Other people are willing to concede that cybersex without the knowledge of their partner, ; nevertheless, some still maintain it's a type of "OK" cheating.In some circumstances, cybersex may in fact help a person through a rough period in an offline, loving relationship.
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.The private nature of online affairs may make them less painful for the betrayed partner as well.Moreover, when online affairs are revealed to the significant other, which is done more often than when offline circumstances are involved, it could be considered as something less than cheating.Thus, people may agree not to develop a relationship, permitting themselves only virtual one-night stands, or an uncommitted affair, or a promise with a partner to tell each other about each online affair.
As one woman in a committed relationship remarks about her online sexual affairs: "I've had this discussion with my boyfriend and we both agree that as long as it's not with the same person more than twice, it is really masturbation.
Whereas people having online affairs tend to understate their problematic nature, their offline partners typically do not see difference between online and offline affairs: A lack of direct physical contact and face-to-face meetings does not diminish the sense of a violation of their vow of exclusivity.
The fact that most of these affairs are concealed from offline spouses is indicative of the possible harm.
Consider this reaction: Just as casual sex is not necessarily inherently harmful, neither are online affairs.
But they may be so when participants are also involved in another primary offline relationship, because of the harm imposed on those partners.
These people believe that if they do not even know the real name of their cybermate—and never actually see them—their affair cannot be regarded as from a moral point of view; it's no different from reading a novel or other form of entertainment.