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Cybersex Addiction: 11 Facts to Understand this Obsession

The internet and sex have become almost mandatory for a happy life. But what does it happen when you mix a higher dose of the two?

Cybersex Addiction

The internet is like a huge laboratory. Some people spend a lot of time on it observing other people, and some use the internet to experiment with their own sexuality. At first sight, there are no side effects, no confounding variables, and no inhibitions. It’s all instant results and ideal selves.

Interactive sex websites can be interpreted as an empty canvas you can paint your secret desires on. There are a bunch of single people with low self-confidence and a high score on the narcissism scale who engage in online erotic activities. If you ask them, they will tell you it’s for fun. Still, many end up being married… to the internet.

When cybersex, an act in which you are having sex without physical contact, turns to cheating via the internet, it becomes the most common and most difficult type of internet addiction. It’s all fun and games until you can’t control it, and your self-destruction starts harming not only you but also those close to you. Relationships formed via the internet include manipulation, dishonesty, and idealization, which is why most of these unreal connections become real problems.

Cybersex addiction and how it affects you

It is very important to know how to define cybersex addiction, what the signs of this contemporary disorder are, and how to treat it. The sooner you define something, the sooner it can be treated.

#1 Some say masturbating while watching porn online is cybersex. Others view this kind of masturbation as a benign relaxation method and a normal human need–to vicariously live their fantasies and satisfy their voyeuristic tendencies. In this case, we are not talking about a disorder. [Read: 5 signs you’re addicted to porn and 15 ways to get over it]

#2 In an extreme context, watching porn every day leads to excessive masturbation. This can cause negative consequences in early sexual life, primarily because normal, regular sex will not be the same as the sex portrayed in pornography.

Masturbating a couple of times per day will decrease an individual’s chances of reaching climax with their partner. This domination of online habits is considered a sexual addiction disorder. And it’s pretty hardcore.

#3 Next to voyeurism and plain masturbation, another common type of cybersex is interactive cybersex. Those who do not have real-life partners are trying to find another way to satisfy their sexual needs. The internet serves as a modern day pimp, and websites designed to satisfy an individual’s need for sexual interaction often lead to the user’s addictive behaviors. Clear signs are:
A. A compulsive need for online sexual stimulation
B. Constantly craving new online partners or new online experiences
C. An inability to control impulses
D. Negative feelings when offline

#4 Why is the addict choosing someone who is not a real person? The answer is in latent and undermining feelings of anxiety and depression. Depressed people are often not interested in social activities. They avoid interaction with the outside world. They are unmotivated to find a partner, and have irrational ideas about people not being interested in them.

Anxious people fear potential bad situations happening in real relationships, such as rejection, bad sex, and failure to satisfy partners. When one is constantly preoccupied with internet sex in order to escape the inner abyss, it is a precise indicator of a cybersex addiction.

#5 The main causes of this disorder are discontentment with current relationships or dissatisfaction with life in general. A shaken self-image, stress, and anger often trigger a desperate wish to recover the passion by leading an alternative life. With the anonymity provided by the internet, engaging in cybersex with various partners allows a person to live the life they wish they really had.

#6 Is cybersex cheating? Not being understood in a relationship can lead to cheating, and most people are not aware that sexual interaction with an unknown person on the internet is, in fact, cheating. Not knowing who that person *in pixels* behind the screen is produces a situation that is very convenient for projection and idealization. You’ll quickly realize that your real-life partner sucks compared to your cyber ones.

As soon as you start idealizing, you are losing touch with reality, and you are haunted by a fictional life, where everything is more epic and sensational. Idealization is the opium of the internet masses. Internet sex can be more than just a simple release of sexual tension; it is frequently followed by strong romantic feelings borne of the conviction that someone out there truly understands you.

These delusions lead to extremely hard breakups because the addict ends up feeling dead inside by losing what they believed to be “perfection.” Delusion might be one of the most dangerous drugs out there.

#7 The real world becomes secondary. At first, it might be benign, but, as times goes by, online sexual habits start taking control of an individual’s life. Addicted people are preoccupied with their online relationships, and they organize their lives based on the pleasure waiting for them on the other side of the screen.

They neglect friends, family, their obligations, hobbies, personal hygiene, and many other aspects of life. The lure of the ideal life they live online takes up a huge chunk of their time, turning them into recluses who would rather live a fantasy life than lead a real one.

#8 Many cybersex addicts, in a bid to detach themselves from their cybersex partners, refuse to form an emotional connection. They don’t attach emotionally to their ephemeral online partners, which provokes them to perpetually change partners until they feel shame and guilt. Compulsive masturbation and exhibitionism go along with their extreme narcissism, but eventually, it generates the thought, “I am in love with myself, but it is not mutual.” Sex might be imaginary, but the pain is real.

#9 Suspension of cyber sexual activities induces mood swings and depression in the addict. Restraining oneself from indulging in cybersex is almost impossible. As time goes by, tolerance levels get seriously disturbed.

#10 Cybersex addiction does not only afflict men, but women, as well. Men spend more time on pornographic websites, but both genders are capable of looking for interactive sexual cyber-relationships. In fact, many women spend a lot of time on the internet offering their naked pictures in order to seek attention from men.

Even if we scroll through a typical Facebook newsfeed, we see this type of provocative behavior. There is a strong correlation between the number and the frequency of changing profile photos on one side, and malignant narcissism on the other side. If the audience doesn’t clap with likes, a dark curtain falls over the narcissist’s self-image. Now imagine this dynamic on a cybersex level.

#11 Even though this is a modern disorder, it is possible and highly recommended to ask for professional help. The first phase is denial. In many cases, motivation for therapy comes from extrinsic factors, such as divorce or getting fired due to addiction. These major life events serve as the catalyst to make the addict realize that there’s a problem.

In psychotherapy circles, those who have equalized cybersex addiction with obsessive-compulsive disorders tend to apply a cognitive approach in treating obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors related to sex. Treatment is successful only when clients admit their addictive sexual behavior, and make a conscious effort to change unhealthy sexual habits.

This includes education, and individual and family therapy. Treatment is focused on helping clients control their addictive cyber sexual behavior by avoiding the internet, teaching them about healthy sexual habits, and guiding them through the process of reconnecting with friends and family.

The only good thing about cybersex addiction is that you cannot get pregnant or catch an STD. Everything else is extremely problematic and, to be frank, terrifying. It might look practical, but just because something is practical doesn’t mean you will not get addicted to it. Internet depictions are fake, and so is the sex derived from online images and relationships.

The vast majority of internet users lie about their age, gender, vocation, marriage status, hobbies, and looks. It might come across as shocking, but many modern relationship problems develop as a consequence of using the internet for sexual purposes. Sadly, it seems like the difference between real and cyber relationships is progressively diminishing.

There’s more to life than just staring at a screen to get gratification. Cybersex addiction is a deceptively destructive form of addiction that, if not addressed immediately, can lead to the dissolution of one’s real life.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...