Anonymous cybersex chat
The first form is computer mediated interactive masturbation in real time.
These sexual stories are sometimes based on reality, sometimes on pure fantasy, either way they are almost always very detailed and highly erotic.A significant amount of this research has looked at the ways in which people use text based CMC to chat with each other in real time on the Internet and on socially oriented online services such as America Online (AOL) and Compu Serve.In these studies, researchers have found that text based virtual environments (chat rooms, IRC chat channels, and MUDs) are places where users can experiment with identity and gender (re)construction (Reid 1991, 1994; Turkle 1995), form new friendships (Baym, 1996), and join together with other users in the building of virtual communities (Rheingold 1991, 1995; Lichty 1994).However, Turkle maintains that her choice not to use online interviews is based on the focus of her work, not for fear of fundamental flaw in the method.(Ibid.) Others suggest that there are certain advantages to interviewing people in their own environment.An important question faced by researchers of online chat rooms is whether to depend solely upon online interviews and observations in the gathering of data.
Sherry Turkle notes this problem, stating that, "virtual reality poses a new methodological challenge for the researcher: what to make of online interviews and indeed, whether and how to use them." (Turkle, 1995, 324) Turkle chooses not to use online interviews in her research unless she has additionally met that person in real life.
In this article I will discuss the use of ethnographic field research methods in cyberspace, focusing more specifically on my own ethnographic research of the online sexual practices of the inhabitants of AOL chat rooms.
Below I will briefly describe this research to give readers an idea of the focus and findings of the study which I undertook.
On AOL, there is also a way to access a "profile", a personal biography stating characteristics such as age and gender as well as listing hobbies and other interests, for chat room participants who wish to make their personal details public Unfortunately, our data on the parameters of the population of online chat room users is limited to the above.
We don't know the age, race, or gender of chat room users unless they make that infor mation available to us.
In these chat rooms, people are able to meet and chat with others who share similar interests but who may be geographically located hundreds or even thousands of miles away.