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A West Midlands Police poster attempting to inform children about how to respond to online sexual abuse

Cybersex, also called computer sex, Internet sex, netsex, mudsex, TinySexand,
colloquially, cybering or conversex is a virtual sex encounter in which two or more people
connected remotely via computer network send each other sexually explicit messages describing a
sexual experience. In one form, this fantasy sex is accomplished by the participants describing their
actions and responding to their chat partners in a mostly written form designed to stimulate their own
sexual feelings and fantasies.
Cybersex sometimes includes real life masturbation.[2] The quality of a cybersex encounter typically
depends upon the participants' abilities to evoke a vivid, visceral mental picture in the minds of their
partners. Imagination and suspension of disbeliefare also critically important. Cybersex can occur
either within the context of existing or intimate relationships, e.g. among lovers who are
geographically separated, or among individuals who have no prior knowledge of one another and
meet in virtual spaces or cyberspaces and may even remain anonymous to one another. In some
contexts cybersex is enhanced by the use of a webcam to transmit real-time video of the partners.
Channels used to initiate cybersex are not necessarily exclusively devoted to that subject, and
participants in any Internet chat may suddenly receive a message with any possible variation of the
text "Wanna cyber?", "Wanna cam?" or a request for "C2C"/"C4C" ("cam to cam" and "cam for cam",
Cybersex is commonly performed in Internet chat rooms (such as IRC, talkers or web chats) and
on instant messagingsystems. It can also be performed using webcams, voice chat systems like
Skype, or online games and/or virtual worlds likeSecond Life. The exact definition of cybersex
specifically, whether real-life masturbation must be taking place for the online sex act to count as
cybersexis up for debate.[3] It is also fairly frequent in online role-playing games, such
as MUDs andMMORPGs, though approval of this activity varies greatly from game to game. Some
online social games like Red Light Center are dedicated to cybersex and other adult behaviors.
These online games are often called AMMORPGs. In other games of the wider MMORPG genre, it
ranges from widely accepted to the point of game masters/moderators taking part, such as in Final
Fantasy Online[citation needed], to moderated based on player reports, as in World of Warcraft[, to grounds
for a suspension from play or a permanent banishment, as in EVE Online and Anarchy Online[citation
Cybersex may also be accomplished through the use of avatars in a multiuser software environment.
It is often calledmudsex or netsex in MUDs. In TinyMUD variants, particularly MUCKs, the
term TinySex (TS) is very common.

Though text-based cybersex has been in practice for decades, [6] the increased popularity
of webcams has raised the number of online partners using two-way video connections to "expose"
themselves to each other onlinegiving the act of cybersex a more visual aspect. There are a
number of popular, commercial webcam websites that allow people to openly masturbate on camera
while others watch them. Using similar sites, couples can also perform on camera for the enjoyment
of others.
Cybersex differs from phone sex in that it offers a greater degree of anonymity and allows
participants to meet partners more easily. A good deal of cybersex takes place between partners
who have just met online.[ In online worlds like Second Life and via webcam-focused chat

Uses of cybersex[edit]
Cybersex can be utilised to write co-written original fiction and fanfiction by role-playing in third
person, in forums or communities usually known by the name of 'A Shared Dream'. It can also be
used to gain experience for solo writers who want to write more realistic sex scenes, by exchanging
One approach to cybering is a simulation of "real" sex, when participants try to make the experience
as close to real life as possible, with participants taking turns writing descriptive, sexually explicit
passages. Alternatively, it can be considered a form of sexual roleplay that allows the participants to
experience unusual sexual sensations and carry out sexual experiments they cannot try in reality.
Amongst "serious" roleplayers, cybering may occur as part of a larger plotthe characters involved
may be lovers or spouses. In situations like this, the people typing often consider themselves
separate entities from the "people" engaging in the sexual acts, much as the author of a novel often
does not completely identify with his or her characters. Due to this difference, such roleplayers
typically prefer the term "erotic roleplay" rather than cybersex to describe it. In "real cybering"
personas often remain in character throughout the entire life of the contact, to include evolving into
phone sex, and meatspace encounters while in character, as a form of improvisation, or, nearly,
a performance art. Often these personas develop complex past histories for their characters to make
the fantasy/roleplay even more life like, thus the evolution of the term "real cybering".

