Cybersex: types, benefits and risks
While cybersex can be seen as a way to commit infidelity or waste time, it can be a positive way for individuals or couples to explore their sexuality in a way that does not put them at risk. sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.
It is also an option when in-person sexual activity needs to be suspended, such as when an individual is sick, a couple lives in different states, or during the era of social distancing from the coronavirus pandemic.
What is cybersex?
Cybersex is not a thing. Instead, the word describes a group of activities that have one essential thing in common: it takes place over the Internet or some other electronic network. In other words, cybersex is inherently virtual and does not involve person-to-person physical contact. It can be an activity for one, two, or even more, and can be anything from sending a sexy text to exploring teledildonics.
Cybersex is generally safe sex. Since interactions take place over a computer network, there is no risk of transmitting an STD to a partner or making her pregnant. However, it is not entirely without risk. Individuals should be aware of the possible loss of their privacy if the documents they share are passed on to others. They have to pay attention to practicing good hygiene with all sex toys. It is also important to know any local laws that may be relevant to cybersex activities. Aside from these concerns, the biggest risk of cybersex is running out of your data plan or driving up a big phone bill.
Legal issues for minors considering cybersex
In the United States, people under the age of 18 need to be aware of the very real legal risks of cybersex. Many states have laws that explicitly criminalize sending suggestive or nude photos of adolescents and adolescents. Although they are designed to protect young people from exploitation, even adolescents who engage in consensual “sexting” can be exposed to legal consequences from such activities. These laws vary from state to state. Additionally, even in states that do not have teen sexting laws, federal child pornography laws can also put people at risk.
Sexting, or “sex texts,” involves sending sexually explicit or sexually suggestive messages, emojis, and images to a partner. Sexting can be used as a way to flirt when you’re apart, or even shake things up when you’re together. When sexting, it’s important to know how and where your partner is using their phone. It’s one thing to send a teasing text message that may inadvertently be read by your partner’s coworker. It’s another thing to send nude photos that might get your partner in trouble with their boss (or roommates).
It’s also important to be aware of your own privacy when texting. Sexting isn’t something you should do with someone you don’t implicitly trust. Remember, most phones allow individuals to capture and save screenshots of anything on the screen, in addition to just directly forwarding a message. Therefore, consider whether you would agree with someone other than your partner to see your sext, as well as whether you would trust your partner not to share them.
Webcam sex is exactly what it sounds like. Two people – or more – open webcams and interact sexually. It could be FaceTime with Body Time or sexy Skype. Webcam sex can be fun, awkward, or both. If you are considering webcam sex with one or more partners, it can be helpful to set limits and expectations ahead of time. How will you be private? Should you each have sex toys? Are there things that are prohibited or things that you particularly want to try?
There are just as many ways to have adult cam as there are face-to-face sex. As with face-to-face sex, it’s helpful to realize that the experience can be awkward the first (or fifth) time. It also helps to do a bit of planning ahead. Find a way to configure your phone or camera to be comfortable when playing with your partner. You don’t want to knock your tablet off the dresser with your foot in the middle of an exciting time.
Pornography and Erotica
Whether you’re alone or not, one way to engage in cybersex is by viewing or reading erotic content on the web. There are websites that provide erotic content tailored to anyone’s interests, whether those interests include explicit lesbian sex or romantic heterosexual erotica. People think of pornography as being used solo, and many do. However, couples can also watch or read porn together in bed or together from a distance. It can be a way to create sexual tension or generate fun new ideas.
The word teledildonics refers to the use of connected sex toys. For example, the category includes vibrators whose vibrations are controlled by internet or by app. The purpose of teledildonics is to provide stimulation at a distance, a way of simulating the experience of a partner’s touch. While not the cheapest option for cybersex, they can be fun for people who have the resources.
Alternative reality and virtual reality sex
The grandfather of alternative reality relationships and sex is the online community Second Life. Second life is a virtual world. Originally established in 2003, millions of users live, work and even have sex in their virtual environment. Second Life is not a quick fix when looking for a love life online, as the initial investment of time, skills, and sometimes money can be substantial. However, some people have very rewarding romances and sexual interactions in this virtual 3D world. Virtual sex also allows people to experience different avatars, genders, and forms of sexuality that would not be possible in the physical world, which many see as a big plus.
There is a VR interface for Second Life, but there are VR porn makers as well. These range from 3D videos to more immersive options that resemble video games. It’s important to note that VR options can be quite expensive, requiring the purchase of VR systems or headsets if users don’t already have them.
Negotiating cybersex with a partner
The way you negotiate cybersex will be very different if you do it with your spouse and plan to try it out for a long distance first date. Here are some things to consider before trying cybersex for the first time in a relationship:
- What are you comfortable sharing and doing with your partner?
- What type of cybersex are you each interested in?
- When do you have the time and space to play?
- Do you have any particular limits or triggers that you want to make sure your partner respects?
- What, if anything, should you practice or buy in advance?
- Do you have concerns about maintaining your privacy?
The more clearly and explicitly you can talk about these things, the more likely it is that your cybersex encounter is something you enjoy. Clear communication and setting expectations also reduce the likelihood that either of you will do something that you will regret.
A word from Verywell
In this time when we can’t explore physical relationships as easily as usual, cybersex is a safe option. However, be aware that you should not use any equipment (phone, computer) or account (Zoom, Skype, e-mail) owned or managed by an employer. Depending on your business rules, your activities may be monitored. Using work equipment or accounts for personal business can also violate your employer’s policies, which could put your job at risk. There are very few things more personal than sex.
It’s normal for the current COVID-19 pandemic to make you feel lonely while at the same time removing you socially. Being proactive about your mental health can help keep your mind and body stronger. Learn more about the the best online therapy options available to you.