LAURA GRINDSTAFF AND ROBERT NIDEFFER
During the day Rhonda is a pudgy five-two, with dirty blonde hair, sensible shoes, and glasses with lenses like coke bottles. She works as a receptionist in a respectable law firm. Every night for four hours from eight to midnight, Rhonda becomes Genevieve, a six foot curvaceous redhead with a penchant for leather and sexual scenarios involving instruments of torture. Genevieve is a phone sex worker, and makes twice as much money as Rhonda working half the hours.
David and his girlfriend had always fantasized about a menage a trois with another woman. He subscribed to America Online, thinking cybersex would be a safe way to debut. Since straight men far outnumber everyone else on the bulletin boards, David thought he and his girlfriend would have an easier time sleeping with another woman if he posed as a lesbian. So he became "LustMuffin," a green-eyed bisexual sculptor with centerfold measurements, into hot-oil Twister and erotic poetry. He was, as he puts it in _Details_ magazine, "his own wet dream."
You pop in the CD and click on the start-up icon. A spaceship gently darts and hovers, navigating the peaks and valleys of the virtual world while a synthesized soundtrack plays softly in the background. You click again and find yourself in the bowels of the dark, subterranean "Pleasure Palace," where you encouter a "pleasure matrix" called Eve. She has been waiting for you. In a voice seductive and sexy, she begs you to make her tremble with pleasure. She extends her arms outward towards the screen, inviting you to accept the challenge.
Welcome to cyberspace, a virtual hotbed of pornographic activity. William Burroughs has said that sexual desire is like a virus that is always on the hunt for a new host--a virus that almost always infects new technology first. (_Wired_ 1.1). A compelling metaphor, but sexual desire doesn't just *invade* new technologies, it can often drive their development from the beginning. Even the first telephones were charged with an erotic undercurrent, long before the advent of 1-900 numbers. In France, for example, there was widespread resistance to social uses of the telephone by those who wished to define it strictly as an instrument of commerce--largely because "social uses" carried sexual connotations. "It was worrisome," Andrew Feenberg writes, "that outsiders could intrude in the home while the husband and father were away at work... So concerned was the phone company for the virtue of its female operators that it replaced them at night with men."
The point here is that the relationship between technology and sexuality is nothing new; sex is often the first thing people do with a new medium. All new media, when they become relatively affordable, are used by "outlaws" for purposes other than those intended by the original creators. Sculptures, stone monuments, frescoes, paintings, the printing press, photography, film, video, and now computers -- all have been used in the service of sex, and become sexualized themselves in the process.
The Internet provides a particularly good example. Like almost all communications technologies (telegraph, telephone, radio, TV) the Internet was developed initially in response to military needs. At the height of the Cold-War era, the military's Advanced Research Projects Agency decided that a distributed computer network was the best way to keep crucial information flowing in the advent of a nuclear attack. This realization led to the development of ARPANET, the Advanced Research Project Agency's personal computer network designed to decentralize data storage and information exchange. If one portion of the network got bombed, another part would take over, re-routing critical materials through whatever channels were still operable.
But it didn't take long for government employees to become seduced by the opportunity to exchange information of a far more personal nature. Almost as soon as ARPANET went online people started sending electronic mail far beyond the requirements of maintaining the network. Howard Rheingold (1993) reports that the first large list to foster its own culture was SF-LOVERS, a list of ARPA researchers who conducted public discussions about science fiction. Attempts were made to suppress the list, because it clearly fell outside the bounds of even the most liberal interpretations of "research." However, these virtual communities were allowed to develop, and engineers redesigned the system again and again to keep up with the explosive growth of network traffic. Several decades later, a significant portion of this growth revolves around discussions and representations of sex. According to _Wired_, for example, in late 1993 the ten most populated chat rooms created by members of America Online were all devoted to sex:
2. Intelligent Intimacy
4. Swingers or Group
5. Le Chateau
6. Men Who Want 2 Meet Men
7. Naughty Wives
8. Young Men4Men
9. Forty Something
10. Need Female for Adult Films
Similarly, in 1994, "alt.sex.stories" (which features erotic poems, stories, and screenplays) was the second most popular newsgroup on the Internet, with roughly half a million readers; "alt.sex" was number four, and "rec.arts.erotica" was number seven, each with comparable amounts of users. As _Wired_ magazine put it: "...sex seems to be the cocaine of the online world." Now, on the world-wide-web you can peruse the "Stuck-Together Web Pages," where people from all over the globe literally "jack in" to "jack off" together. Fondly nick-named the "World-Wide-Wank," this site was launched following the successful climax of "GLOBAL JERK '95"--a now annual event organized to welcome the "cuming" of the New Year and quite likely the biggest simultaneous orgasm in history.
