Schneider responded with a definition of addiction that would clearly apply to cybersex abusers: "Loss of control, continuation of the behavior despite significant adverse consequences and preoccupation or obsession with obtaining the drug or pursuing the behavior." Although behavioral addictions involve no external drugs, preliminary research has suggested that they cause changes in brain chemicals, like the release of endorphins, that help to perpetuate the behavior.
The sexual stimulation and release obtained through cybersex also contribute importantly to the continued pursuit of the activity, Dr. He wrote: "Intense orgasms from the minimal investment of a few keystrokes are powerfully reinforcing." He added, "Cybersex affords easy, inexpensive access to a myriad of ritualized encounters with idealized partners.
"Sex on the Net is just so seductive and it's so easy to stumble upon it," she said.
"People who are vulnerable can get hooked before they know it." To those who say a behavioral compulsion is not a true addiction, Dr.
Joseph began exchanging messages with ‘Julie,’ describing sexual acts he wanted to perform with her. But “Julie” was not there the next morning when Joseph showed up at the café – the FBI was.
‘Lorie’ later provided Joseph with ‘Julie’s’ screen name. “[Joseph]: I just have a problem because I am so much older than you. “[Joseph]: But I will definitely be there and we can see then.” , supra, Slip Opinion at 2-5 [internal citations omitted].
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But because we so widely associate attraction to pornography with men, and because Internet pornography in general is a relatively recent phenomenon, there’s been very little scrutiny, either in academic research or the popular media, on women who become addicted to cybersex.
Technically, cybersex is defined as sexually motivated behavior involving the Internet.For most people these forays into cybersex are relatively harmless recreational pursuits, but experts in the field say that the affordability, accessibility and anonymity of the Internet are fueling a brand new psychological disorder -- cybersex addiction -- that appears to be spreading with astonishing rapidity and bringing turmoil to the lives of those affected. Occasionally, they progress to off-line affairs with sex partners they meet online. Al Cooper of Stanford, who has conducted the largest and most detailed survey of online sex, calls the Net "the crack cocaine of sexual compulsivity." The survey, conducted online among 9,265 men and women who admitted surfing the Net for sexually oriented sites, indicated that at least 1 percent were already seriously hooked on online sex.