First, let’s be clear about what we are talking about. Cybersex in this context is the exchange of flirtatious sexy text with random strangers you meet in a chat room online, usually (although not always!) done via private message between two people. If you get messaged privately by someone asking “a/s/l?” (“age, sex, location?”), that is usually the first indication that someone wants to get off by chatting with you.
In chat, anonymous and with no indication of what you look like, you can be who you want to be – that tall 18 year old hot cheerleader blonde, or that svelte sophisticated dark strict mistress. You are essentially what you type you are. And if it fits what the other person is looking for, you are away – exchanging fantasies of what you are doing to each other and how they are making you feel, a process of mutual masturbation with no strings and no touching.
It’s essentially taking part in your own erotic pornography, writing the story to fit whatever sexual fantasies you harbour on the quiet. The guys a stranger and it is unlikely – with the vast and anonymous nature of the internet – that you will ever hook up or even see his screenname again. What could be a safer way of feeling sexy and having a little fun?
Well, first you have to be confident that you are not talking to someone underage. Many young boys and girls use cybersex to explore their emerging erotic feelings, and it is worth paying attention to the type of language they use and the level of sophistication of the sex acts they are describing. You wouldn’t exchange that sort of conversation offline, so be wary of inadvertently doing it online. Secondly, you may be uncomfortable when you discover the person you just had virtual sex with was actually not the gender they said they were. This can be a great way to explore ambiguous feelings around sexual orientation, but not necessarily a smooth ride.
Finally – if what you are doing is escaping from your partner or seeking an emotional connection that may lead from “hot chatting”, then you are on the borderline of CyberInfidelity – and that emotional betrayal of another human being is every bit as painful as having an affair away from the computer. “Emotion” is the word you are looking for when indulging in cybersex – it can be harmless and fun, but the moment you become emotionally attached, you are on dangerous ground.
On the brighter side – it is fun, safer than hooking up randomly in the offline world, and with the right correspondent, a big turn on. Treat is as you would treat reading Fifty Shades of Grey on the quiet, and you may even find your partner surprised at the new sexual you. Just remember there is an actual human being on the other end of the chat, and be clear about your emotional boundaries.
By Kate Anthony, Co-Founder Online Therapy Institute