A Sociological Dissection on the Anatomy of Cyber-Sex in the Semi-feudal and Semi-colonial Philippines
Today, it is easier for us to be anyone or anybody that we want to be. We can be the best in everything. The most highly intellectual person, with the physique that all people envy and face that is far more than the beauty of Venus. But at the same time, we are prone to all kinds of theft – investments including financial and intellectual and even identity. And on the extreme, there is a higher tendency for us to really lose who we are. The biggest problem here is, our enemies are faceless, nameless and some are just doing it for fun like we do. And this is all happening in the cyber world.
A cyber world which is a product of advancement in technology that was created to make our lives better is at the same time the same tool that can make our lives miserable. This world is a new lurking place for exploiters victimizing people of all sexes, age, and nationality. They only differ in the degree of exploitation but at the end of the day we can all say that they are all victims by the powerful and the rich.
The Filipino people are one of the highest internet users in the world. Being a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country, there is a higher tendency for us to be victimized. With the technology present coupled with poverty and knowledge in the English language, Filipino people are somehow being prepared to be exploited.
But cyber-sex is not all about exploitation. It serves society more than what most of us knows or imagined it to be. It also triggers an assessment of morality operating in a society with dual value system like the Philippines.
This paper is for you, for me, and for all of us living in cyber world – the digital natives and the digital migrants.
Chat Technology Commence – CTC
Human beings continue to create and innovate for the good of humankind. Technology continues to make our lives better or perhaps easier particularly in acquiring knowledge or information specifically through the use of the internet technology. This technology created a totally different world from what we are used to – the cyber world where communication was made far easier and better. This world also created the chat communication that was intended for humans to keep in touch with each other and to meet new set of friends that was eventually used not only to satisfy our need for communication but at the same time even for sexual gratification. In short, this chat technology started to create a new avenue to have new friends and explore the new world and new “we”.
Arousing Sexual Libido – ASL
In any chat group, while lurking and waiting for someone to chat with, people often use the symbol CTC or care to chat particularly during the age of MIRC, ICQ, and yahoo chat – the era of dial-up internet connection that is always intermittent. People in the early days of chat communication often visit a chat group with people having common interests. The chatters send a message of CTC to the prospects and if they reply, the next expected message would be asl or age, sex, location. If these people simply want to have friends, why do they need to ask for asl? I assume that they want more than cyber friendship.
As connection bandwidth continues to improve, a new term emerged – cam2cam. In the same manner, why do we need to see our cyber friends if our interest is simply for friendship. Definitely, some people simply want to see their cyber friends but if it is preceded with asl, I think it is more than simple friendship. The main point here is, chat communication created a new means for sexual exploration.
Cyber-Sex – CS
I define cyber-sex as any sexual act directed to or from anybody using internet technology. The simple idea is there must be sex happening between two or more people facilitated by cyber technology. Is watching porn from the net constitute a cyber-sex? How about those people who are exhibitionists?
The answer is no even while she or he is masturbating because the definition says there must be a sexual act directed to or from anybody and there must be a partner.
Love, Sex and the Filipinos
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
― Blaise Pascal
Love is love! It’s hard to understand and explain so let us not waste our energy here. What is clear is that if you believe in the concept of love, it is universal. It traverses through different social classes and even cultural boundaries. If love is universal, sex is universal as well particularly to those people who see carnal activity as a manifestation of love. For them, sex and love go together.
The concept of love and sex is present in all society. Society continues to exist because of these two. The question now is, is sex possible to exist without love? In one paper I wrote, there is a discussion that says “ang sex na walang love, exercise lang” and in today’s society, there are so many people who simply wants to exercise.
How does Philippine society see the idea of sex? Historically, both men and women in the country are sexually liberated. This claim is supported by the myth Si Malakas at si Maganda whose concept of first human beings in the country talks about equality and even from the accounts of Antonio Morga in his Sucessos de las Islas Filipinas, where he said that women in the Philippines are sexually liberated. This sexual liberation of women only changed when patriarchy became a practice in the country – a concept brought by the colonizers and sustained by Catholicism. This sexual liberty of women is dormant and still waiting to for an avenue where it can be activated.
Again, love is universal, sex is universal, sex is a good exercise, Philippine society is sexually liberated from the beginning, and sexual liberty of some women is still dormant waiting to be triggered.
