The majority of reasons why individuals experiment with such forms of sexual expression are diverse, and can be associated with an individual's psychological disorders or issues.
Individuals who suffer from low self-esteem, severely distorted body image, untreated sexual dysfunction, social isolation, depression, or are in recovery from a prior sexual addiction are more vulnerable to cybersexual addictions.
But from the moment I first heard those dulcet dial-up tones and the hopeful purr that followed, the online experience was tinged with sexual possibility.
I remember signing into a Prodigy chat room and communicating with another purported teenager whose screen name was “slyweasel13.” My mother stayed seated next to me at the computer desk, so the chatting never turned explicit, but it was loaded with flirty winking emoticons that left me panting.
I would still have been a sex addict without the Internet, but it’s hard for me to picture because those two tweaky compulsions are so tightly wrapped together for me.
I even discovered my sexuality and the World Wide Web at the same time.
When my sister, searching for images of her favorite British pop stars, accidentally typed “Spicy Girls” into Yahoo, the search results made her run, shrieking, from the family computer. “It is probably no coincidence that this sea change comes on us at a time when AIDS lurks in the alleyways of our lives,” a writer for The Nation mused in 1993.
Months later, the New York Times reiterated the point.
While my husband spent most evenings catching up on the horse racing he'd recorded over the weekend, I began perusing chatrooms – not in pursuit of cybersex necessarily, but initially more for harmless flirtation, a little virtual attention.
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As a form of a compulsive behavior, it can be identified by three criteria: the failure of making a decision about engagement in the behavior, obsession with the behavior, and the inability to stop the behavior despite negative consequences.
Adults with this type of addiction, engage in at least one of the relevant behaviors.