“Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn, and Fantasy Obsession in the Internet Age”– Addicted to the Web?

Weiss, Robert and Schneider, Jennifer, “Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn, and Fantasy Obsession in the Internet Age”, Alyson Books, 2006.

Addicted to the Web?

Amos Lassen

We all know how important the internet has become in the lives of the GLBT community. Just as it can be helpful, it can also have devastating results but the way that it affects relationships, family, career, health, self-esteem and intimacy. We are all aware of how addictive the web can be and Robert Weiss and Jennifer Schneider examine the internet phenomenon in their book “Untangling the Web”. For some people the surfing the net can be no more than a pleasant way to pass time and for others it can be addictive that it can destroy an existing way of life. The authors maintain that before spending a lot of time on the net, the user should consider several questions:

1.) Am I looking for just a good time or am I addicted to pornography?

2.) If I have chats of a sexual nature or engage in cyber sex, am I cheating on my partner?

3.) Is it possible to fall in love with a fantasy and how can I present myself from doing so?

4.) How can children be protected from the pornography available at the hit of a button?

In an attempt to give us honest answers to there questions, the authors show us how to have a healthy relationship with the World Wide Web and how to avoid being sucked into it. Their nonjudgmental approach to understanding what the web entails and includes fir gay men is an insight worth considering. Weiss and Schneider also give us steps to heal any web addiction we may have acquired. This is a book of sound advice and is a valuable resource for anyone swept up into the internet. Easily readable, concise and to the point it presents both the benefits of the web and well as the disadvantages.

Any of us that spend a lot of time online are aware of how addictive it can be. We all know people that will sit in front of their computers for days on end, hiding behind a screen and pretending to be whom they are not. Likewise the same is done to them. This fantasy world can indeed have an effect on the real world and it can be become a very unhealthy exercise. With chapters on such subjects as “pornography: Fantasy or Obsession”, “Pleasure Seeker or Porn Addict” and “The Reality of Romance Online”, we have a good deep look into the internet. This is a valuable book for all of us who use the internet and a welcome addition to the field of gay literature.

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