Snugglepuss8 first met FerrariMan72 in a chat room for vegetarian singles. They sent flirtatious instant messages, exchanged personal eight hundred word e-mails, and re-defined the rules of online dating. Together they've made a significant mark on cyber history by becoming the first documented e-coupleship to result in cyber marriage. Recently, I had the unusual honor of interviewing (via IM) the female half of this neo-modern union. (Unfortunately, the male half was unable to participate in this interview due to a raging computer virus.)
Intrvuer28: How did you meet your cyber hubby, FerrariMan72?
Sungglepuss8: In a chat room for vegans. J I was immediately attracted to FerrariMan72's conversation with another chat member. They were exchanging recipes. He had written the most amazing sounding recipe for organic spinach dip. I asked if the spinach could be substituted with asparagus. We've been inseparable ever since. J
Intrvuer28: How long did you two date online?
Sungglepuss8: Two wonderful years. J
Intrvuer28: Describe your typical cyber date with FerrariMan72.
Sungglepuss8: Usually, we'd either meet at The Cyber Café chat room or E-Bistro. We'd IM each other while eating our dinners in real time. We've completely mastered the art of holding our forks in our left hands while typing 110 words a minute with our right. Sometimes, FerrariMan72 would take me shopping online. We'd both log-on to one of my favorite online stores, such as Banana Republic or Sharper Image. Then, we'd browse the web site together and he'd buy me whichever item I liked. He's very generous. He'll even send me flowers and balloons at work.Whenever we'd be too tired to date, we'd just write each other a simple e-mail stating SYT.MU., which in our e-lingo means See Ya Tomorrow. Miss You.
Intrvuer28: You've developed your own e-lingo? Sharing a special language must promote intimacy.
Sungglepuss8: Yes, absolutely. It's like we live in our very own blessed world. Nobody can destroy or interfere with it. It's a world in which only two people exist. Snugglepuss28 & FerrariMan72.
Intrvuer28: Sounds very romantic.
Intrvuer28: How did FerrariMan72 propose cyber marriage?
Sungglepuss8: It was on our two-year anniversary. We had had plans to meet up in the vegetarian chat room and celebrate. (In real time, each of us had prepared dinners of organic spinach dip and tofu chips in honor of our very first e-conversation. J) Suddenly, a banner flashed across my computer screen. I had almost closed the banner out of habit. (I hate those annoying web banners.) An inner voice told me to read this particular banner. It read, "I luv u, Snugglepuss8. Will you be my webbed wife?"
Intrvuer28: Cute. Wedded wife webbed wife
Sungglepuss8: Yes, he's very clever. J
Intrvuer28: Where was the wedding ceremony held?
Sungglepuss8: At cyberchapel.com. The experienced spiritual staff at cyberchapel.com will marry any affianced couple as long as they have user names, valid e-mail addresses, a copy of the marriage proposal and acceptance in writing. You'll also need to pay a service fee of $200.
Intrvuer28: Is your marriage legally binding?
Sungglepuss8: Yes. Cyberchapel.com e-mailed us our NY state marriage certificate within 24 hours of the ceremony.
Intrvuer28: Did you go on a honeymoon?
Sungglepuss8: Yes. We honeymooned at virtualvacation.com. It's a web site designed to accommodate people who either can't afford to take a vacation or can't take the time out of their busy schedules to travel. The web site's staff will engage you in dialogue and create the atmosphere of any vacation locale of your choice. You can vacation in the Caribbean tropics, exotic West Indies, quaint Europe villages, or exciting cities of North America.
Intrvuer28: Aside from sexual contact, marriage is a very physical relationship. It traditionally involves two people interacting, relating, and spending time with one another in the same living space. How do you maintain a cyber marriage?
