Young people’s frequent use and involvement in online sex games (OSA) today has significantly increased in recent years and this has changed their general behavior in the sphere of sex, especially sexual addiction. The current literature has some significant limitations, in terms of the study of the construction and its relation to sexual addiction, particularly when assessing its relationship to problematic utilization or even societal engagement and its relationship to healthy sexual activity or even personal well-being. This review aims at describing online sex games as a new dimension for the study of sexual addiction. It is argued that OSA can emerge as a new form of sexual dysfunction, in which one uses sexual games to relieve emotional distress, for instance coming from a difficult relationship, or perhaps stress. Some researchers argue that this type of escapism is indicative of a withdrawal from the everyday pain and stress of life. Online sex games offer an escape to an otherwise stressful situation, and this may lead to increased risky behavior and escalating OSA.
Some researchers have also proposed that there is an emerging third variable that relates to sexual satisfaction and addictive behavior: the internet environment. In this model, people become cybersex addicts because they repeatedly find themselves in situations that cause them distress but give them little sexual satisfaction, and they then become cybersmile victims, moving from one cybersex site to another looking for that missing sexual satisfaction. This model is similar to the models of environmental and occupational addictions that were first described some thirty years ago, and which are still widely used today. Cybersex addicts are not “addicts” per se, but they are dependent upon an online environment to provide them with that sexual satisfaction and feel safe and accepted by others in these sexual sites.
In order to understand how online sex can lead to cybersex addiction, it is necessary to appreciate the nature of sexual addiction. Sexual addiction is defined as uncontrollable craving or desire for sexual activity that usually results in repeated use of sexual behaviors targeted at the person’s partners, or partners in relationships. There are also some instances where the victim is not aware of his or her behavior until after it is done and then comes to realize that their behavior is now outside of their own control. The internet has allowed many individuals to seek extra stimulation in this way, and there are many who have become cybersex addicts because of it.
Like other addictions, the causes of cybersex addiction are multiple and complex. It is not clear why some individuals are susceptible to it while others are not. The truth is that the causes of online sex addiction are still being studied. In recent studies, the role of exposure to pornography, societal expectations about gender, age, sexual orientation and race have been found to play a role in cybersex addiction. It is also becoming more apparent that there are a number of personality disorders that may also be contributing factors.
One of these causes is related to sexting. Since early adolescence, many people have become aware of the importance of sexual intimacy. As a result, sexting has become widespread, even acceptable, in several cases. However, as sexual intimacy has become a norm, there are an increased number of people who sext because of their low sexual satisfaction.
Online sexting addicts fall under the same categories of other online addicts and have the same impulse to engage in “sexy” behaviors. Dr. Patrick Carnes, a sex therapist and a psychologist at New York University, has conducted studies about sexting. He has found out that people who are sexually addicted show common signs of indulging in cybersex. They tend to seek out multiple partners, and they tend to use online chat rooms specifically to satisfy their needs. They also tend to lie about their age, weight and marital status. There are specific reasons why addicts show these specific traits, and these include:
Dr. Patrick Carnes has also written a book about cybersex addiction, called Cybersex Addicts Anonymous. In this book, he shares his discoveries about sexually compulsive behavior and the consequences related to it. One of his main points of discussion is how people treat virtual relationships and whether or not there is a connection between cybersex addiction and real-life sexual addiction. Dr. Carnes says that there are several similarities between online relationships and sexual addiction, but he also adds that there is a major difference. He believes that one major factor contributing to cybersex addiction is the fact that individuals may find virtual relationships to be more fulfilling than those in real life.
Online sex addicts tend to seek new partners, and engage in cybersex for gratification rather than for physical relationships. In his book, Dr. Patrick Carnes says that cybersex addicts do have a problem, and he recommends that all of them take the necessary steps to get help for their addiction. There are many treatment options available, but Dr. Schneider and Dr. Carnes believe that a drug rehabilitation program is the best option for cybersex addicts. Each of these experts offers their personal opinions on what treatment programs should be recommended for people with addiction problems, including Dr. Patrick Carnes’ Cybersex Addicts Anonymous and Dr. Schneider’s Sexual Addictions Gone unchecked.