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The sexual stimulation and release obtained through cybersex also contribute importantly to the continued pursuit of the activity, Dr. He wrote: "Intense orgasms from the minimal investment of a few keystrokes are powerfully reinforcing." He added, "Cybersex affords easy, inexpensive access to a myriad of ritualized encounters with idealized partners.Many cybersex abusers are re-enacting aspects of past losses, conflicts or traumas in order to foster illusions of power and love." Some cybersex addicts develop a conditioned response to the computer and become sexually aroused even before turning it on, Dr. This can exacerbate the problem for people whose jobs involve work on a computer."Defending the educational potential of the online discussions, some post authors emphasized their lack of exposure to sexual education earlier in their lives due to the sociocultural and historical circumstances in which they grew up."For some, sex was something they were never allowed to ask about; for others, it was a subject they now felt shame in bringing up, due to the pervasive belief, even among medical professionals, that sex should somehow stop mattering to someone past a certain age.Free of those stereotypes, seniors were able to swap tips about the best time to have sex, educate themselves about the still-real risks of sexually transmitted infections, and share the sort of stories that would make a college dorm blush.And though there were certainly those who objected to the very idea of talking about sex publicly, the conservations that occurred in these threads were usually equal parts enlightening and hilarious.

"How can I compete with hundreds of anonymous others who are now in our bed, in his head? "Our bed is crowded with countless faceless strangers, where once we were intimate." A 38-year-old woman married 18 years to a man who compulsively masturbates to images on the computer wrote that her husband had once had an extramarital affair and that "the online 'safe' cheating has just as dirty, filthy a feel to it as does the 'real-life' cheating." Although Dr.

Cybersex • Personal Health: First Step Is Recognizing the Signs of Internet Abuse (May 16, 2000) Related Articles • Health: Behavior • Health Columns • The New York Times on the Web: Science/Health Forum • Join a Discussion on Mental Health and Treatment ex is the hottest topic among adult users of the Internet, with studies showing that fully a third of all visits directed to sexually oriented Web sites, chat rooms and news groups. And it's very difficult to treat because the people affected don't want to give it up." Those most strongly hooked on Internet sex are likely to spend hours each day masturbating to pornographic images or having "mutual" online sex with someone contacted through a chat room.

For most people these forays into cybersex are relatively harmless recreational pursuits, but experts in the field say that the affordability, accessibility and anonymity of the Internet are fueling a brand new psychological disorder -- cybersex addiction -- that appears to be spreading with astonishing rapidity and bringing turmoil to the lives of those affected. Occasionally, they progress to off-line affairs with sex partners they meet online. Al Cooper of Stanford, who has conducted the largest and most detailed survey of online sex, calls the Net "the crack cocaine of sexual compulsivity." The survey, conducted online among 9,265 men and women who admitted surfing the Net for sexually oriented sites, indicated that at least 1 percent were already seriously hooked on online sex.

Keeping Your Personal Information Private Interacting with People Offline Being Aware of Predators Ceasing Communication and Reporting Threats Community Q&A Chatrooms are a fun place to engage in discussion about a variety of topics.

While most people who frequent online chatrooms are good people, there are some who are there to prey on or bully other people.