Internet sex addiction

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Internet sex addiction, also known as cybersex addiction, has been proposed as a sexual addiction characterized by virtual Internet sexual activity that causes serious negative consequences to one's physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being.[1][2] It may also be considered a subset of the theorized Internet addiction disorder.[3] Internet sex addiction manifests various behaviours: reading erotic stories;viewing, downloading or trading online pornography; online activity in adult fantasy chat rooms; cybersex relationships; masturbation while engaged in online activity that contributes to one's sexual arousal; the search for offline sexual partners and information about sexual activity.[3][4][5][6]


Cybersex addiction is a form of Internet addiction disorder, and is also known as a technological addiction. A technological addiction is a non-chemical or behavioural dependency that comprehends excessive human-machine interaction.[3] Internet sexual addiction is often associated with escapism and compulsive behavior. As a form of a compulsive behavior, it can be identified by three criteria: the failure of making a decision about engagement in the behavior, obsession with the behavior, and the inability to stop the behavior despite negative consequences.[5]

Adults with this type of addiction, engage in at least one of the relevant behaviors. The majority of reasons why individuals experiment with such forms of sexual expression are diverse, and can be associated with an individual's psychological disorders or issues. Individuals who suffer from low self-esteem, severely distorted body image, untreated sexual dysfunction, social isolation, depression, or are in recovery from a prior sexual addiction are more vulnerable to cybersexual addictions .[3][4][7] Other vital psychological issues for this addiction include struggles for intimacy, self-worth, self-identity, self-understanding.[5]

Disputed disorder: DSM[edit]

Internet sex addiction is not listed in the latest DSM manual (DSM-5, 2013),[8] which is commonly used by psychiatrists in the United States and several other countries. Gambling disorder is the only behavioural (non-substance related) addiction included in DSM-5. Authors have disputed the proposal that internet erotica is addictive.[9]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Delmonico, David L.; Griffin, Elizabeth J. (2010). "Cybersex Addiction and Compulsivity". In Young, Kimberly S.; de Abreu, Cristiano Nabuco. Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 113–134. ISBN 978-0-470-55116-5. 
  • Delmonico, David L. (2002). "Sex on the superhighway: Understanding and treating cybersex addiction". In Carnes, P. J.; Adams, K. M. Clinical Management of Sex Addiction. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. pp. 239–254. 
  • Delmonico, David L.; Griffin, Elizabeth J.; Carnes, P. J. (2002). "Treating online compulsive sexual behavior: When cybersex becomes the drug of choice.". In Cooper, A. Sex and the Internet: A Guidebook for Clinicians. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. pp. 147–167. 
  • Schwartz, Mark F.; Southern, Stephen (2000). "Compulsive Cybersex: The New Tea Room". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention 7 (1–2): 127–144. doi:10.1080/10720160008400211. 
  • Schneider, Jennifer P. (2000). "Effects of cybersex addiction on the family: Results of a survey". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention 7 (1–2): 31–58. doi:10.1080/10720160008400206. 
  • Orzack, Maressa Hecht; Rossb, Carol J. (2000). "Should Virtual Sex Be Treated Like Other Sex Addictions?". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention 7 (1–2): 113–125. doi:10.1080/10720160008400210. 
  • Delmonico, David L. (1997). "Cybersex: High tech sex addiction". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention 4 (2): 159–167. doi:10.1080/10720169708400139. 


  1. ^ Stein, Dan J.; Hollander, Eric; Rothbaum, Barbara Olasov (31 August 2009). Textbook of Anxiety Disorders. American Psychiatric Pub. pp. 359–. ISBN 978-1-58562-254-2. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  2. ^ Parashar A, Varma A (April 2007). "Behavior and substance addictions: is the world ready for a new category in the DSM-V?". CNS Spectr 12 (4): 257; author reply 258–9. PMID 17503551. 
  3. ^ a b c d Griffiths, Mark (November 2001). "Sex on the internet: Observations and implications for internet sex addiction.". The Journal of Sex Research 38 (4): 333–342. doi:10.1080/00224490109552104. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Young, Kimberly S. (September 2008). "Internet sex addiction: Risk factors, stages of development, and treatment.". American Behavioral Scientist 52 (1): 21–37. doi:10.1177/0002764208321339. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Daneback, Kristian; Michael W. Ross, Sven-Axel Månsson (2006). "Characteristics and behaviors of sexual compulsives who use the internet for sexual purposes". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 13 (1): 53–67. doi:10.1080/10720160500529276. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Laier, C.; Pawlikowski, M.; Pekal, J.; Schulte, F. P.; Brand, M. (2013). "Cybersex addiction: Experienced sexual arousal when watching pornography and not real-life sexual contacts makes the difference". Journal of Behavioral Addictions 2 (2): 100. doi:10.1556/JBA.2.2013.002.  edit
  7. ^ Cooper, Alvin; Coralie R. Scherer; Sylvain C. Boies; Barry L. Gordon (April 1999). "Sexuality on the Internet: From Sexual Exploration to Pathological Expression.". Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 30 (1): 154–164. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.30.2.154. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  8. ^ American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. pp. 797–798. ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8. 
  9. ^ Van Rooij, Anthony & Prause, Nicole. (2014). "A critical review of "Internet addiction" criteria with suggestions for the future". Journal of Behavioral Addictions. in press. 

External links[edit]