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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Sexual addiction otherwise known as compulsive sexual behavior is associated with serious psychosocial problems and risk-taking behavior. This study used the Cybersex addiction test, Craving for pornography questionnaire, and a Questionnaire on intimacy among participants males and 75 females mean age for males of regression analysis indicated that pornography, gender, and cybersex ificantly predicted difficulties in intimacy and it ed for Second, regression analysis also indicated that craving for pornography, gender, and difficulties in forming intimate relationships ificantly predicted frequency of cybersex use and it ed for These findings support evidence for sex differences in compulsive sexual behavior.

Sex addiction otherwise known as Compulsive sexual behavior, has been associated with serious psychosocial problems and risk-taking behaviors. This behavior has not been recognized as a disorder that merits inclusion in the DSM 1 see Ref. Despite different views about pathological characteristics of sexual addiction there is an agreement that this is a Female looking for cybersex relapsing condition, which does not merely refer to sexual lifestyle that is socially deviant 2 — 4. Recently, the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees rejected several proposals for the new disorder and therefore sexual addiction does not appear in the DSM Even though clinicians have been treating the disorder, the Board of Trustees estimated that there was not enough research to consider adding the disorder to Section 3 disorders that require further research of the DSM-5 5.

Sex addiction is associated with behaviors such as constantly seeking new sexual partners, having frequent sexual encounters, engaging in compulsive masturbation, and frequently using pornography. Despite of efforts to reduce or stop excessive sexual behaviors individuals with sex addiction find it difficult to stop and they engage in risky sexual activities, pay for sexual services, and resist behavioral changes to avert risk of HIV 6 — 9. Cognitive and emotional symptoms include obsessive thoughts of sex, feelings of guilt about excessive sexual behavior, the desire to escape from or suppress unpleasant emotions, loneliness, boredom, low self-esteem, shame, secrecy regarding sexual behaviors, rationalization about the continuation of sexual behaviors, indifference toward a regular sexual partner, a preference for anonymous sex, a tendency to disconnect intimacy from sex, and an absence of control in many aspects of life 7810 Finally, some studies find that sexual addiction is associated with or in response to dysphoric affect 912 — 16 or stressful life events The easy availability to pornographic content on the Internet go beyond human imagination and fantasy and enables graphic interactive encounters that fulfill urges for nudity and sexual encounters with available women always for pleasure with minimal implications and temporary encounters.

Online sexual activity includes viewing and downloading pornography, visiting sex shops for sexual aids and toys, advertising or hiring sex workers on the Internet, seeking sex education information, locating sex contacts, and interacting with sexual subcultures or communities Exposure to pornography in reduced self-esteem and body image satisfaction, increased sense of vulnerability to violence, and an increased sense of defenselessness in women, and in men in reward for displays of hyper masculinity and trivializing or excusing violence against women Cybersex usually involves watching, downloading, and online trading of pornography or connecting to chat rooms using role plays and fantasy for men 21 and this space enables people to explore and investigate their sexual urges and private fantasies online Cybersex addicts tend to suffer from poor impulse control and often have a history of multiple addictions to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, food, or sex.

If an online user already suffers from a history of sexual addiction, cybersex serves as another outlet for gratification that feeds a problem. There are studies showing that cybersex negatively affects the patient, the spouse, and the family 24 Other studies have found that males use cybersex for mood management 26 Although cybersex can be used as an outlet for sexual activity there is therefore no evidence that Female looking for cybersex who use it Female looking for cybersex sexually addicted.

It is important to investigate the relationship between pornography and cybersex and to ascertain their effects on the ability to form intimate relationships in men and women. Recent studies by Laier and Brand 2829 explain the use of pornography and cybersex as means of sexual arousal and gratification. Furthermore, Laier and Brand 30described a model on the development and maintenance of cybersex addiction which is based on the model for Internet addiction introduced by Brand et al.

These models support the arguments for the link between pornography and cybersex. Consistent with studies and models on sex addiction 28 — 31we have investigated the frequency of cybersex use, craving for pornography and the ability to form intimate relationships among men and women who use pornography and cybersex on the Internet. In accordance with findings of research, we have predicted that frequency of using cybersex, craving for pornography would predict difficulty in intimacy in men and women who use cybersex.

Second, we have predicted that sex, craving for pornography and difficulties in intimacy would predict frequency of cybersex use. Third, we have predicted that there would be sex differences in the frequency of use of cybersex and craving for pornography.

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The participants of this study were recruited from forums on the Internet that are dedicated to pornography and cybersex in order to satisfy sexual curiosity and arousal. Men and women were approached on the websites and were asked to fill in questionnaires and send them by mail to the investigators. Questionnaires were anonymous and there were no means for assessing deception by the participants. Inclusion criteria for compulsive sexual behavior were males and females who use the Internet for sex purpose. From the original sample offive participants did not meet inclusion criteria and were removed from the sample and participants remained.

