Net Gains: First-time fakers
Saturday 01 August 1998
Well, that was what we were told was going to happen, when the Our First Time site launched three weeks ago. Apparently, the idea belonged to Diane who, like Mike, is a church-going high-school honours student. Diane was inspired while watching a birth at a Florida hospital live on the Net on 16 June. She got talking online to a California web-page designer, Oscar Wells.
"She thought [the birth] was educational, but said that if they showed someone making love it would be considered obscene," says Wells. "She made the off-hand remark, `If I could, I'd lose my virginity online to make the point.' I said, `If you're serious, I can facilitate that'."
In fact, the whole thing was a not very convincing hoax, as was revealed after the first week of media pressure, during which the site crashed offline because the software could not cope with the millions of people trying to visit it.
A new, powered-up Our First Time site then bounced back, with the sponsorship of a condom retailer, Condomania, which insisted that the controversial live video was ditched and that the site come clean. Our First Time has since continued, with a curious day-by-day diary of Mike and Diane in words and snapshots as they prepare for you-know-what. The motive now, according to the sponsor, is to promote safer sex.
What will be presented on the concluding Tuesday remains a mystery, but the quality of the adventures in the past week has not been inspirational. First there was the visit to the Condomania store in Los Angeles (Mike: "This condom store has every possible condom from around the world. Both male and female, as well as every other safe product available. There's also fun stuff like games, postcards, silly food products, and a few other assorted toys." Diane: "I'm telling you now, you can forget the toys. I don't need anything but you." Mike: "I'm yours for ever"). Then there were the Aids tests - why, or is there something Mike is not telling us? Strangest of all was the day they revealed to Diane's parents what they were going to do (Diane: "They told us that they did not think that this statement is one worth making, but if we do, then they will support our right to do it. They just asked one thing: please do it with class - and be very careful. I am so lucky to have parents like these").
In a way, it's a relief the site bears so little relation to reality. (Do you think your first time would make a good video?) But you can guarantee that eventually a bona fide couple will lose their virginity on the Net. We have already had a birth, with the hospital where it took place now planning to screen live surgery.
There is an established business in sites with webcams permanently trained on real people's bedrooms - the most famous, JenniCam, now charges $15 a year to subscribe. Voyeurism is big business, as RPTV (real-people television) endlessly proves. And perhaps someone will be inspired by one of this summer's hit films, The Truman Show, in which Jim Carrey grows up to realise that his entire life has been broadcast as a soap opera using hidden cameras. And you thought Mike and Diane were scary.
Our First Time with Mike and Diane
EarthCam's guide to the best webcam sites
Life & Style blogs
Charlie Charlie Challenge: everyone on the internet thinks it’s a marketing stunt, but it probably isn’t
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be
Woman jailed for making 'loud sex noises'
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Windows 10: apps and features killed off as Microsoft reveals limits of new operating system
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 How much sex should I be having?
£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: These refrigeration specialists...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an operational role and...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working within the workshop of ...
£20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...