Cybersex is a growing problem which is even causing those who have never had problematic sexual behavior to enter the world of sex addiction. Increasingly, people’s online sexual behavior is affecting their daily lives negatively. It is referred to as the “crack cocaine” of sex addiction.
Dr Patrick Carnes points out some specific patterns noted in people abusing online sex are:
- Rapid escalation of amount and variety of online sex use.
- Escalation then moves on to obsessional, new behaviors.
- Relational regression occurs, in which the user loses interest in sex with his/her partner.
- Internet sexual behavior accelerates existing addictive behavior and/or precipitates new compulsive off-line behavior.
Following are the 10 criterion of problem online behavior:
- Preoccupation with sex online.
- Frequently engaging in sex online more often or for longer periods of time than intended.
- Repeated unsucessful efforts to control, cut back on, or stop engaging in sex online.
- Restlessness or irritability when attempting to limit or stop engaging in sex online.
- Using sex online as a way of escaping from problems or to relieve feelings such as helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression.
- Returning to sex online in hopes of a more intense or higher risk sex experience.
- Lying to family members, therapists, or others about online sex activity.
- Committing illegal acts online. (Sending or downloading child pornography or soliciting sex acts, for example)
- Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of online sexual behavior.
- Incurring significant financial consequences as a result of engaging in online sexual behavior.