The Internet today is an indispensable tool for almost all spheres of human endeavors, and that includes sex.
Yes, you heard that right!
The Internet has made it easy to view pornography and even have cyber affairs and cyber sex.
Presently, 8 to 10 percent of Internet users actually become addicted to cyber sex and one third of divorce litigation is actually sparked by online affairs.
So, the big questions are – can cyber sex be considered cheating? Is it actually adultery and what should you do if you suspect your spouse is having an online affair? How close is a cyber-affair to a real affair? And how easy is it to cross that line?
Opinions on the answers to the questions are as varied as anything you can think of, but for the purpose of this piece, we will compare the views of Christine, a woman whose husband was having an online affair and Dr Joy Browne, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert.
Are you the type that spends long hours on the computer, either at home or in the office? It could be the first tell tale sign of an online affair. And this is exactly what tipped off Christine. Hear her: “And when I’d walk in, he’d be switching so I couldn’t see what he was doing. He’d say he was working”.
What happened next is better imagined. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, they say. Christine installed a software package on the computer. The program kept track of all activity on the computer, including all e-mails, instant messages, websites visited and even every keystroke made from that computer.
Reports were emailed to her and that was how she napped him. She is now in the middle of a divorce.
This raises an important point- is it appropriate to install spy software on the computer?
Legally it is right, as long as you own the computer which you install the spy software on. But Christine would not have been legally allowed to put it on her husband’s computer at work or any other computer that doesn’t’ belong to them.
The surge in cyber affairs has spurned a new market- electronic spying. But Dr. Joy Browne says cyber-sex is really not cheating.
Then what is it?
Her reply: “As long as no body fluids were exchanged, an affair cannot be said to have taken place”
When the question of – if there is anyway cyber-affairs can be harmless – was put forward to Dr Browne, her reply was-
“It is the same argument that people who use pot go on to use hard drugs. It seems to be circular reasoning. What we know is that men tend to talk to women when they are talking about emotional issues. If our men knew what we talked about with each other, they would go ballistic”
So, what is the answer to the question- is cyber-sex cheating?
For a woman the allure of a “knight in shinning armor” online pushes her over the line. Yet, when exactly did she cross the line? Does her relationship become adulterous when flirting starts?
People often justify their cyber relationships because they see them as virtual, not cheating, says Marnie Farrie, a relationship expert, especially if the relationship is only emotional, not sexual.
However, people cross the line when they begin to sneak around behind their spouses’ back to share intimate thoughts with another person.
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