Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is cybersex so bad?

Despite the popularity of the online sex industry, when experts talk about it -- cybersex, online porn -- it's always cast negatively. Most of the books and psychological literature focus on addiction, harm, and ruined lives. While I would be totally naive to deny this point of view, it’s possible – and probably more likely – that online sexual activities are quickly becoming a normal aspect of one’s sexual identity development and discovery.

Think about it. According to comScore Media Metrix, 71.9 million people visited adult sites in August 2005, reaching 42.7 percent of the Internet audience. A survey conducted by MSNBC and Elle magazine found that 81% of men and 53% of women have used the Internet to look at erotic images or engage in “sexy talk.” Although the representativeness of a poll sponsored by the mass media has its limitations, the large percentages make it seem likely that several persons within a counselor’s client base are using the Internet for sexual purposes.

There is no way there are that many sex addicts amongst us. It sounds more like there are just a lot of people who are curious about sex.