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Sex, the Internet and Amercian Suburbia

"Cheating online is Adultery."
-- Headline from La Stampa, a popular Italian newspaper

"My wife doesnt care if I have relationships (even sexual) on the Internet. Its like its not real ...I can get away with it. But, Im sure shed get upset if we were to meet for a drink or something."
-- Anonymous Survey Respondent, 41-year old married male from Oklahoma City

A recent survey by, one of the first Internet romance communities, has revealed the results from a four-month survey of Internet sex and morality. The bottom line: You can talk, but you cant look. picked a good time to release these results. The Italian public is having the same debate this week. A recent poll of Italians, where 97% of the population is Roman Catholic, said that 40% of Italian women interviewed said they feared that "their husbands might find a woman more fascinating than them while surfing the Web."

How do Americans compare?

When visitors were asked where they would draw the line when their significant other commits cyber-contact with a member of the opposite sex, their responses were a little surprising.

According to the survey, conducted by in the first half of 2000, here is what IS OK:

  • 79.7% of their viewers stated that it IS OK to reply to an instant message or ICQ.
  • The same percent of viewers even went as far as to say it IS OK to have an online IM or ICQ conversation with a member of the opposite sex whom they dont even know.
  • An astonishing 75.2% of their visitors stated that it IS OK for their significant other to visit an adult site.

And heres whats NOT OK:

  • Photo exchange. 54% of Dateable.coms visitors say it is NOT OK to exchange photos with a person of the opposite sex whom they dont know.
  • 77.4% visitors polled that it is NOT OK for their significant other to participate in an adult one-on-one online video conversation with a member of the opposite sex whom they dont know.
  • 80.6% of Dateable.coms visitors feel that it is NOT OK for their significant other to give his or her phone number to a member of the opposite sex whom they do not know, but met online.

Nobody knows the true number of -marital affairs occurring online, but Elizabeth Field, founder of, said she knows increasing numbers of people who have been burned by this kind of cheating. "To me, it's a sign of the times ... I don't agree with (cyber-cheating) at all," said Field.

Want to learn more about the survey? Go to to participate in the sex and morality survey and read the results.

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