Cybersex provides various advantages:

Since cybersex can satisfy some sexual desires without the risk of a sexually transmitted
disease (STD) or pregnancy, it is a physically safe way for young people (such as with
teenagers) to experiment with sexual thoughts and emotions. Additionally, people with long-term
ailments (including HIV) can engage in cybersex as a way to safely achieve sexual gratification
without putting their partners at risk.

Cybersex allows real-life partners who are physically separated to continue to be sexually
intimate. In geographically separated relationships, it can function to sustain the sexual
dimension of a relationship in which the partners see each other only infrequently face to face.

Also, it can allow partners to work out problems that they have in their sex life that they feel
uncomfortable bringing up otherwise.

Cybersex allows for sexual exploration. For example, it can enable participants to act out
fantasies which they would not act out (or perhaps would not even be realistically possible)
in real life through roleplaying due to physical or social limitations[10] and potential for
misunderstanding, such as extreme BDSM, incest, zoophilia, pedophilia, or even rape.

It takes less effort and fewer resources on the Internet than in real life to connect to a person
like oneself or with whom a more meaningful relationship is possible. [9] Furthermore, cybersex
allows for instant sexual encounters, along with fast response and gratification.

Cybersex allows each user to take control. For example, each party has complete control
over the duration of a webcam session.

Cybersex is often criticized because the partners frequently have little verifiable knowledge about
each other. However, since for many the primary point of cybersex is the plausible simulation of
sexual activity, this knowledge is not always desired or necessary, and may actually be undesirable.
Privacy concerns are a difficulty with cybersex, since participants may log or record the interaction
without the other's knowledge, and possibly disclose it to others or the public.
There is disagreement over whether cybersex is a form of infidelity. While it does not involve
physical contact, critics claim that the powerful emotions involved can cause marital stress,
especially when cybersex culminates in an Internet romance. In several known cases,
Internet adultery became the grounds for which a couple divorced. Therapists report a growing
number of patients addicted to this activity, a form of both Internet addiction and sexual addiction,
with the standard problems associated with addictive behavior.[9]


Jump up^ Hahn, Harley (1996). The Internet Complete Reference(2nd ed.). Osborne
McGraw-Hill. p. 570. ISBN 0-07-882138-X. The goal of mud sex is the same as the goal of
regular sex (without the babies): to bond temporarily in a way that is physically and emotionally
satisfying. To do so, two people will exchange messages so as to lead one another into a high
level of sexual arousal, culminating in a well-defined resolution.


Jump up^ Hahn, Harley (1996). The Internet Complete Reference(2nd ed.). Osborne
McGraw-Hill. p. 570. ISBN 0-07-882138-X. To be blunt, most mud sex is also accompanied by
the people sexually gratifying themselves in real life at the same time.


Jump up^ Ruberg, Bonnie (2007-05-18). "What Counts as Cybersex?". The Village
Voice. Retrieved 2010-04-20.


Jump up^ Hahn, Harley (1996). The Internet Complete Reference(2nd ed.). Osborne
McGraw-Hill. p. 570. ISBN 0-07-882138-X. MUD SEX refers to the acting out of erotic feelings by
two people while typing a series of sexually explicit messages. (Mud sex is also referred to as
NET SEX oron a TinyMudTINYSEX.)


Jump up^ Busey, Andrew (1995). Secrets of the MUD Wizards.SAMS Publishing.
p. 95. ISBN 0-672-30723-5. MUD sex is another MUD item that may seem a bit shocking to
some. MUD sex (sometimes called TinySexusually on TinyMUDs, MUCKs, and MUSHes) is a
lot like phone sex. As you know, most MUDs have a high degree of flexibility when it comes to
expressing oneself and communicatingand if you're a little creative, you can use these
commands (such as say and emote discussed in Chapter 5) to have MUD sex (or TinySex,
depending on the type of MUD it is).


Jump up^ Dibbell, Julian (1998). My Tiny Life. Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-3626-1.
Retrieved 2010-04-20.


Jump up^ Ruberg, Bonnie (2007-07-27). "Do You Like to Watch?". The Village Voice.
Retrieved 2010-04-20.


Jump up^ Ruberg, Bonnie (2007-08-31). "Peeking Up the Skirt of Online Sex
Work". The Village Voice. Retrieved2010-04-20.


^ Jump up to:a b c Grov, Christian, Brian Joseph Gillespie, Tracy Royce, and Janet Lever.
2011. Perceived Consequences of Casual Online Sexual Activities on Heterosexual
Relationships: A U.S. Online Survey. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2): 429-39.