Cybersex Chatrooms

Rehash - A podcast by Rehash - Luni

Before “co-authored, interactive erotica” (otherwise known as sexting), we had chatrooms. Virtual spaces where anyone of any race, gender, class, or creed could come together to fornicate with their words. The MUD and MOO chatrooms of yore belonged to a time when Dungeons and Dragons nerds governed the internet - a utopia of beautiful, unadulterated cybersex. But one fateful day in 1993, this would all change. In this episode, Hannah and Maia discuss the origins of online chatrooms, their dark corners, and eventual evolution into child-oriented platforms (like Habbo Hotel and Club Penguin). Digressions include: beautiful house theory, “meat puppets”, Richard Nixon’s brief stint on IMVU, and Maia repeatedly confusing AOL for AIM.  SOURCES Rachel Seifert, “Striptease and cyber sex: my stay at Habbo Hotel” Channel 4 News, (2012)  Paraic O’Brien, “Should you let your child play in Habbo Hotel?” Channel 4 News, (2012) William J. Shefski, Interactive Internet: the insider’s guide to MUDs, MOOs and IRC, (1995) Habbo, Wikipedia  Sara Morais dos Santo Bruss, “CHAPTER 1: The Internet Imaginary and Digital Modernity” Feminist Solidarities after Modulation (2023)  Steve Downey, “History of the (Virtual) Worlds”, The Journal of Technology Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall 2014)  Sherry Turkle, “Tinysex and Gender Trouble” Sex/Machine: Readings in Culture, Gender, and Technology (1998) Dennis Waskul, Mark Douglass, Charles Edgley, “Cybersex: Outercourse and the Enselfment of the Body” Symbolic Interactions, Vol. 23, No. 4 (2000)  Samantha Cole, How Sex Changed the Internet and the Internet Changed Sex, Workman Publishing (2022) Julian Dibbell, “A Rape in Cyberspace (or TINYSOCIETY and How to Make One)” My tiny life: crime and passion in a virtual world, Henry Holt (1998)