Sun, Jun 06, 2004 - Page 17 News List

Diary of cyber-sex virgin

The Internet is widely used as a tool to meet people, for a date, or simply for sex. While there is no law against this, there is against prostitution, which is becoming increasinly popular online

By Diana Freundl  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

"Jack," and "Michael," also AFF subscribers, did post photos and both were somewhat successful in their encounters. They have each met three girls in the past two years. Describing himself as a highly-sexed individual, Jack said he doesn't limit his pursuit of one-night stands to the Internet, claiming to pick up women at various bars and pubs around the city. Michael, on the other hand, said he is more "clinical" in the way he meets women and feels for a small amount of money AFF provides him with a level of privacy he wouldn't get at a bar.

One of the biggest concerns with Internet dating is the danger of meeting someone you met online in person. According to Internet Crime Detective Chen Yong-shen (陳永昇) of the Taipei City Police Criminal Investigation Division, there have been no reported cases of violence from parties involved in one-night stands arranged over the Internet in Taipei City this year. Cases involving stalkers or jealous lovers, however, would not be handled by his department, making it difficult to determine the actual number of related cases, he said.

Recently a story appeared in local Chinese-language media of a man, attacked and severely beaten while on his way to meet a woman he was corresponding with online. It was reported later that the girl's boyfriend had hired the attackers.

A desire for privacy, according to Chen, also limits the number of people who report Internet dates gone wrong. However, the small number of reported incidents in the Taipei City area suggests the fear of something bad happening is larger than the reality.

When asked to comment, in his capacity as a police officer, whether it is safer to meet a potential one-night stand in a bar or online, Chen replied, "A bar, because there are other people around. If you have problems you could track that person quickly. The problem with chat rooms or Web sites is you don't know this person, you don't know what they really want."

Having browsed adult chat rooms and listings on AFF it seems most people do know what they want: discreet meetings in hotel rooms. For Web-sex daters, adult personal sites are 21st century commodities providing them with designer sex that is convenient and private. Whether for long-term commitment or a one-night stand the Internet is one place where love is being made in Taiwan.

A search for one-night stands (一夜情) on various search engines churns out a list of pornography, cyber-sex and chat rooms for discreet meetings and prostitution. Monitoring these sites is an arduous task undertaken by parents, child welfare groups and the police. Their main concern is that chat rooms are increasingly popular among young students in Taiwan.

A small poll by this reporter of 17 Taiwanese high school students found 90 percent use Internet chat rooms and 50 percent use chat rooms with romantic intentions (dating and/or sex).

Jean a 17 year-old student said she and her classmates use Yahoo chat rooms three to four times a week and often encounter postings by men looking for sex. "Every time I check in the chat room there will be some advertisement for people who want to have one night stands for money."

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