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Davis, California

Monday, May 20, 2024

Column: Next, please

The Internet is a wonderful place. It’s like having the world at your fingertips, no matter where you go. You can buy whatever you want, go wherever you want and talk to whoever you want.

For one 17-year-old teenager from Moscow, the Internet has become a playground. This kid created a website using existing technology to enhance the world of social networking. He called it Chatroulette.

You’re basically using the same tactics you’d use on a Vegas casino floor: Luck. Who will you stumble upon in this land of cyber?

Will you meet Mr. Right or just Mr. Right Now? Who knows? But one thing is certain in this land – all is fair in love and war.

In a matter of 10 minutes during my first Chatroulette experience, I came across not one, but three penises. All of which were being stroked by their owner. Yuck! We don’t need to see that, boys. Save it for the shower!

It’s a place where strangers become friends, where people learn about all corners of the world and where someone may meet the love of their life. But how can you have a conversation about life when you keep getting “nexted?”

Yup, if you’re not up to the standards of your fellow chatter, they will click on the “next” button. And – voilà – a different person will pop up on your screen. Just pray they don’t next you before you next them.

If you’re one of these addicted Chatrouletters who spend more time “nexting” than texting, I highly suggest leaving the romance at the door.

After conducting a bit of research on this website, some of the people just want to see some tits. People hold up pieces of paper with tally marks indicating how many boobs, penises and even smiles they’ve been shown. If you’re lucky enough to stumble across one of these, I would use caution when showing your junk.

Some turn these images into drinking games. I have been told people gather around a computer screen with a drink in their hand, and every time a penis comes on the screen, they have to chug. Man, if I was doing this the other night I’d probably be trashed.

Can you really start a relationship with someone you meet online? Especially on a site like Chatroulette? It’s possible, but I have my pros and cons.

Let’s start with the pros. It’s a great way to meet a lot of people at one time. You can spread your seeds and go on dates. Learn what you want and what you don’t want. Just try it for the free dinners.

Here’s an online success story: My dad has been with his girlfriend for almost five years and they met on Match.com. It’s a great way to meet new people. I wouldn’t want my dad going to bars to pick up women. So thanks, Match.com. You did me proud.

Now for the cons. Some of my friends have used Jdate.com – a site for Jewish singles to find their Mr. Lawyer and Mrs. Doctor. You meet guys and girls who ask for your picture before they ask for your name (how shallow). Sometimes they ask you for pictures of your feet. Maybe keep your fetishes to yourself?

It doesn’t matter if you meet someone at a bar, online or in class. It matters how you feel about the person and if he or she makes you happy.

So for all you obsessed Chatrouletters out there, keep on chatting and nexting. Who knows? Maybe that masturbating creep could be the love of your life. But I really hope not.

Just a word of advice: When using online social networking sites, please use common sense. Don’t give out personal information. You never know who’s on the other side of that screen.

ERICA BETNUN is still a bit traumatized from the penises. If you’d like to share your online dating stories, e-mail her at elbetnun@ucdavis.edu.


  1. Well, uhm… As a matter of fact, if you read BETNUN’s first column, she does indeed call herself a sex columnIST. I just feel like if she’s going to call herself one, go on and do it. I have been reading Erica’s columns since day one and quite frankly, they’re bland. I always finish the columns WISHING she had done more with them — every single one! As for calling it a “wonderfully penned piece of poetic pedantry,” all I have to say is … woah. You must not read a lot. Take this piece from the column: “Will you meet Mr. Right or just Mr. Right Now? Who knows? But one thing is certain in this land – all is fair in love and war.” NONE of it is original. Push the envelope.

    Also, TJ Maxx, I never considered myself an all-knowing commentator of sex. I was merely pointing out that if Erica Betnun, self-proclaimed “sex columnist,” was going to call herself that, she shouldn’t have such a narrow mindset. She has yet to touch point on threesomes, fetishes, sex toys, STIs, HIV, AIDS, BDSM — the list goes on! I just feel as though she could be a little more mature on the subject and write daringly and interestingly.

  2. My apologies ‘tp’, though methinks you are closely affiliated with Mademoiselle Betnun. However close you may be, you must have completely misunderstood my point. I was merely haranguing ‘leslie458′ rather than the author of this wonderfully penned piece of poetic pedantry. I quite enjoy this lass’ columns and think she is a bit cheeky at times. Clever girl that you are, your inherent lack of grammar and punctuation is appauling. I should hope you attended all of your requisite writing lectures! And for Peter’s sake we don’t care if ‘she gets plenty down and dirty’ in her personal life. Leave that for the rumor mills! TJM

  3. ok first off, its BETNUN, not betnum. but thats not the point. I dont think erica was actually traumatized by seeing them. I think she meant it was just shocking how willing people were to show off their junk to random strangers online. we live in a world of technology, and nowadays the internet can provide us with anything at anytime including penises.. but i think its a tad disturbing to see three penises when you are first introduced to this one website.
    i love ericas column and thinks she gets plenty down and dirty, both in her columns and in her personal life!!

  4. I believe Mademoiselle ‘leslie458’ has an interesting point. She believes that Mlle Betnum’s column should have revolved around the image of the male genitalia. Quite fascinating that she also believes this to be a sex column. Even furthermore off-centre is Mademoiselle ‘leslie458’ thinks she is wise on sexual tactics. Take this with a pinch of salt my love, but, BOLLOCKS.
    Last thing Mlle Betnum needs is a someone chastising her about not centring a column around male genitalia. If a man had said this he’d be considered a pervert and a chauvinist. Where is Mademoiselle Haley Davis to point out the social construct problems when you need her? Bloody hell.


  5. Really? How can you be traumatized by penises and call yourself a sex columnist?! Grow up. Get down and dirty. Don’t dance around sex like a middle schooler anymore.


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