Today we live in a world where both information and entertainment are just a click away. We use websites and apps to flirt a bit, or to meet a potential girlfriend. Many people also use the internet to satisfy sexual needs.
Both online porn and online sex have become more and more common . But what exactly is cybersex? And what are the consequences of excessive use?
What is cybersex?
Cybersex is sexual activity between two or more people that takes place online. They are not in the same room, and do not even have to be in the same country. The contact consists of sending messages, video calls or pictures/films to each other. Expressions such as “sexting” have emerged with this phenomenon.
For some, the activity can become compulsive, and we are then talking about an addiction to cybersex and/or porn. NHI categorizes cybersex addiction and porn addiction as subcategories of sex addiction. They highlight features such as anonymity and easy access as reasons why this has become a growing problem.
Consequences of compulsive use
Challenges with cybersex come when it becomes compulsive, or you lose control over the activity. Characteristic of the internet is that everything is easily accessible, which is both very good, but can also be very negative. Many apps and websites that offer online sex tend to cost a bit to use, and it is easy to spend more money on this than you actually have. In addition, it is easy to keep in touch with several people at once, which can quickly become time-consuming . It is easy to lose control of how much you sacrifice your social life offline.
As with porn, online sex can be easy to distance yourself from. This means that it is easy to think that it cannot have any negative consequences because it is not in the real world, but on a screen. This can make oneforget your own boundaries more easily than in a physical meeting.
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Studies show that some people also have cybersex while in a relationship , and that the partner sees this as infidelity, and that the betrayal is just as great as in a physical meeting.
In addition to consequences for romantic relationships, it can also have consequences for the relationship you have with yourself: Excessive use of online sex affects your sense of self in ordinary life. It can come from unrealistic fantasies that arise in online conversations. You can also start to think that you are not good enough in a real, intimate meeting, as technology today allows us to choose both filters and angles, and thus design our own reality.
In this way, excessive use of cybersex can affect both the economy, the social life and the relationships one is in.
NHI further writes that compulsive use of cybersex is one of the leading causes of separation and divorce today.
The way out of internet sex addiction
Often there is a reason why one has entered into a pattern of compulsive use of online sex .
This is also where the solution lies.
You may ask yourself:
- What is the reason why I seek contact with people where I have a safe distance, separated through the screen?
- Am I experiencing negative emotions that I want to escape from?
- How do I experience my relationships offline?
The first step, however, is first to realize that it has developed into a problem.
As mentioned, cybersex addiction and porn addiction are subcategories of sex addiction, and the boundaries between them can be fluid. This means that people who want to use less porn may slip into a pattern of online sex instead, and vice versa. Often the most important thing is not the type of addiction, but whether you have an addiction pattern or not. Then it is the very root of the addiction that needs to be worked on.