But because we so widely associate attraction to pornography with men, and because Internet pornography in general is a relatively recent phenomenon, there’s been very little scrutiny, either in academic research or the popular media, on women who become addicted to cybersex.Technically, cybersex is defined as sexually motivated behavior involving the Internet. I don’t know where the real user was located, but our virtual meeting space within Second Life was called “The Netherlands.” Or maybe “she” was really a he, controlling a female avatar. If it’s not clear already, “virtual sex” can be a little complicated. But there was a real person on a computer somewhere in the world making her avatar have sex with my avatar by clicking a pink ball on the ground.“There’s no safer place to meet,” she says, “than in a virtual world.” The Internet can also be a boon for busy adults, Brathwaite says, allowing people to have social and romantic encounters online that they simply don’t have time for in conventional space.“For a busy single mom or dad whose life is packed with activity,” she says, “at the end of the day virtual worlds can allow them to socialize.” Brathwaite, who is also a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design, says cybersex holds tremendous potential for education on sexual health topics for youth and at-risk populations as well as untapped potential for sex therapy for couples.They began with a perspective known as the which proposes that people become addicted to cybersex because they both anticipate and then receive sexual satisfaction.Unlike people who don’t develop an addiction, those hooked on cybersex actually become aroused by sexual cues on the Internet.
There are many ways to share sex with people in virtual spaces, and you still have to communicate to the other person what you like and don’t like. That’s part of what turns people on.” From adult video games to instant messaging and chat rooms to web cams to online interactive worlds to Internet-enabled sex toys, the means for enjoying erotic experience via a remote connection seem to be multiplying faster than you can say “teledildonics.” For the uninitiated, teledildonics (or cyberdildonics) refers to sex toys that can be controlled with a computer.
The “Sinulator,” for example, produced by Sinulate Entertainment in Sunnyvale, California, is a wireless vibrator that connects to any computer with an Internet hookup and a Windows operating system.
The Sinulator’s counterpart is the “Interactive Fleshlight,” a penis sleeve for men that transmits in-and-out action into vibrations for the Sinulator on the other end.
Unlike other forms of addictive behavior, such as gambling disorder and substance disorders, cybersex addiction is not an officially recognized disorder and therefore mental health professionals would not give a diagnosis to people who show the signs of this kind of addiction.
Research in the field is still emerging, but based on what’s known currently, it appears that women are in fact less likely to use cybersex than men, and when they do, they're more likely to join chat rooms than to view pornography.