Gareth Branwyn (1993) describes sexual activities on the computer as a "curious blend of phone sex, computer dating, and high-tech voyeurism." In his analysis of the sex boards, he found that three types of interaction were most common: one in which participants describe and embellish real-world circumstances; another involving the creation of a pure fantasy scenario among multiple players simultaneously; and a third he calls "tele-operated compu-sex" where one party gives actual love-making instructions over the computer to another party (pp. 786-787). In all cases, Branwyn says, time on-line can be expensive, so users need to "score" as quickly as possible.
In "Sex with a Hard (Disk) On," Maureen Furniss estimates that the male-to-female posting ratio on the sex boards is roughly 10:1. Such estimates are problematic, however, given the high incidence of gender deception in cyberspace. For example, in an online sex questionnaire distributed by Branwyn, almost everyone reported experimenting with a different gender and/or sexual orientation, at least on occasion. Scholars generally see this experimentation as a positive development, though it doesn't necessarily translate into a greater tolerance for sexual diversity, nor does it require users to grapple with the non-sexual aspects of queer identity. But to some degree, Net culture can provide a unique space that emphasizes the performative nature of subjectivity and de-emphasizes sex and gender as essential, biological categories. Consequently, the measure of "success" on many of the boards, MUDs, and MOOs depends on one's ability to role-play. This is particularly true of "alt.sex.bondage," for example, an intense playground where people can explore alternative methods of sexual expression. It is also true of "FurryMuck," the first (loosely) anthropomorphic MUD in which people describe themselves as furry cuddly animals who have furry cuddly animal intercourse.
Netsex is also acknowledged to be a form of "safe" sex, free from the threat of pregnancy, physical abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases. To quote Dorion Sagan of _Wired_, "If I were a horny young female virgin, I might well take my first tentative trip across the minefield of modern dating protected by the anonymity of cyberspace. Call me crazy, but I don't believe that it's only men who troll for sex online. Women, however, have a greater requirement for safety. And outside of masturbation, no sex is safer than cybersex." Unfortunately, such introductory forays are not without certain risks. Sexual harassment is commonplace on the Net, perhaps more common than in the real world since the anonymity and lack of face-to-face interaction can encourage increased verbal aggression with little or no threat of censure. David and his girlfriend, the pair described at the beginning of this paper, discovered that as soon as LustMuffin went online, instantly lascivious messages appeared on the screen like catcalls from a construction site: "How hot is your oven? Baby, I'd butter your muffin."
Despite the serious problem of sexual harassment on the BBSs and chat lines, they are already displaying the diversity of sexual expression that took pornography in the cinema decades to acknowledge. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that film is expensive to produce and has limited networks of distribution, and whenever a technology is expensive and exclusive, it tends to remain in the hands of those groups with the most power and privilege. This helps explain why videotape in the 1980s and 90s became the primary vehicle for "alternative" pornographies (gay, lesbian and/or feminist), and why CD-ROM--still a relatively expensive technology--reflects the desires of privileged straight white men. In contrast, the Internet is relatively cheap and more widely accessible. One hundred and fifty-nine different countries are now capable of logging on to the Net. It is estimated that over 100,000 electronic bulletin boards are scattered throughout the globe, that more than 7,000 live chat-lines are currently operating, and that over 30 million people are using the Internet (not including the six million or so who subscribe to commercial services like America Online, Prodigy, Compuserve, and the like)--and the numbers are rising fast. The World-Wide-Web grew 1,713 percent in 1994 (down from the 443,931 percent it grew in 1993). According to recent estimates, by 1997 the total Internet market--including software, hardware and services--will reach $4.2 billion  and the number of Internet hosts is expected to top 100 million by the turn of the century.
