Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh
2 August, 2016
Fecha de publicación original: 30 abril, 1996
Date of publication: 30/04/1996. Editorial 017.
Chastity lies far from the madding crowd
A couple of nights ago I spent time navigating and taking “a walk on the wild side” of the net. I had to do an article on a new digital sex-shop, the first to open its doors in Internet from Barcelona, and I wanted to see what was on offer online in this field. First surprise: what I had expected would not take me more than hour to get an idea of, turned into a long and exhausting nocturnal experience. It wasn’t that I became involved in an irresistible whirlpool of cyberspace sex, but that it was impossible to find my way into 99% of the pages that contained juicy references and promises of paradises awash with milk and honey.
The links either did not work, or were old and had changed place, or they asked for more data than one would need to give the doorman at the CIA, or they asked for your credit card number in exchange for the code number to erotic credit, or else they simply took an eternity to show something capable of maintaining ones expectations in a state of suspense (no mean task through a cathode tube). After one of these trips, I ended up more exhausted than if I had, in real life, accepted the offers of the ladies whose complete bodies I was at last able to view on screen after 15 minutes. As football player Djukic’s father said when he missed the penalty in the last second of the final game which would have earned the championship title for his team: “So much passion and all for nothing.”
The most interesting thing I found was the page of a quantum physicist at some university in the US, who after explaining the nature of his research, introducing the staff in his department and offering links to laboratories such as Livermore and a wide range of jobs related to his own, also kept an up-to-date section on the best cybersex pages. It was difficult to enter into most of them, but their appearance in the context of the page was as natural as the complicated titles of this gentleman’s research — research and sex, sex and research — both formed a part of his life interests and this was reflected on his web page.
This web and its links clearly demonstrate the huge task facing governments –for in this sense they work hand in glove– who with hypocritical exclamations and by raising public alarm are trying to put the lid on broader expressions of dissidence under the pretext of controlling “indecent material” on the net. Even a superficial glance at this material gives one an indication of the dimensions of this task: it will not be easy to demolish this cultural diversity; at least not as easy as what they are doing with biological diversity. A penis or a vagina, to reduce the example to its most simple expression, are seen and interpreted in different ways by different cultures. Imposing uniform universal criteria on so-called “indecent material” implies unifying the cultural process of each and every one of the societies which converge on the digital planet today. And one gets the impression that the tendency is for exactly the opposite to happen: cyberspace allows, as never before, for cultural diversity to manifest itself freely and find a synthesis based on the internauts’ own activities rather than on rules imposed by Big Brother State.
As far as the criminalisation of commercial sex in its most extreme manifestations is concerned (one of the aspects of indecent material most used for gaining support for the cause by the public defenders of private morals) let’s hope that the very same governments who stimulate, protect or keep quiet about child sex tourism (to mention one of the most lucrative sectors of certain tourist industries) act first in the world of flesh and blood before deciding that its really dangerous manifestations lie in the always diaphanous and elusive world of bits.
Translation: Bridget King.