As one woman in a committed relationship remarks about her online sexual affairs: "I've had this discussion with my boyfriend and we both agree that as long as it's not with the same person more than twice, it is really masturbation.
It's like reading an erotic story and masturbating to it.
People, consciously or not, consider their online sexual relationships as real—they experience psychological states similar to those typically elicited by offline relationships.
Accordingly, cybersex is about sex, but a form of sexual encounter involves experiences typical of other encounters, such as sexual arousal, masturbation, orgasm, and satisfaction.
Indeed, people consider cybersex to have a high degree of psychological reality—but many do not consider it to be consider it to be infidelity.
Many of them believe cybersex to be similar to pornography—an extension of fantasy that actually helps to keep them from physical affairs with other people.
In his stimulating paper, "Chatting Is Not Cheating," John Portmann defends online lust and characterizes about sex; he maintains that such talking is more similar to flirting than to having a sexual affair.
Although cyber sex may not be the same as 'real' sex, there are still real emotions involved.
The fact that most of these affairs are concealed from offline spouses is indicative of the possible harm.
Consider this reaction: Just as casual sex is not necessarily inherently harmful, neither are online affairs.
In other words, a way to play out fantasies in a safe environment.
Other people are willing to concede that cybersex without the knowledge of their partner, ; nevertheless, some still maintain it's a type of "OK" cheating.