It is not simply, as many media pundits are beginning to claim, a shift from "broadcast" to "narrowcast" or "pointcast" where corporate powers target individuals as opposed to collectives, and where individuals have more power in determining their needs, or at the very least "wants." Digital media differs from all other forms of media, and opens up new horizons of possibilities. Several hundred years after the advent of the printing press it has remained difficult for the average citizen to publish a book. The same exclusivity holds true for cinema and television--far more people consume than produce. Now however, with the advent of digital technologies, it is much easier and more feasible to independently create and disseminate materials, whether text, image, and/or sound-based. For quite some time now people have been able to make paintings and sculpture, take photographs, or shoot video. But their distribution networks have, by and large, been extremely limited. How many people have seen the photos from your last trip, or the video from your last wild night of sex? Probably not many. Now, however, thanks to binary encoding and the rapid proliferation of the electronic infrastructure you could, if you chose, send any of these materials to a willing server on the Internet and have a potential audience of millions instantly.
Because most feminist scholarship on the subject of cybersex tends to examine the online text-based services outlined above, we want to focus the remainder of this essay on a much less discussed form of cybersex: CD-ROM porn. Just as sex on videotape helped fuel the VCR market, and sex online has helped fuel the growth of the Internet, sex on CD-ROM is driving a sizable segment of the new "multimedia" market as well. Of the six million or so CD-ROMs sold to consumers in 1994, about ten percent were considered adult titles. As a technology, what's compelling about CD-ROMs is their data-storage capacity, the promise of user choice and interactivity, and low reproduction costs once the product is mastered. Although still relatively new, experts predict CD-ROM will be one of the biggest growth industries in the next decade--a growth in no small measure due to CD-ROM porn. In fact, industry pundits have pointed out that many computer users bought their first CD-ROM drives simply to have access to these adult materials.
In her book _Hard Core_, Linda Williams suggests that the earliest forms of film pornography--indeed the invention of cinema itself--was based largely on the principle of "maximum visibility," the desire to "make visible the invisible" by documenting the mechanics of the human body and its physical pleasures. The pre-cinematic "machines of the visible" (the camera, the Kinetoscope, the Kinetograph, the zoopraxiscope) not only revealed the "truths" of bodily motion, but the visual pleasure inherent in such knowledge. Williams suggests that Eadweard Muybridge's eleven volume series _Animal Locomotion_ offers the most striking illustration of this osmosis of knowledge and pleasure, and further, that the greater sexuality already culturally encoded in the woman's body renders her more susceptible to objectification. As Williams puts it, "at the origin of cinema...we have not only a psychic apparatus with a passion for perceiving and a technological apparatus that makes this perception possible; we have...a social apparatus as well. And this social apparatus is ultimately what constructs women as objects rather than the subjects of vision. For it is what places women in front of the camera and what determines [their] repertoire of activities."
According to Williams, for all its claims to be a visible and material thing, pornography is fundamentally a discourse, a discourse that speaks about sex: what it is, how it works, who does it, and to what effect. Obviously, most pornography has been "spoken" by men for men, but it has not always said the same things in the same ways. The development of pornographic representations from the early 1920s to the present has tended to follow a particular trajectory: from focusing on the woman's nude body and its erotic possibilities, to emphasizing the male organ during sexual arousal and climax, to more diverse representations which explicitly address not only heterosexual men but couples and individuals of all sexual orientations. One question we asked ourselves, then, was whether the development of computer-generated pornographies are following a similar, though accelerated, course. For example, are the production and consumption of these pornographies already beginning to move beyond the exclusive purview of straight white men to reflect a diversity of people and a range of sexual orientations and practices?
