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Online sexual activity can involve various activities, such as viewing explicitly sexual materials, participating in an exchange of ideas about sex, exchanging sexual messages, and online interactions with at least one other person with the intention of becoming sexually aroused.
In his stimulating paper, "Chatting Is Not Cheating," John Portmann defends online lust and characterizes about sex; he maintains that such talking is more similar to flirting than to having a sexual affair.
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Today, more than 25 Web pages present every type of X-rated fare imaginable for free 24-7-365 on everything from desktop computers to smart phones. A small fraction of men watch so much so compulsively that it a problem. But the vast majority of porn viewers are guys who enjoy a little X-rated action while masturbating. In addition, pornography celebrates men's erotic fantasies, a world where women are perpetually horny, available, enthusiastic, and happy to service men endlessly while ignoring courtship, intimacy, marriage, birth control, infection prevention, and their own sexual satisfaction. And except for the small group of compulsive porn consumers, the vast majority of men don't consider it a substitute for their lovers. Illinois State University researchers visited Internet relationship sites and collected posts by wives and girlfriends who had discovered that their men viewed porn.
And today, many people (mostly women) consider "porn addiction" a major problem. They did not consider it an innocent masturbation aid.
In reality, though, the issue of online cheating is more complex—especially when it concerns sexual activities involving actual interaction with other individuals.
People, consciously or not, consider their online sexual relationships as real—they experience psychological states similar to those typically elicited by offline relationships.
According to , the pornography trade magazine, 71 percent of X-rated media is viewed by men alone, 19 percent by heterosexual couples, 7 percent by gay male couples, and 2 percent by women (by themselves or lesbian couples). Why expend the energy when porn provides all the fantasies you could ever want?
They felt traumatized and confused, and couldn't understand why their lovers would spend time this way.
They equated porn with infidelity, proof that their lovers no longer desired them.