"You’re being sexual whenever you’re channeling erotic energy. By contrast, ‘Having sex’ seems rather limited."
What is Cybersex? For those who do not know, the simple definition is having some kind of sexual gratification which engages the use of chat, images, video, email or any other messaging method across the Internet or mobile networks.
For many it is practised as the most ‘safe-sex’ around, often anonymously, but it can lead to many other issues.
Issues include addiction, cheating on real relationships, imbalanced view of a healthy sexual life and even revenge porn – where photos or videos exchanged are leaked after relationship breakdown.
Cybersex is a phenomenon that has grown with the curiosity of sexual exploration using the mind more than actual responsiveness from real touch from another person.
It’s popularity shows that sexual gains are received by people this method of ‘sex’.
In many cases, cybersex may include mutual or single masterbation, where the parties involved in the act aim to bring each other to orgasm.
This is seen as a form of ‘mental masturbation’ but may even include one person touching themselves to orgasm while the other types and then vice-versa.
Common forms of cybersex include:
- Typed Chat – this is most basic form of cybersex where messenger tools, mobile apps or chat websites are used to exchange typed sexual conversations which heighten the sexual pleasure of each other.
- Video and Cams – often called ‘cam-to-cam’ this involves the use of webcams or mobile device cameras for viewing real time video of both or one person performing sexual acts for pleasure. This can often include audio too.
- Use of voice – where the mic on a device is used to exchange stimulating audio conversations for sexual excitement. This includes phone-sex and messenger voice-chat.
- Email – used to exchange steamy messages and sexually explicit images.
- Sexting – where texts, images and video clips are sent between the two people for sexual desire.
- Image Sharing – where both parties share nude and sexual images of each other.
- Virtual Reality – 3D sex using virtual reality devices and sex simulation websites.
According to a Cybersex Research Project by Milton S. Magness, 49% of people in the study spent 10 to 29 hours in cybersex before entering recovery/treatment, where it was diagnosed as an addiction.
But the big question here is that is Cybersex, real sex? According to Dr Martin Klein a certified Sex Therapist, it is real sex because he says:
“‘To have sex’ is a misleading expression. ‘Being sexual’ is more accurate, because sex is something you experience, moment by moment, not a thing you own or consume. You’re being sexual whenever you’re channeling erotic energy. By contrast, ‘Having sex’ seems rather limited.”
Adding to this approach of sex being a transference of erotic energy, he says:
“Obviously, sex is more than what the bodies do. It’s about erotic energy–noticing, feeling, fuelling, and channelling it. And for many people it’s apparently about feeling connected. That’s why they can experience sex through telephones and computers–the drive to feel erotically attached to the universe transcends the vehicle used to connect.”
Therefore, by this definition it shows that cybersex can provide pleasure for individuals which satisfies the needs to channel erotic energies which lead to physical arousal albeit it at an individual level.
Many would not agree with this view because they feel sex is only real sex if there is physical interaction between people in the same place, at the same time.
This then does raise the other question – is cybersex seen as cheating, infidelity and sexual flirting?
If a person is engaging in cybersex whilst being in a real physical relationship does it mean it is okay to do it as long as it is not having real sex? Or is it still cheating?
Cybersex and secret online relationships have led to many relationship breakdowns and tensions. Where a partner or spouse cannot accept the other doing such things. Whereas, there are other partners who do accept it as long it does not involve real physical sex.
The dangers of cybersex also include the problem of online grooming and people not revealing their real age, background or location even. Which means it is definitely not a safe environment for young children.
Many people engaging in cybersex in Desi or South Asian chat rooms are often seen there wanting to roleplay and have cybersex which can include extramarital sex, rape, gangbangs and older with younger relationships.
Cybersex has also led to many married men and women seeing to their ‘sexual needs’ by performing fantasies of their real sexual desires which they don’t do for real.
Many are driven by the excitement of simply finding a virtual sexual partner at a click or tap of a screen.
Women tend to open up to men online sharing their inner sexual desires which they would never do in reality because they would be viewed as a ‘slut’ by society or having an abnormal sex drive.
Similarly, men perform cybersex with women in a context that they would never do in reality with a partner or spouse.
Cybersex is also frequently being used as a platform for secretive gay and lesbian sex.
As a form of sexual pleasure, cybersex definitely has its appeal to people who find it meeting their sexual needs within its boundaries.
As technology advances new ways are being explored to have this kind of virtual sex. Such as use of sensors, real-time simulation and sexual devices controlled by apps.
However, cybersex is not something that can ever replace the real touch and feeling of real physical sex and intimacy, where people get that natural return of satisfaction from having sex. No matter how many orgasms a person has online.