With CD-ROM, so far, the answer largely seems to be, not yet. While the mode of consumption for CD-ROM (home-based and "interactive") is more closely aligned with contemporary video porn, by and large, its sexual content (a woman's nude body offered to a presumably heterosexual male spectator) recalls film pornography from the early part of the century. According to Williams, the stag films of the 1920s were rituals of male bonding which oscillated between two different poles of spectatorial pleasure: The first, inherited from the striptease, is the pleasure of men expressing their heterosexual desire for the bodies and genitals of women on display, bodies which mediate the achievement of masculine identity. The second pole of pleasure consists of moving towards, but never fully achieving, identification with a male protagonist who has sex with the woman on-screen. Stag films thus oscillate between what Williams calls the "genital show" (close-ups of the vagina) and "genital event" (close-ups of a penis or penis-substitute penetrating the vagina), with very little of the narrative context that develops later with the full-length feature porno.
Perhaps it is not surprising that CD-ROM porn, a technology still in its infancy, would parallel stag films (the adolescence of film pornography) in key ways, specifically with regard to its episodic structure, and, more significantly, its direct address to the presumably straight male spectator. The differences in the technology, however, have meant that CD-ROM can better realize certain invitations the stag film made but never fulfilled, invitations to the male spectator to participate in the "action." For example, Williams describes an early stag film called _The Virgin With the Hot Pants_ in which a title card addresses a member of the audience directly: "You there in the front row, spread those lips apart for us." On-screen we see a close-up of a man's hands spreading apart the labia of one of the women. Another card: "Turn over honey, so we can see how it looks from behind." The woman obliges, and displays her genitals from the rear. A third card reads, "How about you two getting into your favorite dish?" and in response there is a shot of a man performing cunnilingus. Some moments later a close-up shows a beer bottle inserted into a vagina. Thus the male spectator is encouraged to "interact" with the woman on-screen; he is cast as her hypothetical partner, with a male performer standing in during crucial moments of action.
This describes exactly the sex acts in most interactive CD-ROM porn. "Interactive" is the key word here, since many CD porn software titles merely archive photographs and/or video footage (_High Volume Nudes_, _Biker Babes_, _Girls on Girls_, _The Asian Palate_, and _American Girls_, for example, feature a collection of photographs of nude women in various positions and poses, and thus operate mainly as CD photo albums, or CD versions of the girlie magazine. Other titles are essentially CD-ROM movies. Many of Andrew Blake's films are available on CD, as are _I Love You_, starring Traci Lords, and Godfrey Daniel's _Insatiable_, starring Marilyn Chambers, and _Cafe Flesh_ to name but a few). Some CDs will take only the highlights from feature-length pornos and break them into smaller digitized files; the user "interacts" by choosing the order of, or simply gaining access to, the clips. The more truly interactive game-like CD-ROMs, however, where the user is asked to navigate through a more complex digital environment, contain sexual scenarios that bear remarkable similarities to the stag films described by Williams.
The very first interactive commercial adult CD-ROM software title was _Virtual Valerie_, a more sophisticated color version of _MacPlaymate_, both authored by computer graphics artist Mike Saenz. _MacPlaymate_ was a simple, though incredibly popular, monochrome interactive pornographic program (written for the Macintosh computer) that fit on a floppy. The application consisted of a big busted white woman, naked, reclining on her back with her legs spread toward the user, surrounded by a number of dildonic devices. The user then used the mouse to click on and insert these devices into the woman's vagina in effort to bring her to climax. Saenz claims he produced _Valerie_ in response to audience demand; after _MacPlaymate_ came out, his fans were reportedly begging him for something more sophisticated. The money that _Virtual Valerie_ brought in, he says, allowed him to pursue innovations in the technology and work on more interesting (and "legitimate") products.