Education attainments were 6. Employment status of the participants included Marital status was Most of the participants lived in the city Demographic questionnaire including items on age, sex, education, employment status, marital status, type of living urban or ruraland religion. Cybersex addiction test 23which consists of 20 questions about cybersex addiction including pornography.

For example, rate the frequency that you neglect your duties in order to spend more time in cybersex, the frequency that you prefer cybersex on intimacy with your partner, the frequency that you spend time in chat rooms and private conversations in order to find partners for cybersex, the frequency that people complain about the time that you spend online, etc. Participants were divided into four groups non-addicted score 0—30moderately addicted 31—49medium addiction 50—79and Female looking for cybersex addicted 80— Craving for pornography questionnaire 32which consists of 20 questions about perceived control in using pornography, changes in mood, psychophysiological activity, and intention for using pornography.

Scores vary from low levels of craving for pornography 0—20 and high craving for pornography — Questionnaire on difficulties in intimacy 33which consists of 12 questions including 4 questions on fear of abandonment, 4 on fear of exposure, and 4 on shame and fear of rejection. The questionnaire has been widely used for research on psychosocial intimacy and for couple treatment.

The questionnaires were filled in online using a form that was created through Google Drive and was sent as a link on messages to members in groups and forums on pornography and cybersex. Those who responded filled in the questionnaires and informed consent forms while privacy and anonymity were maintained. Descriptive statistics of male and female participants on the questionnaires measuring frequency of cybersex, craving for pornography and difficulties in intimacy was performed. A stepwise regression analysis was performed with measures of intimacy as a dependent variable.

In the first step, craving for pornography was entered; in the second step, gender was entered; and in the third step, frequency of cybersex use entered as independent variables. Comparison of questionnaire measures according to gender and level of use of cybersex:. Male and female participants were compared on measures of the questionnaires measuring frequency of cybersex, craving for pornography, and difficulties in intimacy. Post hoc comparisons of questionnaire measures in all groups were performed with Bonferroni corrections for multiple comparisons.

A Pearson correlational analysis between frequency of using cybersex, craving for pornography, and difficulties in forming intimate relationship scores was performed in all participants also separate in men and women. The of the regression analysis using intimacy ratings as a dependent variable, indicated that the Female looking for cybersex variables of pornography, gender, and cybersex were ificant and they all ed for Craving for pornography ed for Questionnaire ratings of cybersex, porn and intimacy — a comparison between men and women.

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An ANOVA of the factors of frequency of cybersex, craving for pornography, ratings of difficulties intimacy, and gender was performed. Post hoc comparisons of questionnaire measures in all groups were performed. The analysis showed that participants who had a high score on cybersex frequency had higher scores of craving for pornography and higher rates of difficulties in forming intimate relationship than those with low frequency of using cybersex. Questionnaire Ratings according to levels of use Female looking for cybersex cyberspace non-users, light users, moderate users, and heavy users.

Questionnaire ratings of frequency of use of cybersex, craving for pornography, and difficulties in intimacy in all participants. The of this study showed that men had higher scores on measures of craving for pornography and frequency of using cybersex than women. These findings support evidence for sex differences in the use of pornography and online sexual behaviors between men and women see Ref. research has found that both women and men use all types of online sexual activities but women were more interested in interactive online sexual activity while men were more interested in visual oriented online sexual activity 2135 — In general, women found this use of sexual media acceptable or positive when associated with shared sexual activity.

Gender has been found to be an important indicator of sexual attitudes and behaviors related to sexual explicit material found online 2141 — Males were more likely than females to view erotic material online and offline and males go online at an earlier age to view sexual materials 45 — Males most often report sexually explicit materials online to be arousing. While some females found these materials to be arousing, more reported the sexually explicit materials to be disturbing and disgusting Women reported that the primary reason they used sexual media is as part of lovemaking with their partners or in response to requests by their partner.

In general, women found this use of sexual media acceptable or positive when associated with a shared sexual activity. Females also reported feeling anger about online sexual materials 42negatively compare themselves with online images 22and often reported feelings of betrayal by their partners The difference in reported frequency of using cybersex between men and women in our study may be since women feel fear of disclosure and feeling uncomfortable about admitting such Female looking for cybersex.

Second, since intimacy is an essential ingredient in cybersex which unlike pornography in general it is also characterized by chatting with a partner, participants may be jealously keeping discretion about this activity from their partner. There could be several reasons why craving for pornography was higher in men than women in this study.

Women prefer romantic fantasies and also look for intimacy and connection that is not provided by pornography whereas men look for short-term visual and graphic triggers for sexual arousal and prefer pornography. This pattern is supported by recent brain imaging studies that have demonstrated the differences between men and women in sexual arousal 50 Hamann 51 examined brain activity with fMRI in men and women while they viewed sexually arousing photographs and neutral photographs. The primary finding was that the amygdala and hypothalamus exhibited substantially more activation in men than in women when viewing the same sexually arousing visual stimuli, presumably due to a stronger appetitive motivation or desire elicited by visual sexual stimuli.

