Women usually feel more threatened by the emotional betrayal of a partner’s online affair, while men are more concerned about physical encounters, Hertlein says, but the gender differences are lessening.
They can be easy to conceal, as long as the cheating partner deletes the Web browser history and any incriminating e-mails.
“Your primary partner will never be able to compare with the fantasy partner,” Hertlein says.
“They will never win.” According to Young, people with low self-esteem, a distorted body image, an untreated sexual dysfunction or a prior sexual addiction are more at risk to develop addictions to cybersex or online pornography.
Young sees more women who are online cheaters, in part, she says, because women gravitate toward erotic chats and webcam sessions while men often are drawn to pornography.
“The Internet is opening up these new ways of exploring your sexuality and that includes infidelity,” she says.