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While social and safety concerns and fear of discovery may prevent someone from visiting an adult bookstore or prostitute, there are no such constraints when pornography and sexual partners can be called up at any time of the day or night on a computer screen in one's home or office, Dr. To those who say '' What's the harm?
They're not risking disease or death,'' Dr.
Children may also suffer as a result of increasing conflict between the parents or breakup of the marriage.
And even if the marriage survives, children may lack adequate parental attention when one parent is preoccupied with sex on the computer and the other is preoccupied with the cybersex addict.
Once unleashed, the power of a cyberaffair, cybersex, or both, can cause a formerly loving man to become evasive and to demand his privacy online, according to Dr. '' This 'new frontier' in relationship dynamics can lead a once warm and compassionate wife and mother to turn to the computer and its cyberworld lovers and/or sex partners and away from caring for her children.'' As Dr.
Shervin Assari does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Cooper's survey indicates that most female cybersex addicts are single, married women also become cybersex addicts and their husbands suffer the consequences.
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.
And it's very difficult to treat because the people affected don't want to give it up.'' Those most strongly hooked on Internet sex are likely to spend hours each day masturbating to pornographic images or having ''mutual'' online sex with someone contacted through a chat room.
Occasionally, they progress to off-line affairs with sex partners they meet online. Al Cooper, a staff psychologist at 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.