Furthermore, sexual activity in men is strongly related to psychological problems in daily life Brand et al. Laier et al. Problematic cybersex users reported greater sexual arousal and craving reactions in response to pornographic cue presentation. However, the and the quality with real-life sexual contacts were not associated to cybersex addiction.

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Finally, craving, sexual arousal rating of pictures, sensitivity to sexual excitation, problematic sexual behavior, and severity of psychological symptoms predicted tendencies toward cybersex addiction in Internet pornography users whereas being in a relationship, of sexual contacts, satisfaction with sexual contacts, and use of interactive cybersex were not associated with cybersex addiction The finding of an association between craving for pornography and frequency of using cybersex is evident since those who started watching pornography have moved on to cybersex and vice versa and those websites advertise together both forms of sex media.

The use of pornography is associated with difficulty in forming intimate relationship since pornography fills up a gap in the real world, and creates a virtual reality in which women always get satisfied and never complain. Cybersex enables those who have problems in attachment and avoid intimacy to form virtual relationships where warmth and affection and commitment are not required.

An appealing feature of cybersex is that there is no requirement to perform the sexual act together so one does not fear performance anxiety. The use of sexual activity on the Internet affects sexual activity offline and there is evidence that some Internet users had abandoned or decreased their offline pornography consumption, while sexual compulsive users were found to increase their offline pornography consumption to a greater extent than did non-sexually compulsives Finally, sexual activity online negatively affected the relationship between men and women.

Many studies showed that the consumption of Internet pornography threatens the economic, emotional, and relational stability of marriages and families 4053 — 61 see Ref. These studies indicated that pornography consumption, including cybersex, was ificantly associated with decreased marital sexual satisfaction and sexual intimacy.

Men and women perceived online sexual activity as threatening to a marriage as offline infidelity 56 The discovery that one of the partners is involved in sexual activity online le to a re-evaluation of the relationship.

They reported feeling as though their partners were not interested in making love to them, but during sexual intercourse were picturing Female looking for cybersex women they had seen in the pornography. They also felt their partners were less trustworthy, usually because he would keep the use a secret from them even when they did not object to it. Nearly three-quarters reported feeling that the use negatively affected their self-esteem. Some felt they had failed their partners sexually; if they had been better sexual partners, their partners never would have had to turn to such material for sexual satisfaction.

In this way sex on the Internet is quite often a mirror for dysfunctional sexual relationships at home and online as well Schneider 24 has described how sexual addiction and compulsivity affected the patients, the spouse and the whole family. The survey respondents 93 women and 3 men felt hurt, betrayal, rejection, abandonment, devastation, loneliness, shame, isolation, humiliation, jealousy, and anger, as well as loss Female looking for cybersex self-esteem.

Being lied to repeatedly was a major cause of distress. Furthermore, cybersex addiction was a major contributing factor to separation and divorce of couples in this survey. In view of this abundant evidence for the damage of online pornography and cyberspace to couple and family life further research merits investigation on how to treat this modern outlet for sexual behavior.

Limitations, this study relied on ratings of subjective questionnaires which may result in variance of responses. Despite the promise of anonymity and confidentiality it is plausible that some of the responders have not fully disclosed the full information. Second, there may be other factors that are important in determining the effects of pornography and sex on intimacy and cybersex addiction that have not been investigated in this study.

Thirdly, there was an unequal of men and women with age difference between samples and this could limit the generalizability of the. Finally, the Questionnaire on difficulties in intimacy by Marenco 33 has been widely used for research on psychosocial intimacy and for couple treatment but it needs further validation of reliability and validity in larger studies. In conclusion, the of this study showed sex differences between men and women in their craving for pornography and frequency of using cybersex and that both craving for pornography and frequency of cybersex were associated with Female looking for cybersex in forming intimate relationship.

The reasons why people turn into cybersex are important, whether it is since passion has subsided over the years, or whether it is convenience, disappointment from past romantic relationships that lead into isolation and more.

It is also important to know the reasons why people switched from pornography to cybersex and vice versa, whether it is the need for a partner or a need for stronger stimulation and arousal. A following study could also look at sexual preferences of men and women that may explain why for example some men or women use cybersex to fulfill homosexual activity. Finally, these studies have implications for treatment and sex therapy since a thorough understanding of the mechanisms and processes underlying compulsive sexual behavior are important for treating this disorder.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. As a that best describes how you feel concerning each of the following statements.

Base your answers on what has been true for you for the greater part of your life. What comes most quickly to your mind is usually the best answer. If you score higher than 10 on any of the three areas, this is a strong indication that this could be creating a block that prevents you from becoming more fully intimate with others. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List Front Psychiatry v. Front Psychiatry. Published online Apr

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