A few months ago, my friend introduced me to this site online, where you can meet strangers around the world through live chatting or video camming. I started off texting, as I wasn’t fond of the idea of communicating with a stranger through webcam.
After months of communicating with strangers through chatting, I became more confident and comfortable using the online portal, and was curious to experience a live chat with someone through webcam. So I did. It started off with simple chats, with the camera focused on my body so my face was not exposed.
I quickly realised that many men came to the portal to satisfy their lust. I remember seeing an old man masturbating just as I was connected to do a live chat with him. It was shocking, and I immediately disconnected. At other times, I came across shirtless hunks showing off their abs and biceps. And then asking inappropriate questions like, “Hey, wanna have some fun? ;)” or “Babe, do you like what you see?”
Even though live web camming was an eye-opening experience at first, I grew accustomed to the different types of people online. But nothing prepared me for my next encounter…
One morning I was home alone, so I decided to randomly chat online. I chatted with a few strangers at first, and after an hour or so, I came across this particular stranger; he was anonymous at that point of time as he kept his face off the webcam camera. Despite that, the conversation was one of the best I’ve ever had; we connected on so many levels. I realised we had so much in common – our lives, our family and our interests were so similar.
Lucas* told me he was a Singaporean guy living in Denmark, and I told him I was an Asian Australian, but now living in Singapore – I wanted to keep my real identity safe.
We got on so well that we continued to chat over the next few weeks. The conversations between us got more comfortable and flirty, to the point where we started sending each other sneaky pictures of ourselves, every time with our faces obscured.
He loved seeing me in skimpy dresses and I got excited when he showed me his shirtless photos. His body looked amazing. I started sending him photos of myself with a plunging neckline to tease him, and it worked every time. Then, it got to the next level where we sent almost nude pictures to each other; I just felt I could trust him.
One day, Lucas sent me a text message: “Jessie*, do you want to Skype with me tonight? I have strong feelings towards you, and you know that. I think I am ready to meet you.”
Part of me wanted so much to see his face. It was not his first time requesting, but this time, I agreed. “Okay, tonight at 9 pm GST time?” I replied.
I took more effort than usual to look good that night. I did my makeup properly, and put on a top which accentuated my figure. My heart was beating so fast, I felt like as though it was going to burst out. We exchanged our Skype IDs and added each other.
Close to 9 pm, the notification popped up on my screen: “Answer/Decline Skype call from Lucas?” I tilted my laptop screen downwards to get my face off the screen, and angled it towards my my neck and chest, exposing my cleavage. Then I hit “answer”.
Lucas was positioned in the same way as me. His face was off-screen too. He had a shirt on, but it was not buttoned and I could see his chest and abs. We chatted and flirted for a few minutes, and soon agreed to reveal ourselves at the count of three. We had not really heard each other’s voices, because we always communicated through typed chat messages.
Lucas started counting down: “One… Two…” Hold on… his voice sounded very familiar… “Three!” There was Lucas’ face on my screen and I was on his screen. We saw each other… and both our jaws dropped. The face looking back at me was my own biological brother. He’s quite a few years older than me, and at that time he was living overseas, for his work.
Now it dawned on me why some of the backgrounds in his room looked kind of familiar. Of course, it was my brother’s room in his apartment! Then my thoughts flew back to all the exchanges we had: The flirty text messages. The teasing. The almost nude photos. The secrets I had shared. The lies… he wasn’t even living in Denmark!
My brain stopped functioning. I felt disgusted and shamed. So embarrassing! I just slammed my laptop shut.
It has been two years since this incident occurred, and nobody knows about it but us. We’ve kept it from our parents, relatives and friends. When I meet my brother at family gatherings, we both just pretend nothing ever happened.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
Article first published on Singapore Women’s Weekly