As we move online, the definition of a community changes. Our neighbors aren’t just those people physically near us, but those we hang out with. This flexible definition of a community has serious repercussions for law and social morals: when we find kindred spirits online, we start thinking that everyone is just like us. At the same time, different communities hold us to different standards, and now that those communities leak into one another we need to apply context to our judgement.
In the 1970s bestseller The Joy Of Sex, we learn about a man who could only be aroused in a bathtub full of spaghetti. Back then, he probably led a lonely, normal life — albeit one in which he bought a lot of pasta and had a higher water bill than his neighbors. It’s unlikely that he had friends who shared his particular turn-on.
Communities define decency differently. In Canada, certain sexual practices are only legal when two people are present; no spectators. Until a 2003 Supreme Court ruling, many states outlawed specific sexual acts, and many of them remain on the books despite being invalidated by the high court. Communities were defined by their geographic boundaries. That’s why adult sites contain text like this: (and I’m just making this up here (okay not really)):
OMG, I had never heard of this one!
Carmen, you know what's weird, I was looking for a pen fetish, I already did a pencil. I've no clue how I ended up here.
I like to much spaghetti's to spoils it like this, I grow with spaghetti's, even have the name as spaghetti's eater in school as my parent's ware Italian and I am born in France
Me too Roberto, what a waste.