Cybersex: Outercourse and the Enselfment of the Body

Document Type


Publication Date



Sociology and Corrections


The increased popularity of the Internet invites the possibility of repackaging familiar activities in a new medium. Sex is one such activity—an age-old topic with a new cybertwist. The new technologies of computer-mediated communication allow us to examine the nature of human interaction in a uniquely disembodied environment that potentially transforms the nature of self, body, and situation. Sex—fundamentally a bodily activity—provides an ideal situation for examining these kinds of potential transformations. In the disembodied context of on-line interaction both bodies and selves are fluid symbolic constructs emergent in communication and are defined by sociocultural standards. Situations such as these are suggestive of issues related to contemporary transgressions of the empirical shell of the body, potentially reshaping body-to-self-to-social-world relationships.

Publication Title

Symbolic Interaction