Kathryn's Blog

Way too close for comfort—risks of cyber-sex

Remember the Pina Colada song, the one about the guy who put an ad in the paper wanting a woman who loved Pina Coladas and walks in the rain, only to end up meeting his wife/girlfriend, who had the same fantasies?  With all the people online, you’d think that your chance of connecting with someone you know is remote, right?  Read this article below for an eyeopener, and the best reason I can think of to know just who it is you are trading sexy talks or photos with:

Sex on the Internet

Published on 02/08/2008

By Chapia Bukachi

Mr Kobee a father of two girls Ivy and Rita aged 19 and 17 respectively, living in Nairobi, was distraught after his discovery that he had committed incest with his daughters on the Web. After dating for more than two years on the Internet, they resolved to exchange their nude pictures. Ivy and Rita collapsed when they downloaded their Internet lover’s pictures only to be confronted by those of their own father in the nude. Mr Kobee, after receiving photos of his daughters’ nakedness has since disconnected Internet in his house. Father and daughters are currently undergoing counselling to free themselves of their cybersex obsession.

Welcome to the cybersex revolution. But are we prepared to face the consequences?

The new disorder

Cybersex is simply having sex with someone online. You type out what you would do to them, and they type back what they imagine would be their reaction if you did it. At times, the lovers could activate their webcam (camera on their computers) to expose their bodies live to the other person.

According to the Centre for Internet Addiction Recovery website, one in five Internet addicts are engaged in some form of online sexual activity “primarily viewing cyberporn and/or engaging in cybersex”. Studies show that men are more likely to view cyberporn, while women are more likely to engage in erotic chat. People who suffer from low self-esteem, a distorted body image, untreated sexual dysfunction, or a prior sexual addiction are more at risk to develop the addiction. In particular, sex addicts often turn to the Internet as a new and safe sexual outlet to fulfill their underlying compulsive habit.

Interestingly, people who have no previous sex problem are getting caught in the craze. “Over 60 per cent of our clients are individuals who normally would not go to a strip club or rent an adult video but are downloading online pornography or talking with strangers in sexually explicit adult chat rooms,” the website says.

The reasons for the massive appeal of this new form of immorality is its ability to conceal identities, therefore, those involved feel secure enough to say and do things they would not do in real life.

Patrick Carnes and Elizabeth Griffin the authors of Post-Gazette USA, argue that the major problem of cybersex addicts is their inability to choose freely whether to stop or continue with the behaviour despite adverse consequences.

Mr Kobee for instance admitted that his wife Mary caught him many times searching pornographic sites, and each time he promised it would never happen again. Instead, he shifted his cyber life to the office, from where he kept in touch with his daughters daily without knowing it.

When asked, Rita and Ivy confessed to not knowing the dangers of such indulgence. “After all it was just online,” and “It was not real, we were just having fun,” they said. But by the time they went for counselling, both knew how that initial innocence had initiated them into Hell on the Net.

Danger signs

I know a friend, who though not admitting it is a cybersex addict. Every time I bring to his attention the fact that he is overdoing the thing, suggesting he might be addicted, he says it is just a pastime. “I like to play with people’s imaginations; sometimes I sign in as a woman and a guy will believe my lie and go ahead to have sex with me; sometimes I play the lesbian and a lesbian will play along. It’s nothing serious, just fun,” he says. But I can tell it is not ‘just fun’; the guy is hooked.

Patrick Carnes, in his book, Out of the Shadows, defines sexual addictive behaviour as a sexual activity that often leads to shamefulness, secretiveness and abusiveness. The addict’s life becomes constricted and lonely. Many hours are spent alone with the computer while real-life friendships and social contacts fall away.

“I could rarely take my family out or join them in a family event,” Kobee offers. He always found excuses to justify this. Interestingly, his daughters used to encourage him to go to work even during weekends, but of course so they also could have the time to indulge in their addiction.

Ivy says that the shame she felt “sabotaged my relationships, ambitions and self esteem. I had no interest in anything else, and since we used to engage in it together with my sister, it felt cool.”

Some of the danger signs include:

1) Anxiety and/or personal distress: If you do not do it, you feel that your day is not complete. You feel distressed, and relief comes only when you engage in cybersex. “Just one minute” is a line addicts use to excuse themselves to feed their obsession.

2) Maladaptive behaviours: These manifest themselves when cybersex distracts a person from perfoming their routine, or kills their creativity in other areas. For instance, when one’s working hours are taken up by cybersex, when a student would rather engage in cybersex than do homework, or when men involved in cybersex begin to see women as nothing but sex organs.

3) Deviance from social norm: This is when a person’s lifestyle runs counter to the values of their community. For instance when a spouse proposes bedroom activities you are not comfortable with, or when they would rather have cybersex than the real thing.


The physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, legal and social consequences of cybersex addiction demand that we must pay greater attention and effort to this widespread problem. The most common consequences include severe depression, suicidal tendencies, low self-esteem, shame, self-hate, hopelessness, despair, helplessness, intense anxiety, loneliness, moral conflict, fear of abandonment, spiritual bankruptcy, distorted thinking and self-deceit. Over 40 per cent of addicts experience marital and other relationship problems.

Health consequences include the spread of HIV/Aids and other STIs in case the addicts decide to act out their fantasy. Some addicts have genital injuries due to use of foreign objects and many end up in jail after committing sexual offences particularly rape, pedophilia, vending pornographic materials, prostitution, and sometimes stealing to fund their secret life.


The fact remains that the Internet has been designed to be accessible and visible to all persons online and there is no way to effectively prohibit access to pornographic sites. Still, there is little one can do to determine how a person of Kobee’s age and standing uses the Internet. First of all, like in all other addictions, victims hardly admit that they have a problem.

But parents can do something to minimise the chances of their children getting addicted.

Owing to lack of a law on cybersex crime, the first line of defence here is for parents to monitor their children’s Internet activities. One solution is to have an Internet filtering software installed in the computer at home. This would serve as a firewall preventing the entry of websites hosting pornography and prostitution sites in the computer programme. It would also prevent minors from taking part in sex chats and cybersex by disabling programmes hosting these activities.

Internet filtering, however, is not foolproof. Even where the software is already installed, sites on pornography and prostitution remain accessible. This is because many sites whose names do not sound ‘dirty’ nonetheless contain pornography.

Owing to this, the best preventive measure would be to have a “public” computer in the house placed in a place with heavy human traffic. Discourage computers in bedrooms.

Despite the fact that no law against this exists, parents, employers and Internet cafÈ owners must curb access to these sites. A generation is at risk.

* Names have been changed to protect the identities of the people involved.



Погода портится скоро уже на улице не погуляешь :( Скоро буду целыми вечерами в инете сидеть, а вы чем обычно осенью занимаетесь?

Great review, thanks for an informative article, i read the hole article and tips are useful.


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