Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UNL) Conference System, 1st Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference

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Cyber Infidelity: The New Seduction
Marlene Wasserman

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T12
Date: 2015-09-27 02:30 PM – 04:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-08-08

Abstract


THEORETICAL OVERVIEW:

Hook ups, Friends with Benefits, flings, swinging, polyamory, ethical cheating, monogam-ish are but a few new forms of attaching. Offline.   High divorce rates, singlehood as a chosen status, and non hetero-normative family constructs indicate a welcome expanded view of intimacies and coupledom. Depathlogizing of gender dysphoria and the non inclusion of “sex addiction “ in the DSM5 contribute towards tolerance of differences in sex ,gender and sexual behavior.  High use of internet accessibility, affordability and anonymity (referred to as the “AAA engine”)  seduces people online. My work examines the role of technology in transforming social relations and intimacies, both offline and online.  Cyber Infidelity (CI ) is a new form of  non consensual non- monogamy which is transforming the meaning and practice of coupledom. CI includes  secret online pornography, emotional and sexual contacts. CI is one form of relating which is contributing to the breakdown of traditional rules of relationship namely monogamy, sexual fidelity and commitment. It is creating new norms in modern attachments.  The object of my research was to examine the behavioral and attitudinal components of CI and the state of modern attachments with the intention of suggesting management of CI to both the public and clinicians.

METHODOLOGICAL SUMMARY:

3 methods were used:

  1. Creation of a web site to collect cyber secrets  for qualitative data: www.mycybersecret.com
  2. Utilizing the data base of www.ashleymadison.com (AM) , the largest online adult dating site for married people with 35 million members in 46 countries, quantitative data was collected through administration of 5 surveys.  5 countries- UK, Canada, South Africa, USA, Australia – across ages 18-55+ , sample consisted of a total of  62,596 men and women , primarily married  heterosexual people.
  3. My “Lived experience” – 2 years on AM as both a man and a woman.

MAIN RESULTS:

People are confused by and seduced into CI. They do not see it as a violation of still upheld values of monogamy, fidelity and commitment. Globally they feel guiltless, happier, higher self esteem, sexier – until discovery crushes partners. CI reflects the demise of marriage as it was and the evolution of a new form of attachment: marriage plus CI.  It forces change of rules and expectations of modern coupledom. Couples – and clinicians-  are ill equipped to manage the new and necessary cyber conversations. I conclude  that couples need #Sextech rules.