

Each time I logged on, I actually felt myself get a little bolder and braver.  The first time I was asked what I was wearing, I typed pj’s and then quickly logged off.  I later went back online and told the guy that the dial-up connection went down.  It was an excuse I would often use in the next year or so every time I felt things were going too far.  But as I said, I was using an online personality and I discovered I could change it at will.  I was flirting with a few guys at once, using different versions of me with each one.  Pushing boundaries and testing their reactions.  If I said one thing, would it turn a guy on?  If not what could I say that would get him going?  It was a major place for me to play, and explore my likes and dislikes as well as safely discover the likes and dislikes of men.

My parents were always curious as to why I never brought guys home.  Why I never dated, so much so that they were convinced I was gay.  How could I have possibly admitted that I was dating tones of guys online?  Back then that would be inconceivable.  I did not even admit this to my friends. It is not common place to admit that any sexual exploration was done through an online forum especially at the time I know I was doing it.  

Even today the idea of dating online still seems taboo.  Just last week I received a cartoon whereby they discuss the myth and reality of how people meet.  If the couple says “we met through friends” reality is they met at a bar.  “We met at a bar” reality is that they met online, and finally if they say “we met online”, then she’s a hooker.   Yes I laughed, but still I have always and will continue to tell people that E and I met online.  Why, because I think it is important in our sex negative world to show that relationships and not only booty calls are found online.  It is was and is still not common place to admit that any sexual exploration was done through an online forum especially at the time I know I was doing it.  

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