Internet Cybersex Addiction
Why has internet cybersex addiction become such a big problem in our culture today? Dr. Patrick Carnes points to the three “A’s” of the internet: anonymity, affordable, and accessible.
Anonymity is a huge reason why the internet is such a problem. People can be anyone or anything that they want to be on the internet. They can avoid being seen or risk being caught by a partner as they would if they visited a porn shop or a local sexual massage. There is no accountability for those struggling with pornography addiction on the World Wide Web.
Internet Affordability & Accessibility
The porn on the internet can be found for free. A person seeking images or movie clips can download hundreds of both in the privacy of their home, and do it without having to pay one cent. A sex addict can find someone for sex through dating sites or apps on their phone. They can even find others for webcam sexual encounters. The risk of public exposure or being caught by their partner is very low. There are numerous websites that offer almost any type of sexual behavior and most are either free or a lower cost. No matter what the sex addict can imagine, he can probably find it somewhere on the net.
Denial & Sexual Addiction
Denial is also a major factor for online compulsive cybersex. The sex addict can simply tell himself that internet sex is not real and therefore, it is not really cheating on a partner. The sex addict can rationalize that having cybersex is just a virtual world that has no negative affect upon his life. I have had clients tell me, “I am not cheating because the person online is not real but rather only pixels on a computer screen.” They also believe that no one is hurt as long as they keep it a secret. The sex addict convinces himself that online cybersex has no consequences and they can stop whenever they decide to stop.
Sexual Addiction & Sex Addiction
Yet the reality is that cybersex has all the indicators and characteristics of sexual addiction. The sex addict begins to spend more of his time seeking the sexual high and he increases the risk of being caught. Not long, he begins to try to control it but quickly realizes that the cybersex is controlling him. Many of my clients report spending hours upon hours online in a trancelike state.
Many of my clients admit to staying up all night seeking the cybersex high and then being tired the next day at his work. He swears to stop but finds himself powerless to do so. For the sex addict caught up in cybersex, simply starting his labtop and checking his email can feel sexualized and ritualistic. Overtime, the sex addict needs more, better and different. He explores websites, images, chatrooms, webcams, and sexual hookups that he never imagined he would have visited.
Sexual Addiction Counseling
If this describes your struggle or you can identify with having behaviors that cause you to feel shameful, please call my counseling center to setup an individual counseling session with one of our sexual addiction counselors. We can help you stop the madness!