Forms of Sex Addiction on the Internet
- Viewing swimsuit or lingerie/underwear sites, nude pictures and limitless forms of hardcore pornography, and usually masturbating, often multiple times or continuously below the orgasm level for hours, while watching the images.
- Downloading pictures of nude or semi-nude people or specific body parts or pornographic scenes; creating files, and usually categorizing the images (such as “Asian breasts,” or “oral sex: woman to man”). The addict may have favorite images to revisit, but often the majority of the pictures are never viewed again, the high being in the collecting and organizing.
- Reading erotic and pornographic stories found on various sex sites or posted on sexual bulletin boards. Creating one’s own sexualized compositions and posting them on the Internet.
- Chatting with others and taking the chat to increasingly sexual levels. Usually ultimately masturbating while engaging in a graphic sexual fantasy with the other person. May also include use of the voice connection for a more personal aspect. May lead to in-person meetings for complete participation in sex acts.
- Sending and receiving sexualized emails, sometimes including sexual photos of the two people who are corresponding, minus the face when the wish is to remain incognito.
- Posting and viewing nude or pornographic “stills” (often of oneself) on bulletin boards or on many sites inviting the postings.
- Viewing live sexual images of people photographing themselves with a web cam. Sending one’s own live sexualized videos via web cam. The addict usually stays in a sexually aroused state and may masturbate on or off camera, or two or more people may view each other engaging in sexual activity, which creates “virtual sex” that gets as close as currently possible to the real thing on-line.
- Viewing sexual video clips online, usually requiring a fee paid with a credit card.
- Ordering various sexual services on-line, such as having a paid participant perform requested sex acts on a web cam.
- Creating online romantic relationships, maintained with regular online contact that is both sexual and non sexual in content (consisting of chatting, emailing or using Internet phone connections) which may become multiple times a day and consume many hours, in which the two people feel they get to know each other at a very deep and intimate level (aided by the fact that the relationship is primarily based on fantasy). These relationships may remain confined to the Internet but often lead to in-person relationships and sometimes eventually break up marriages or other committed relationships that pre-existed the online relationship. This form of Internet activity particularly appeals to love addicts.
- Moving into a new form of pornography or activity, more extreme than before and previously considered “off limits,” like viewing same-gender sex when the person is heterosexual, or visiting teen sites when adult pornography has lost its former impact, or revealing one’s face to the web cam after an initial period of carefully concealing their identity, or pretending to be a teen in order to chat sexually with a person believed to be a minor.