Sungglepuss8: We're constantly connected to one another, even more so than the average married couple. Most married couples only see each other during the week for about 8 interrupted hours during the weekday. We spend all day with each other. We IM each other during the work day. At 9AM and 12:30PM, we send each other our daily e-mails. At lunchtime, we forego the typical lunches spent with co-workers so that we can eat at our desks and IM for an hour. We eat our real time dinners online each night at precisely 7PM. Then, we'll chat, read e-books, or download music together from 8PM until 11PM. Most often we'll engage in cyber sex and then go to sleep. Even while we're sleeping, we'll leave our computers on in case of an overnight emergency.
Intrvuer28: Are you comfortable with not being able to engage in physical displays of affection, such as hugging, kissing, hand holding, cuddling?
Sungglepuss8: I've never been very comfortable with outward shows of affection. It's overrated. I was able to live without it in my life prior to meeting my husband.
Intrvuer28: For how long did you live without affection prior to meeting your current e-husband?
Sungglepuss8: Twelve years.
Intrvuer28: I see. Do you believe that a person can live on cyber sex alone?
Sungglepuss8: Of course. Cyber is completely satisfying. FerrariMan72 is the best cyber sex partner. The most sexual human organ is the brain. Undoubtedly, sexy IM's are highly stimulating. Besides, who would know better than yourself how you like to be touched? Real time sex usually begins with two minutes of foreplay, one minute of sex, and minimal satisfaction.
Intrvuer28: Taking into consideration your pro-cyber sex viewpoint, would I be assuming too much by saying that you're not interested in having children and raising a real family with your husband?
Sungglepuss8: No. I've never wanted the responsibility of raising children, especially in this depraved world in which we all live. However, FerrariMan72 and I have been seriously thinking about sponsoring a child from a third world country through the save3wrldchild.com organization. Or maybe, we'd raise a virtual child together. I hear that virtual child raising is becoming more and more popular on the web. That could be fun. But never would we create a flesh and blood child.
Intrvuer28: Do your families know about each other's e-partners?
Sungglepuss8: No. We've both been estranged from our families for years, which is something else that we have in common.
Intrvuer28: How about your friends? Do they know about your cyber marriage?
Sungglepuss8: All of my close friends, including my e-therapist, are on the web. So, they're all fully supportive.
Intrvuer28: Have you ever talked to FerrariMan72 on the phone?
Intrvuer28: Would you consider talking with your husband on the phone in the future?
Sungglepuss8: No. The only voice that I'm interested in hearing is the voice that comes from FerrariMan72's heart and is released through his finger tips onto the computer screen.
Intrvuer28: Any plans to meet FerrariMan72 in person?
Sungglepuss8: F2F face to face ?
Sungglepuss8: For what purpose? We've created a beautiful love affair. There is no place for the physical world within our perfect union. The physical realm serves as an obstacle in nurturing a truly loving relationship built on spiritual, emotional, and intellectual compatibility. The physical world is false and misleading. I haven't any use for it at all.
Intrvuer28: Has FerrariMan72 ever described his physical appearance to you and yours to him?
Sungglepuss8: No. In my mind's eye, FerrariMan72 is as physically attractive as his warm and sensitive personality. And vice versa.
Intrvuer28: Snugglepuss8, your cyber marriage has generated widespread publicity. Your endorsement of cyber marriage has been criticized by computer illiterates and computer literates alike for being "absurd," "anti-social," and a "mockery of traditional love and marriage." How do you respond to your adversaries?
Sungglepuss8: We all are "guilty" of loving someone who can't be seen, heard, or touched. Most people refer to this "someone" or "something" as God, Yahweh, or Allah. There are religious orders built around their devotion to faceless beings. How is that much different than my love for my husband?
With those heartfelt words having been written, Sungglepuss 8 politely ended our interview. She briefly explained that FerrariMan72's birthday was the following week, and she had wanted to bid on a rare vegetarian cookbook featured on e-bay. Either Sungglepuss8 & FerrariMan72 are the bravest couple to ever find unconditional love, or they're two of the loneliest people in both the three-dimensional and cyber worlds.
© Melt Magazine 2003