Last week I attended the IITAP Symposium (www.IITAP.com). This is the annual conference offered by the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. One of the feature presenters was Rob Weiss, LCSW, founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute (www.SexualRecovery.com). He presented an educational, informative, and interesting session on the ever-increasing technology that can be used for connecting with sexual content and sexual partners – virtually instantaneously.
In a brilliant demonstration to drive his point home, Mr. Weiss connected his iPhone, live, to the LCD projector. He demonstrated through two different apps, loaded on his iPhone moments before the presentation, how easy it was to connect to the cyber-sex-world for the possibility of immediate human contact.
The internet has long been known to those seeking anonymous sexual activity. The key factors that make sex on the Internet a powerful medium have long been referred to the “3 A’s” or the Triple A Engine (Cooper, 1998). Those 3 “A’s” are: Affordability, Anonymity, and Accessibility. I would argue the newest phenomenon in this triple A threat would be to add an “I” on for Instantaneous.
Mr. Weiss demonstrated an app that utilized GPS technology on the phone to locate available and willing partners identified by dots on his iPhone screen. One can specify the maximum circumference distance area that one would like to search from their current location. In a shocking reveal, there was someone 652 feet from his phone!! This anonymous person had uploaded a picture and a request for an anonymous sex partner 40 minutes previously!! There was another identified person approximately 2000 feet away!
Mr. Weiss demonstrated another app recently created for the smart phone market. This app is an extension product of an application long known on the internet (those old antiquated days) advertising for extramarital affair connection. He loaded a fictitious profile on the internet site just before the presentation began. Checking his e-mail 40 minutes after loading his profile and request for a partner online, he had 6 different e-mail hits!
My clinical training for treating chemical addictions taught me that the faster a substance reaches the brain, the more addictive the substance. The Triple Engine Threat that has long been known to fuel estimates for sex addiction to be between 3-6% of the general population, just got faster and more efficient. Cybersex has been referred to as the crack cocaine of the internet. I think we can safely say this next generation of smart phones might be the speedball effect!!