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But problems arise, she says, when users “lose their ability to control” that behavior.
Young says addictive cybersex behavior appears more common among males.
She was an avatar in Second Life, the online, 3D, digital world developed by San Francisco company Linden Labs.
There are many ways to share sex with people in virtual spaces, and you still have to communicate to the other person what you like and don’t like. That’s part of what turns people on.” From adult video games to instant messaging and chat rooms to web cams to online interactive worlds to Internet-enabled sex toys, the means for enjoying erotic experience via a remote connection seem to be multiplying faster than you can say “teledildonics.” For the uninitiated, teledildonics (or cyberdildonics) refers to sex toys that can be controlled with a computer.
Cybersex, also called computer sex, Internet sex, netsex and, colloquially, cyber or cybering, 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.
“Just install the software,” says Sinulate’s web site, “plug in your Interactive Fleshlight, and pick a partner!
” Kyle Machulis, operator of slashdong.org, a Web site about the combination of sex and technology and a self-described “tinkerer/hacker/pioneer/visionary in the realm of sex technology,” is a major proponent of open-source teledildonics.
“One of the huge benefits is safety,” says Brenda Brathwaite, a veteran video game developer (whose credits include Playboy: The Mansion) and author of Sex in Video Games.
In addition to STD-free interactions, Brathwaite says virtual worlds offer users the ability to explore sexuality in an anonymous environment.“There’s no safer place to meet,” she says, “than in a virtual world.” The Internet can also be a boon for busy adults, Brathwaite says, allowing people to have social and romantic encounters online that they simply don’t have time for in conventional space.“For a busy single mom or dad whose life is packed with activity,” she says, “at the end of the day virtual worlds can allow them to socialize.” Brathwaite, who is also a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design, says cybersex holds tremendous potential for education on sexual health topics for youth and at-risk populations as well as untapped potential for sex therapy for couples.“Would you consider this cheating if I were playing this game? “But we can talk about it more over dinner.” And with that we’re back in the “real” world, leaving a vast population in the virtual universe to chat and caress their way into the night.