The 3-D world of _Virtual Valerie_ contains no digitized photographs or video footage, only computer generated graphics. You must make your way up to Valerie's apartment and, once there, bring her to orgasm. She is, of course, blonde and big-breasted, and not easily satisfied (Saenz has said in interviews that a number of users have developed Carpels Tunnel Syndrome trying to make Valerie climax). She addresses you directly, and you respond to her by clicking with the mouse on the appropriate areas of the screen. In the early stages of the game while she is still on the couch in the living room, Valerie asks you a series of questions to which you respond yes or no ("Do you like my body?" "Do you want to remove my stockings?" Do you want to watch me play with myself?"). You must answer "yes" or she will eject you from the premises. If all goes well, Valerie invites you to the bedroom, where she assumes a position on all fours, viewed from the side. You then choose which object to insert into which orifice. There is a large dildo for vaginal penetration and a smaller one for anal penetration, which can be used doggie-style one at time or simultaneously. You control their movement in and out of her body with the mouse, and she herself moves slightly forwards and backwards as her sexual response meter waxes and wanes. In the director's cut, you can also choose how Valerie will dress in the bedroom: as a nun, a biker babe, a French maid, or in multi-hued body-stockings.
In this earliest adult CD-ROM, there is no male on-screen surrogate for the user to identify with; like the most primitive stag films, the pleasure of spectatorship is tied largely to the display of the woman's body and the user's "interaction" with it. Unlike the stag films, however, _Virtual Valerie_ is also interesting for its complex "virtual world." The user can explore Valerie's apartment complex and the apartment itself, turning lights on and off, opening and closing cupboards and refrigerator doors in the virtual kitchen, running the water and flushing the toilet in the virtual bathroom, playing computer games on the virtual television set, and listening to phone messages on the virtual answering machine. Indeed, _Valerie_ is impressive not for the sex but the painstakingly detailed and exact rendering of the electronic environment. The more recent interactive CD porn titles
combine graphics with live video footage. And again, parallel to the history of pornography in cinema, these CDs tend to feature the male on-screen surrogate that characterizes some of the later stag films. Examples of these CD titles include _Nightwatch Interactive I and II_, _Dream Machine_, _Penthouse Interactive's Virtual Photo Shoot_, _The Interactive Adventures of Seymore Butts I and II_, _Buttman's European Vacation_, and _Virtual Vixens I and II_.
The very first release to integrate live action video was _Nightwatch Interactive_, advertised as the world's first interactive erotic movie. The user follows a buxom blonde security guard on her rounds of a luxury beachfront apartment complex as she spies on sexual exploits of the tenants (a sort of a pornographic _Melrose Place_). The user and the security guard get it on as well, and when her boss Dick catches her relaxing on the job, the user chooses her punishment from a range of options: spank her, eat her muff, get undressed, go back to main menu. In _The Adventures of Seymore Butts_, the user joins Seymore and his video camera as he gets to know his new neighbor, the beautiful Brianna. Point of view camerawork and editing allow Seymore to stand in for the (presumed male) user, who "participates" in the adventures by making choices at certain points in the narrative; for example, whether Seymore asks Brianna to dinner, or offers her a soothing hot tub. When Brianna proves willing to have sex, the user clicks on one of a number of options such as "how about a blow job," "doggie style," or "bring on the horse."
