Cybersex, also called computer sex, Internet sex, netsex, mudsex, TinySex and, colloquially, cybering or conversex is a virtual sex encounter in which two or more people connected remotely via computer network send each other sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience. In one form, this fantasy sex is accomplished by the participants describing their actions and responding to their chat partners in a mostly written form designed to stimulate their own sexual feelings and fantasies.
Cybersex sometimes includes real life masturbation. The quality of a cybersex encounter typically depends upon the participants’ abilities to evoke a vivid, visceral mental picture in the minds of their partners. Imagination and suspension of disbelief are also critically important. Cybersex can occur either within the context of existing or intimate relationships, e.g. among lovers who are geographically separated, or among individuals who have no prior knowledge of one another and meet in virtual spaces or cyberspaces and may even remain anonymous to one another. In some contexts cybersex is enhanced by the use of a webcam to transmit real-time video of the partners.
Channels used to initiate cybersex are not necessarily exclusively devoted to that subject, and participants in any Internet chat may suddenly receive a message with any possible variation of the text “Wanna cyber?”, “Wanna cam?” or a request for “C2C”/”C4C” (“cam to cam” and “cam for cam”, respectively).
Cybersex is commonly performed in Internet chat rooms (such as IRC, talkers or web chats) and on instant messaging systems. It can also be performed using webcams, voice chat systems like Skype, or online games and/or virtual worlds like Second Life. The exact definition of cybersex—specifically, whether real-life masturbation must be taking place for the online sex act to count as cybersex—is up for debate. It is also fairly frequent in online role-playing games, such as MUDs and MMORPGs, though approval of this activity varies greatly from game to game. Some online social games like Red Light Center are dedicated to cybersex and other adult behaviors. These online games are often called AMMORPGs. In other games of the wider MMORPG genre, it ranges from widely accepted to the point of game masters/moderators taking part, such as in Final Fantasy Online, to moderated based on player reports, as in World of Warcraft, to grounds for a suspension from play or a permanent banishment, as in EVE Online and Anarchy Online.
Cybersex may also be accomplished through the use of avatars in a multiuser software environment. It is often called mudsex or netsex in MUDs. In TinyMUD variants, particularly MUCKs, the term TinySex (TS) is very common.
Though text-based cybersex has been in practice for decades, the increased popularity of webcams has raised the number of online partners using two-way video connections to “expose” themselves to each other online—giving the act of cybersex a more visual aspect. There are a number of popular, commercial webcam websites that allow people to openly masturbate on camera while others watch them. Using similar sites, couples can also perform on camera for the enjoyment of others.
Cybersex differs from phone sex in that it offers a greater degree of anonymity and allows participants to meet partners more easily. A good deal of cybersex takes place between partners who have just met online. Unlike phone sex, cybersex in chat rooms is rarely commercial. In online worlds like Second Life and via webcam-focused chat services, however, Internet sex workers engage in cybersex in exchange for both virtual and real-life currency.
“I love you, too.”~ *I lick slowly up the base of your neck. Nipping at your ear gently, my lips curl into a gentle smirk.*
—An example of typical cybersex