The Dilemma of Intimacy and Privacy in Romance Voice Chat

By: Media

Have you ever dated online? If you say no, you either are strictly monogamous or not having a computer.

Online dating involves quite a bit of personal stuffs. Profiles, photos, self descriptions, chat rooms, photo exchanges, webcam to webcam... The highest visual gratification is probably virtual sex or desktop stripping. But that's not the most intimate part of the game.

A webcam image of a cute face or body or even private part may turn you on instantly. But nothing compares to a voice.

Voice chat is emotional and intimate. That's the thrill of online dating. But for some, they just wish they could protect their privacy to some extent.

A voice reveals who you are. It carries your energy and will. You can control others, or be controlled, just by voice.

In an article titled "Online dating service to use voice chat", a solution is put forward for the dilemma of intimacy and privacy.

"Online dating services may be convenient, but they're not the most personable way to meet a potential mate. What's been lacking," Match.com Chief Executive Jim Safka believes, "is a way for would-be couples to hear each other talk.
A new service from the company called matchTalk aims to do just that.
Free for basic subscribers beginning Thursday, matchTalk will let users go online and signal if they're interested in speaking to each other anonymously over the phone.
The system protects privacy by assigning the couple a unique number that they can use to talk to each other without fear of giving away their real telephone number or other personal details. People with caller ID will see the matchTalk number instead of their actual listing.
Safka described the technology - an industry first - as an important step in the development of Internet-based matchmaking services."
AVnex Ltd., a pioneer in audio video software, however, have a different idea. For years, they have successfully marketed a program called AV Voice Changer Software including three editions which have hit more than a million download times from CNET (www.download.com) alone.

This program hooks into the voice chat program (like Yahoo Mesenger, PalTalk or Skype) and changes the voice output of the chatter when he/she speaks into the microphone. It may be an Asian teenage boy talking at one end and an American middle-aged woman voice at the other end, but you don't have to change your voice such drastically. You can modify your voice just a bit, with tools like pitch/timbre shifter and voice equalizer.

Apart from the element of fun, voice changing in voice chat room protects chatters from too much intimacy and self-revelation. Emotional bonds can be great, but only if you are ready for them.

Safka added, "That voice is really critical in determining whether you have chemistry with someone". Yes, that's true. But what if there is no chemistry at all, or even worse, what if there is a "karma loath" instead.

Intimacy is a two-sided matter. Many people choose to be cautious. Moreover, using a Voice Changer to mask their voices during voice chat conversations is just as acceptable as any self-protection means.

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