“Like all types of addiction, cybersex addiction is about not being able to resist an impulse, drive, or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to the person or to others,” Founding Partner and Consultant of Better Steps Psychology, Inc. Raphael O. Inocencio shares.
“Cybersex addiction is only one of many other types of addictions currently classified as behavioral addiction—generally addiction that is not substance related.”
Sometimes, it also pays to be mindful of your behavior on the internet. You may not know it, but you might find yourself right smack in the middle of the cybersex cesspool—viewing sexual images online, and chatting about it with your peers. Some even take it to the next level, using web cams to engage in sexual acts with a constant, and in most cases, random online partner.
But can cybersex really satisfy your midnight urges?
“Engaging in cybersex can trigger a pleasurable experience that reinforces the behavior. Many cases of behavioral addiction is also an impulse control issue. It varies from person to person, regardless of any other variable,” Inocencio explains.
“For some, it is their preferred form of sexual activity, whether or not they are in a relationship in real life.”
Other individuals view cybersex as a form of therapy “to release stress or other forms of negative emotional energy.” Some couples, especially those in a long distance relationship, may feel the need to express their intimacy, but the distance inhibits them. This, in turn, might lead them to resort to different forms of cybersex.
That doesn't mean, however, that the satisfaction an idividual gets from cybersex is neither similar nor greater than actual intercourse. They are two very different acts that yield different results.
“Cybersex, in some cases, can be a substitute for actual sex. It can also be a separate behavior they engage in as well, and thus, might be offering those involved a different level of satisfaction.”
Is cybersex only addictive for men?
“Any person is equally susceptible. The way that addiction happens is that there is a neurochemical and behavioral reward that is generated when the behavior is performed."
In the website Psychology Today, one of the authors discusses a recent study revealing how women can also be hooked into cybersex, just as men.
“Women with a greater predisposition to becoming addicted to cybersex find Internet depictions of sexual activity more exciting and more likely to lead to cravings,” the article reads. “Like men, women who become addicted to Internet pornography seem to do so out of a desire to achieve gratification.”
“The reason these behaviors are addictive to people, regardless of gender, is because of the continued gratification, pleasure, or relief that they offer,” Inocencio adds.
The rampant growth and accessibility of different media platforms has given birth to immeasurable possibilities when it comes to cybersex engagements.
Is cybersex addiction curable?
“Behavioral addicts, similar to most substance-based addicts, will first not realize that they are addicted. They don't realize the consequences and will insist that they are in control, when most of the time they are not."
Just like any other addiction, it can be rehabilitated.
Cybersex addicts may undergo different therapeutic treatments with guidance from mental health professionals. However, the most crucial step to make is acceptance.
Rafael O. Inocencio is one of the founding partners of Better Steps Psychology, Inc. Professional consultation with him can be done in their office located at Unit 305 Fortune Building, 144 Pasig Blvd., Pasig City. Reach them through +63 917 894 3988 for inquiries.