The same point of view structure is also used in _Virtual Vixens_, the pornographic game described briefly at the beginning of this paper, and in some ways the one most like the stag film _The Virgin With the Hot Pants_. The player must bring to orgasm three beautiful women before he can gain admittance to the chambers of the evil temptress Crystal and free his captive friend, whom she has imprisoned for failing to satisfy her sexual appetites. Navigation buttons allow the player to move through the underground Pleasure Palace from one room to the next, each containing video footage of a "virtual vixen" who responds to his ministrations. For example, when the player clicks on the hand icon and then on the digitally rendered breasts of the 3-D female model at the side of the video window, a pair of hairy male arms emerges from the bottom of the screen and begins to fondle the "real" breasts of the woman in the video. The hand icon allows him to remove her clothing, caress various parts of her body, and insert his fingers into her. By clicking on the penis icon, he can penetrate her from the front, or rear; the position of the penis determines which sex act will occur. All this is accomplished through the actions of a male surrogate in the video footage whose face is never shown, since every shot is simultaneously from his (and the player's) point of view. Both the woman and the player/surrogate have an "orgasmeter" which lights up as they get aroused. If the player's orgasmeter peaks before hers does, he is banished from the room and must start over. If he succeeds in bringing her to orgasm before getting off himself, he "scores" the necessary points to proceed to the vixen.
Williams suggest that the pornographic "frenzy of the visible" reveals a struggle to "fix" sex, to make sex "speak." However, neither hardcore pornography nor the sex it depicts contain any self-evident truths about sexuality. In fact, according to Williams, the most central feature of the entire history of cinematic hardcore has been to render increasingly problematic that seemingly natural and universal thing called "sex." The graphic display of women's bodies as repositories of male sexual desire, and the valorization of the ejaculating penis as emblematic of sexual prowess and pleasure, are merely compensatory fetish substitutes for what traditional phallocentric conceptions of sexuality are ill-equipped to represent: evidence of female pleasure. Moreover, Williams traces within the genealogy of film and video pornography a developing curiosity to see and know the woman's sexual pleasure, to ask "what do women want?" Although CD-ROM pornography is in some ways still stuck at the stage of the genital peep-show, in other ways it has already, even if tentatively, begun to ask this question. The man who plays _Virtual Vixens_, for example, must work hard and practice long hours to limit his own orgasmic response while encouraging his partner's. Moreover, _Virtual Vixens_ undermines the primacy of the penis by failing to include the most dramatic and ubiquitous display of phallocentrism in all of hardcore: the "money shot" (where the penis ejaculates).
Needless to say, there is still a long way to go. CD-ROM porn does not offer us "safe" sex simply because it is "simulated" and exists exclusively in an electronic realm, presumably removed from the problems associated with the intermingling of organic bodies in physical space; it offers us safe sex because it is so familiar--operating squarely within a heterosexist, patriarchal, and all too often misogynistic domain. Despite the lip-service paid to the promise of unparalleled "choice" and "interactivity" in the digital age, CD-ROM porn offers surprisingly little.
The development of new technologies has always been a male-dominated space, as has the production of pornography. But so have many other social spaces, including the boardroom, the bedroom, and the university. The problem that exists now in the representation of computer-generated sex is not the sex itself, but who gets to speak about it and what gets said. Williams' study of pornography suggests that the animating male fantasy of hardcore cinema is best described as "the impossible attempt to capture visually the 'frenzy of the visible' in a female body whose orgasmic excitement can never be objectively measured." We suspect a similar fantasy is animating the representation of sex in cyberspace, though the specific mechanisms of this representation will surely be different. As we have tried to point out, there are a lot of things that make sex in a digital environment unique. And there are technologies on the horizon--some within our grasp, others we haven't yet dreamed of--that promise to make it even more distinctive. New technologies demand new languages, new grammars, and force alternative ways of thinking, acting, and being in the world. With regard to the phenomenology of what many currently call the "virtual," those languages and grammars have barely begun to develop.
The split between the "fictional" and the "factual," the "virtual" and the "actual," is bigger than ever, and according to most media critics and academics writing about new technologies, the gap is only getting wider. Baudrillard's classic thesis stating 'simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance, but the generation by models of a real without origin or reality--a hyperreality' has become something of a post-modern mantra. Electronic and digital representation are perceived at one remove from previous representational connections between signification and referentiality. The lamented outcome of this representational turn is that: "We no longer invest our objects with the same emotions, the same dreams of possession, loss, mourning, jealousy." It is presumed that we have lost or can no longer privilege the experiential perception of a body in physical space; we've become "disembodied."
