Are online daters more riskier; when it comes to sex that is?
While going about her business online, this dude Chris captured all of Tabitha’s attention this particular evening and all she could do was chat away … trying to tell each other everything within the time they had. For them, it was love at first IM! These two could IM for hours, text each other repeatedly and talk on phone after that. And within two weeks, they felt like they practically knew each other.
Their online romance went on for a while till one day, Chris flew in to meet her online love in person. And when they met at the airport... all they could think about was getting Chris to his hotel room and finally engaging in the sweet pleasures of finally being together in person. They went ALL THE WAY; doing everything they had promised to do to each other in their erotic texts and IM’s. No STI test results presented. No condom in between them. They completely trusted each other based on the online conversations and talks they had been having months earlier. Both of them went by the word of someone they had just met.
See, Tabitha and Chris are not the first couple I know that have met online and engaged in – lemme call it - risky sexual behavior the first day they met face –to-face. I'm sure you know quite a number yourself. For some reason, couples that meet online seem to be more trusting of each other based on their online communication. It’s like you have been talking to this person… it seems like you’ve known him forever… the rapport and trust that get formed are sooo strong. You don’t know this person and yet you know enough to trust them totally.
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Well, Canadian researcher Cindy Masaro of the University of British Columbia seems to have noticed this too. In her line of work as a nurse clinician at the sexually transmitted infection and HIV clinic at the BC Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver, most of her female clients who had met men online were engaging in very intimate sexual behavior, trusting the information they had gained online about these partners.
This has prompted her to do a research for her thesis in order to explore whether online dating and the digital era in general is shaping women’s sexual choices and sexual behavior - for example how soon one has sex with new partner - in comparison to face-to-face encounters.
Do you think online daters take more sexual risks than couples who meet face-to-face? If yes what could be the reason? Do we online daters feel pressured to give it up that fast when we finally meet face to face? Do we feel if we don’t have sex we might lose this person we’ve formed such a ‘solid’ online relationship with? Does it make it ok if you have been dating online for quite a considerable amount of time?
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