It would be easier for us to fully understand the world of cyber-sex and have a balance perception on the cyber-sex role-taker if we will be making categories for them since these people have different reasons for doing the said activity.
a. The Distant Lovers
The Philippines continue to send workers abroad. They are even branded as Bagong Bayani by the Philippine government. Without their remittances, there would be no more Philippines. Because of this phenomenon, many families have mother or father living outside the country. And a couple away from each other for quite some time, given the technology, might be engaging in cyber-sex. We can say that the main reason for this activity is both partners want to keep the flame alive. This is also a way for them to eliminate or at least minimize the chances of infidelity. I think these people must be thanking the technology now.
b. The Young “Dora”
Growing kids or teens are in the age of exploration, experimentation, and discoveries. They want to learn so many things including anything that they can about sex and sexuality. These kids and teens are mostly coming from the middle class to upper class that has an access to the internet and have their own gadget that they can use privately. I assume that some also explore how to be of different gender and age. These kids and teens must be guided because unlike Dora, there is no map that is available from them except the guidance of the parents.
c. The Promiscuous Exercise Buddy
Some people are more adventurous than the others like some people being more sexually active than the others. These people see sex as simply an ordinary thing. If we’re talking about Filipina here, they are the ones who have seen the cyber world as an avenue to express what they want. They are the ones who simply want to exercise for public consumption. These people might come from different social class but again, people coming from higher social status are prone to be like them since they all have everything that is necessary to commit this act such as time and technology.
d. The Confidently Unconfident
Some people are sexually deprived (including those people who have a wild sexual imagination). Most of the time, these are the people who lack self-confidence and people with reserved personality in which the only avenue for them to express is the cyber world. While some may be engaging in sexual activities, they can be considered as deprived in the sense that they have wild sexual ideas that they cannot do with their real life partners. And again, cyber-sex is the only avenue left with them for some considers it as less sinful and lesser chance of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases.
e. The Literary Artists
There is a market for erotic literature in the country. This is evident in the countless numbers of soft-porn tabloids and magazines in the market. These erotic writers may casually engage in cyber-sex to know more and write more about anything regarding sexual intercourse. Probably these writers come from the middle class segment in our social strata since they are the most commonly hired in the media industry.
f. The Researchers
It is not easy to give justice to cyber-sex discussion if you haven’t really engage in this activity. Real researchers who really wants to learn the ins and outs of this cyber-sex need not only to rely on an interview with victims of cyber-sex trafficking. The major problem that researchers will encounter if they would rely on interview with victims is that they will only get the negative side of it and not the total idea connected to it that makes some cyber-sex workers continue to love what they are doing. Most researchers came from the middle class in our social stratification.
These researchers are also of big help to authorities in apprehending people involved in cyber-sex trafficking.
g. The Cyber Prostitutes
We can further subdivide cyber prostitutes in three depending on the degree of exploitation they are experiencing. Most of these cyber-sex workers are coming from the lower and middle class in our social strata. Some may already have money but to sustain their wants, they see cyber-sex as a good source of more financial stability.
– Couple Cyber Prostitutes that probably caters to those people who would love to have an orgy
– Solo Cyber Prostitutes that is either male of female who satisfies their customers in any way possible
– Child Cyber Prostitutes that is mostly female whose main customers are the pedophiles
Let us Anal(yse) It
Almost all categories of cyber-sex role takers voluntarily engage in cyber-sex for their own personal or social needs. But I am sure that not all cyber prostitutes are doing it because they want it but because they were forced to do so particularly the kids whom we can call the life-long victims. There are two possibilities that might happen to these kids engaging in sex in early part of their lives – they may see sex as an ordinary thing or some may feel insecurities and uncertainties that will haunt them till the rest of their lives.
For many people engaging in cyber-sex, it is better than having extra-marital affairs or having a real sexual intercourse with partners that they do not know. Since there is no real contact, unwanted pregnancy will be avoided as well as sexually transmitted diseases. It is also less sinful since there is no actual contact.
Other people also see this as simply an expression of their wild sexual imagination that in a way making them who they really are even if it is just for borrowed time.
There is also a possibility for people engaging in cyber-sex to be addicted to it. This is the time when they can no longer see real sex as pleasurable and needed by the society. We need people to replace the old and dying populace. People need to have sex.
We can consider cyber-sex as deviant act. And deviant triggers notion whether we really need to change or strengthen a social norm. Since many people in the Philippines are doing it, probably, this will no longer be considered as immoral in the near future.
Even though it is operating in the cyber world, this cyber-sex issue has a high level of social acceptance. Many Filipinos working outside the country is doing it and there really is a market for them. If you will visit some porn sites, there are several video clips of Filipino women engaging in it. Even these kids who are the real victims, most of them were actually encouraged or forced by family members including their parents. In this case, parents and family members see this activity as less immoral and acceptable.
It is already given that the Philippines is a poor country. And because of that, many would love to have easy money. Since from the beginning we are trained to speak the English language, it is easy for us to penetrate cyber world and in the end making us victims of cyber-sex. With the technology present coupled with poverty and basic knowledge in the English language even for young kids, it is easy for them to be victims.
Cyber world created a new avenue for people to explore sexually. Cyber-sex alone is not bad since this is one way of expressing who you are or making your fantasies as reality. It can be used in so many ways possible. The only problem is if you are forced to do so particularly older and powerful people manipulating you for their own interests.
In a macro analysis, cyber-sex is an arena where wealthy and powerful nation exploits people coming from the poor and less powerful country.
For my last note, as people living in the age of cyber technology, my suggestion is to use this technology for the good of mankind and not to let this technology use us.