There will always be technological doomsayers who criticize digitally mediated experience because it establishes a discursive relationship with, as many insist, "nothing but an image." But this discursive relationship is hardly new. The history of pornographic representation has always been precisely that, a history of representation--through the spoken word, the painting, the sculpture, the written word, the photograph, the film, the video, or the computer. Nevertheless, this critique has found fertile ground in the field of new technological developments. From this point of view, virtual sex is considered bad sex, and virtual porn bad porn, not only because it might be misogynist, but because it is no longer "real," meaning it does not involve human bodies on a physical plane. What this position fails to realize is that sex has always been mediated. Whenever sense perceptions are stimulated by nerves firing off the skin, in the eye, the nose, or the ear--all of which then get sent to the brain for batch processing--something is coming between sensory perception and the meaning that gets generated from the experience of it. Thus, on one level, it makes little difference in terms of the ontological reality of experience whether one is *doing* the sex, or *watching* the sex being done, *touching* another person, or *pointing and clicking* a mouse on a monitor, the activity is being "mediated," "screened," and perceptually encoded and symbolically interpreted by a body that is spatially and temporally dis- and then re-located.
What is perhaps most enticing about the promise (and the pitfalls) of "virtual" pornography is the potential for porn to move beyond the discursive terrain it has historically occupied. So far, the aim of most interface design has been to approximate with ever greater precision "real-world" (i.e., seemingly unmediated) experience. The struggle for producers is how to create a totally immersive environment where the best interface is one that ceases to be an interface at all, and where the "simulated" no longer appears, well, simulated. Unfortunately, this epistemological orientation to the production process keeps us stuck in a mode of representation that thrives on, indeed requires, the reproduction of binary oppositions between the "artificial" and the "natural," the "fictional" and the "factual." But part of the promise of digital technologies is their potential to help liberate us from these conceptual constraints.
1. David Kushner, "Drag Net: Confessions of a Cyberlesbian," in _Details_ (Dec.), 1994, 76.
2. Gerard Van der Luen, "This is a Naked Lady," in _Wired_ Premiere Issue, 1993, 74.
3. Howard Rheingold, _The Virtual Community_. (New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1993), 234.
4. Ibid, 76-77.
5. _Wired_ 2.02, 32.
6. _Wired_2.08, 36.
7. _Wired_1.4, 44.
8. Gareth Branwyn, "Compu-Sex: Erotica for Cybernauts," pp.779-791 in _Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture_, ed. Mark Derry, in Special issue of _The South Atlantic Quarterly_, Vol. 92, No. 3, Fall 1993, 785.
9. Maureen Furniss, "Sex With a Hard (Disk) On: Computer Bulletin Boards and Pornography," _Wide Angle_ Vol. 15, No. 2 (April), 1993, 19-37.
10. _Wired_, 2.03.
11. _Wired_ 3.01, p.83
12. Kushner, "Drag Net: Confessions of a Cyberlesbian," 76.
13. _Business Week_ April 3, 1995, 118.
14. _Wired_3.01, 38.
15. Linda Williams, _Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible"_. (Berkeley: University of California Press 1989), 45.
16. Ibid, 58-92.
17. Ibid, 70.
18. See Saenz interview this issue.
19. Williams _Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible"_, 271.
20. Ibid, 45.
21. Jean Baudrillard, _Selected Writings_, ed. Mark Poster, (Stanford: Stanford University Press1988).
22. Vivian Sobchack, "Materiality and Technologic: A Phenomenological Meditation on the Photographic, Cinematic, and Electronic," abridged from "The Scene Of The Screen," _Materialities of Communication_, ed. H.U. Gumbrecht, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), 17-20.
23. Jean Baudrillard, _The Ecstasy of Communication_, trans. Bernard and Caroline Schutze, ed. Sylvere Lotringer, (New York: Semiotext(e),1987), 12.
24. Williams _Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible"_, 92.