Primal Urges Thrust Internet Into the Future

Dennis Faas's picture

Internet users trying to satisfy their primal urges are helping drive technological advances, according to a British researcher. Dr. Trudy Barber of the University of Portsmouth is an expert on cyberspace and subcultures. She says today's unraveling underground revolution can be likened to the way explicit films made video recorders popular among consumers in the late 1970s.

Barber gave some interesting examples of this current revolution, including phone hanky-panky and people who actually wire themselves up to their computer so that fellow Internet users can press a button to give them pleasure.

Barber will be lecturing this weekend at a Royal Society of Medicine conference on these carnal pleasures. She hopes to give doctors and experts on the subject a better understanding of modern technology's effects on our lives inside the bedroom.

She said "Nothing shocks me now although I'm frequently surprised at how ingenious people are in order to obtain...satisfaction."

Barber's research has led her to Second Life, an Internet-based 'virtual world' where users create their own characters to interact with others. She says many users mirror their real-life bedroom practices within the game.

Barber has been examining the subject for many years; her doctoral research attempted to answer questions surrounding "Exposing the Impact of Arousal on the Technologies of Cyberspace." (Source:

However, when contacted by one technology website, she seemed unable to go into much detail about her latest 'discoveries', other than making the seemingly-obvious statement that mobile phone users can talk dirty to one another. (Source:

Her comments seem to be little more than an (admittedly-effective) attempt to gain publicity for the conference. But there is something in what she says; as well as VHS video, some have credited X-rated film with the popularization of technologies such as DVDs, webcams and Internet subscription sites.

Oh, and don't forget that it's a popular method for distributing viruses and spyware.

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