Often people accuse those discovered in online sexual behaviors of actually meeting someone in person. This is just not always true. Looking at sexual hookup sites evidences this and reading the profiles, which frequently read, “Please no endless emails” and “Enough with the fakes who say they will meet and never show”.
Fear, risk and danger makes this a thrill and enticing making it another reason men engage in sex on the download. The anonymity and danger of being discovered of the online sexual behavior causes chemical changes in the brain, which promote a mood- and mind-altering experience.
In the presence of these three elements together, a host of natural chemicals are released such as endorphins and adrenaline giving a person a sexual high. Then there's a natural drug in our bodies called phenylethylamine or PEA for short. It's an essential chemical for those who are drawn to inherently risky behaviors like gambling, shoplifting, and sex.
Why do we constantly see people falling into this trap?
The reality is that these high profile men are doing what many men are doing online. The numbers of sex on the download are growing because of the Triple A engine coined by the late Al Cooper—Affordability, Anonymity, and Availability. Reaching out to another person and having anonymous sex virtually is only a click away and available 24/7. Inherently there is nothing wrong with this if used responsibly. It isn’t viewed as cheating by these men because they are not actually engaging in physical contact with those they are virtually connected.
High profile people are given a false sense of power and insulation. They think that even if they are caught they will be granted special privileges because of the level they are at. Because they are already treated differently than the rest of society, they don't believe that they will experience the same consequences as the common person.
Perhaps the biggest problem of all is how judgmental and shaming we are as a culture of these men when they are caught. Humiliating these men is not going to make this go away nor stop future men in high profile positions from doing this. Understanding, compassion and true listening are what these men need.