Privacy And Sexual Shame: What Dating Site Hacks Have Taught Us

December 6, 2018

  minute READ

Hacks and cyber crime seem to be par for the course these days. In recent years, two major attacks on big dating sites impacted hundreds of millions of people: the AshleyMadison.com hack in 2015, and the AdultFriendFinder.com hack in 2016.

Both attacks had dire consequences for the people exposed, with a wave of divorces and even some users’ lives being put at risk (in the case of Ashley Madison). They also started a serious discussion of the security of such sites. But, the case of dating site hacks is not just a lesson about cyber-security – it can also provide interesting insight on sexual shame within our societies.

Watching the fallout of these attacks inspired Dr. Valeria and I to make an episode specifically about this issue. In Episode 37 of the Get Sex Smart podcast, we use the attacks mentioned above as case studies and examine what they might say about us and our attitudes on the sex lives of others.

In this episode we discuss:

  • the differences between the two sites
  • the details and consequences of both attacks
  • the security issues they exposed and how the sites failed their users
  • why the stakes are higher with hacks related to sexuality
  • the sexual shaming aspect of such hacks
  • societal attitudes and the need to expose and judge people for their sexuality
  • what makes people want to expose others
  • how sexual shame can impact our sex lives
  • what we as individuals can do to diffuse shame
About the Author

Sarah Martin, MA, CSC is CEO of Dignified Hedonist, a sexuality support company that guides introverted men to lead desire-led, sex-forward, and pleasure-focused lives. Sarah is the host of the Sexual Craftsmanship podcast, a weekly podcast packed full of actionable information and advice for sex and relationships in the 21st century. Sarah loves rainbows, books, and Pokemon Go.

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